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Abstract

The Kythira–Antikythira strait, within the SW Hellenic Arc, forms a 100 km long NNW–SSE trending ridge between Peloponnesus and Crete and represents the submarine continuation of the Hellenic Alpine belt. In order to present the shallow as well as the deeper structure of Kythira–Antikythira strait we studied five seismic sections, oriented either parallel or perpendicular to the inner part of the Hellenic Arc. This information was complemented with velocity analyses from a dense network of seismic lines and information concerning the bathymetry.

Contractional structures recognized on the seismic profiles indicate that this part of the Gavrovo–Tripolitza geotectonic zone was involved in the Miocene shortening related to the westward propagation of the Hellenic fold-and-thrust system. East-dipping thrust faults which root in the top of the crystalline basement were identified on the seismic profiles. The deepest reflector identified on the profiles corresponds to the crystalline basement. Shallower reflectors include those corresponding to the contacts between the Mesozoic/Miocene, Upper Miocene/Lower Pliocene and Pliocene/Pleistocene sedimentary sequences. The Upper Cenozoic to Quaternary sequence rests unconformably upon Mesozoic carbonates. Messinian intrusions, forming small scale domes, deform the Pliocene–Quaternary sedimentary succession. West- and east-dipping normal faults were also recognised both within the Palaeozoic and Cenozoic successions, and are related to regional extension during sedimentation.

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