A structural sketch of the Hellenic continental margin and adjacent areas, based on numerous seismic profiles obtained in the past few years, shows two distinct structural domains. An inner extensional domain characterizes most of the continental margin—the offshore regions as well as the Cretan Sea. An outer compressional domain extends over the trenches and part of their outer slope. We believe that this perplexing pattern is related to the presence of an underlying evaporitic series progressively deformed and piling up against a resistant continental margin. The completion of subduction and subsequent continental collision are also involved in this structural framework.

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