Sicily is a geologically complex island which seems to have been extensively studied geologically and from a tectonically point of view. There are an overwhelming number of papers dealing with the strata and when they were formed but remarkably little information of the dichotomy between emergent and submerged Sicily and the extent of the former since the Messinian Salinity crisis (5.33 Ma).

Actually, when dealing with this cornerstone moment in the history of the Mediterranean, most papers represent a modern-looking Sicily and Italy even if there is multiple evidence they didn't at all look like they do now, mostly because of the intensive tectonics that opened the Tyrrhenian basin, formed the Sicilian strait and accreted the Peloritan block onto Adria and the African plate, forming Sicily as we know now.

It is known that this Peloritan block (including the Kabylies, Calabria and the eastern tip of Sicily) moved NW-SE during the last 20 Ma converging with Africa and Adria, and its parts rotating in a clockwise motion into nowadays Sicily but not a single work depicts these as islands or makes the move to recreate emerged land through time. This would be ideal for reconstructions of the movement of biota through the Mediterranean through time.

  • $\begingroup$ This might be too big a question to get a good answer. One simple trick is to look at the Basalt vs Granite. Mt. Etna, for example is less than a million years old and that part of Sicily is mostly basalt, made from volcanic rock and may be gone in a few million years. The granite base is probably much older, though still subject to rising and falling driven by plate tectonics. Fossils would be another clue for age and history. Not sure that helps. I think this is an interesting question with lots of neat geological and plate tectonics history behind it. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Feb 29, 2020 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ there's some pigmy elephant skulls from Sicily from the same times. $\endgroup$ Mar 2, 2020 at 9:36
  • $\begingroup$ @com.prehensible I was more thinking about the age of the fossil more than the type. Also, fish fossils could indicate below sea level (or a lake, depending on the type of fish, but identifying below sea level shouldn't be too hard. I didn't want to answer the question because of the amount of work I'd need to put into it to reach an answer. It's not my area, though the age of Mt. Etna is pretty easy to look up. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Mar 5, 2020 at 14:11


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