3D animation - Mediterranean isolation and desiccation during the Messinian Salinity Crisis (by daniggcc)
Geography of the Gibraltar Arc during the early stages of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (the period of restricted connection between the Mediterranean and the Altlantic). The interpretation by Garcia-Castellanos & Villaseñor (2011, Nature) proposes that, at a depth of about 100 km, a piece of dense lithosphere detached from Iberia and sunk in the Earth’s mantle. As a result, southern Iberia uplifted and the seaways that connected both seas emerged, This uplift had to compete with the erosion produced by the inflow of Atlantic water into the Med, allowing a long-lived inflow that explains the enormous amount of salt precipitated in the bottom of the Mediterranean. The lack of oceanic water supply and the arid climate of the Mediterranean sea both lead to a drawdown of its level. This video visualizes the interpretation of a research published in Nature in Dec. 2011, but not all of its contents is part yet of a consensus among specialists. More outreach info in this blog post.