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After a long period of controversial debate about the interpretation of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), a near consensus
existed since the ODP Leg 42A for a model keeping the major lines of the deep basin-shallow water model initially proposed by
Hsü et al. (1973). The knowledge of the crisis was improved since the 1995s by the availability of a very accurate astronomically
calibrated timescale. The debate about its interpretation was then reactivated by several new scenarios that questioned most the
major aspects of the previous classical models. The updated re-examination of the most salient features along with consideration of
the hydrological requirements for evaporite deposition allow us to assess the viability of the new models. We propose an integrated
scenario that revives the key points of the previous model with new statements about the chronology, depositional settings,
hydrological mechanisms, consequences and correlations with the global changes. A model implying two main stages of evaporite
deposition that affected successively the whole basin with a slight diachronism matches better the whole dataset. The distribution of
the evaporites and their depositional timing were constrained by the high degree of paleogeographical differentiation and by the
threshold effects that governed the water exchanges. It is assumed that the central Sicilian basin was a deep basin located in a
marginal position with regard to the deepest central basins. The restriction of the Mediterranean was predominantly under a tectonic
control, but the complex development of the evaporitic crisis implied the interplay of both glacio-eustatic changes and fluctuations
of the circum-Mediterranean climate.

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