Field Trip T1 – Messina Strait

Pre-Congress Field Trip

28-30 August 2020

Tidal sedimentary dynamics of the Early Pleistocene Messina Strait (southern Italy) based on its modern analogue

Valentina M. Rossi (IGG-CNR, Italy)
Sergio G. Longhitano (University of Basilicata)

Domenico Chiarella (Royal Holloway University, London)
Pascal Barrier (Université La Salle, Paris, France)


During the Early Pleistocene, the Messina Strait between Sicily and Calabria was a ca. 10-15-km-wide and 40-km-long, tide-dominated marine passageway, with a sedimentary dynamics analogous to its modern and narrower counterpart. Today, 250-m-thick strait-fill strata crop out on the two opposite margins of the modern strait, preserving the sedimentary record of a variety of processes and environments and their feedback with a dominant tidal dynamics.

During this 3-days-long field trip, attendances will be introduced to the complex tidal dynamics of tidal straits and the erosional/depositional phenomena resulting from tidal flow convergence/divergence and consequent tidal amplification. Participants will be familiarized with typical strait-center, strait-end and strait-margin facies and on the architectures of strait-axis tidal cross-strata complexes, well exposed in a number of easily-accessible sections.

During the visit at the various stops, direct linkages between the observed sedimentary facies and the modern tidal dynamics of the present-day Messina Strait will be constantly considered, aiming at promoting open-minded, critical discussions on the sedimentary dynamics of the ancient Messina passage.


Participants are advised to plan their arrival to the Lamezia Terme Airport the early morning of 28 August. It offers advantageous domestic and international flights with some of the major Italian and European cities. Return will be by cars to Matera.

All outcrops are located around Villa S. Giovanni and Reggio Calabria, in interland areas linked by roads and connected with the A1 highway. Stops are easily accessible in 5 minutes (walking), constantly close to populated zones and under constant phone coverage.

Number of participants

min 12 – max 25


350 Euros (inclusive of transport, accommodation, meals and material)