The Black Sea is surrounded by Ukraine and Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania to the north, east, south, and west respectively. This study utilizes a series of 49 reflection seismic proles, gravity and magnetic data, structural and stratigraphic data and a synthesis of known literature to formulate and interpret the crustal architecture and principal tectonic and sedimentologic events that affected the basin throughout the evolution.
The main tectonic mechanism that initiated the back-arc extension was the subduction of the Paleo-Tethys and subsequent Neo-Tethys ocean under the Anatolian Platform and volcanic arc during the Albian-Aptian times. During the Late Cretaceous, the main features of the basins and highs were formed. They include the northwest-southeast trending rift-units of Eastern Black Sea Basin sensu stricto and the Greater Caucasus Basin.
Structural highs of a similar trend include Shatsky Ridge, and the Mid-Black Sea Rise, which is composed of Andrusov Ridge in the northern portion, and Arkhangelsky Ridge in the southern portion. The termination of the extension is recorded in seismic profiles by the end-Cretaceous unconformity, which is a prominent boundary imaged throughout the entire basin.