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Adventure Plateau (Adventure Bank), Sicily Channel (Sicilian Channel; Strait of Sicily), Italy

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Location is approximate, estimate based on other nearby localities.
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 37° North , 12° East (est.)
Margin of Error:~3km
Name(s) in local language(s):Plateau Avventura (Banco Avventura), Canale di Sicilia (Stretto di Sicilia), Italia

The ~80,000 km2 Adventure Plateau, located in the north-western sector of the Sicily Channel, is the shallowest part of the entire region, and is punctuated by several isolated, eroded rocky banks. The Adventure Plateau is part of the northern margin of the African continental plate and is morphologically separated from Sicily by the relatively deep (about 120 m b.s.l.) Mazara del Vallo Channel, and from Tunisia by the Pantelleria Graben (about 1300 m b.s.l.). Several shallow banks (Talbot, Ante-Talbot, Nereo, Panope, Tetide, Anfitrite, Galatea, and Pantelleria Vecchia), which in some cases rise to less than 10 m below sea level, punctuate the almost flat surface of the Adventure Plateau. Some of them represent recent submarine volcanic manifestations while others are remnants of highly deformed and tectonized substratum, mainly composed of Late Cenozoic carbonate and siliciclastic deposits, and eroded during repeated phases of subaerial exposure. Analysis of seismic data, combined with sedimentation rates and the curve of global sea-level change, showed that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) the Adventure Plateau formed a large peninsula protruding into the Sicilian Channel, separated from the North African coastline by less than 50 km. The gradual increase in sea level caused the flooding of most of the peninsula, with the exception of some morphological highs that, until the Early Holocene at least, formed an archipelago of several islands separated by stretches of extremely shallow sea.

Recovered samples have shown that some of them are composed of carbonates and sandstones (Talbot, Ante-Talbot and Pantelleria Vecchia banks), while others represent submerged volcanic edifices (Tetide, Anfitrite, Galatea, and Cimotoe).

Tetide, Anfitrite and Galatea banks, located in the central part of the Adventure Plateau, are quite close to each other (less than 10 km apart), and oriented N120°, a trend which is roughly parallel to the Pantelleria Graben axis. Cimotoe is located along the south-western margin of the Adventure Plateau. Tetide Bank (Tetide Volcano) occupies roughly 9 km2 and rises from a −70 m deep sea floor consisting of calcarenites and sands, and reaches minimum depths of −18 and −34 m. Anfitrite Bank (Anfitrite Volcano) is about 1 km across and reaches a minimum depth of ca. 40 m. Galatea Bank (Galatea Volcano) shows an extremely well-preserved original cone shape with a probable summit crater. Its apex (coordinates 37.21584 N, 12.38947 E) reaches a depth of −74 m and its base is about 2 km in diameter. The volcanic nature of Cimotoe (coordinates 37.00126 N, 12.53249 E), located on the south-eastern boundary of the Adventure Plateau at a depth of about −200 m and consisting of a series of conical peaks, is inferred solely on the basis of the magnetic anomalies (Calanchi et al., 1989).

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4 valid minerals.

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Colantoni, P., Cremona, G., Ligi, M., Cati, F. (1985): The Adventure Bank (off Southwestern Sicily): A present day example of carbonate shelf sedimentation. Giorn. Geol., ser. 3, 47, (1-2), 165-180.

Calanchi, N., Colantoni, P., Rossi, P.L., Saitta, M., and Serri, G. (1989): The Strait of Sicily continental rift systems: physiography and petrochemistry of the submarine volcanic centres. Mar. Geol., 87, 55–83.

Vai, G.B., Cantelli, L. (2004): Litho-palaeoenvironmental maps of Italy during the last two climatic extremes. Scale maps 1:1.000.000. Explanatory notes edited by Antonioli, F., and Vai, G.B., 32nd IGC Publications.

Lodolo, E. (2012): When the Sicily Channel was an archipelago. Rend. Online Soc. geol. Ital., 21, 1174-1175.

Civile, D., Lodolo, E., Zecchin, M., Ben-Avraham, Z., Baradello, L., Accettella, D., Cova, A., Caffau, M. (2015): The lost Adventure Archipelago (Sicilian Channel, Mediterranean Sea): Morpho-bathymetry and Late Quaternary palaeogeographic evolution. Global and Planetary Change, 125, 36–47.

Peccerillo, A. (2017): Cenozoic Volcanism in the Tyrrhenian Sea Region. Second Edition. Advances in Geology. Springer International Publishing AG, Cham, Switzerland, 398 pp.

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