A large view of the evolution and structural history of the Tyrrhenian sea and bordering areas suggests that towards the end of the Permian distensions occurring in the western Mediterranean resulted in the opening of a passage to the Atlantic. Lower Eocene deformations along the Sicilian-Tunisian front were either due to local marginal disequilibrium or to the northern drift of the African continent. Oligocene emergence is evident in the Apennines and in Calabria through the existence of widespread hiatuses and by bauxitic and ferruginous beds. Large scale Oligocene movements brought the African continent to its maximum proximity with Europe. It was in the same period that the clay scaglia and flysch nappes began sliding in Tuscany although the movement of Calabrian nappes in southern Italy did not occur until the lower and middle Miocene.

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