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The Tyrrhenian Sea (Corsican: Mari Tirrenu, French: Mer Tyrrhénienne, Italian: Mar Tirreno, Neapolitan: Mar Tirreno, Sardinian: Mare Tirrenu, Sicilian: Mari Tirrenu) is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people, identified since the 6th century BCE with the Etruscans of Italy.
The maximum depth of the sea is 3,785 metres (12,418 ft).
The Tyrrhenian Sea is situated near where the African and European Plates meet; therefore mountain chains and active volcanoes such as Mount Marsili are found in its depths. The eight Aeolian Islands and Ustica are located in the southern part of the sea, north of Sicily.
There are four exits from the Tyrrhenian Sea (north to south):
|Corsica Channel||between Tuscany and Corsica||about 80 kilometres (50 mi)||Ligurian Sea|
|Strait of Bonifacio||between Corsica and Sardinia||11 kilometres (6.8 mi)||Mediterranean Sea (proper)|
|no name||between Sardinia and Sicily||about 290 kilometres (180 mi)||Mediterranean Sea (proper)|
|Strait of Messina||between Sicily and Calabria on the toe of Italy||3 kilometres (1.9 mi)||Ionian Sea|
The Tyrrhenian Sea is divided into two basins (or plains), the Vavilov plain and the Marsili plain. They are separated by the undersea ridge known as the Issel Bridge, after Arturo Issel.[dead link]
Its name derives from the Greek name for the Etruscans, who were said to be emigrants from Lydia and led by the prince Tyrrhenus. The Etruscans settled along the coast of modern Tuscany and referred to the water as the "Sea of the Etruscans".
Note that even though the phrase "port of Rome" is frequently used, there is in fact no port in Rome. Instead, the "port of Rome" refers to the maritime facilities at Civitavecchia, some 68 km (42 miles) to the northwest of Rome.
In Greek mythology, it is believed that the cliffs above the Tyrrhenian Sea housed the four winds kept by Aeolus. The winds are the Mistral from the Rhône valley, the Libeccio from the south-west, and the Sirocco and Ostro from the south.