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The Caribbean basins, surrounded by lands and islands marked by a history of tectonic and volcanic activity, have remained remarkably stable throughout the Cenozoic. Sedimentation has been characterized by pelagic biogenic material and volcanic ash typical of a deep marine environment. Acoustic basement, reached at 5 sites by the Deep Sea Drilling Project, is composed of Late Cretaceous dolerites and basalts considerably younger than the surrounding lands.
The Mediterranean Sea may be divided into eastern and western basins. The eastern basin is dominated by the Hellenic arc, an island-arc structure, and the Mediterranean Ridge, a low ridge characterized by thick folded and faulted sediments. The western basin has more features in common with the Gulf of Mexico, such as thick terrigenous sediments and salt diapirs. Drilling has revealed buried evaporites in association with shallow water sediment and fossil indicators that led the scientific team to the conclusion that the Mediterranean desiccated during the late Miocene.
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