Chapter 3

From the Aegean Sea to the North Sea


The Aegean is one of the most seismically active parts of the Alpine Belt. “There were earthquakes all the time,” recounts McKenzie. “You could really look at the details of how continents deform and in particular see that the whole of the Aegean was being stretched.” It was fieldwork in this region that led to McKenzie’s insights into extensional basins. “That was what gave rise to these ideas of continental extension and basin formation,” he says. “It wasn’t the North Sea, it was the Aegean. You really couldn’t miss it. It was only because we were all so fixed on plate tectonics that it took us quite a long time to see it.”

Colour photograph, from a 35mm slide, entitled ‘Large fault N Euboea, Greece’, showing Dan McKenzie in front of a large geological fault, north Evvia, Central Greece, [?August-September 1978].