The western Mediterranean is cut off by a bank crossing the narrow strait between Sicily and Cape Bon, usually known as the Adventure Bank, on which the depth is nowhere 200 fathoms. The mean depth of the western basin is estimated at 881 fathoms, and the deepest sounding recorded is 2040 fathoms. In the eastern Mediterranean the mean depth is nearly the same as in the western basin.
The Sicilian-Ionian basin has a mean depth of 885 fathoms, and the Levant basin, 793 fathoms. Deep water is found close up to the coast of Sicily, Greece, Crete and the edge of the African plateau.
The steepest slope observed occurs off the island of Sapienza, near Navarino, where 1720 fathoms has been obtained only 10 miles from land.
In 1897 the ship " Washington " obtained depths of 2220 fathoms in the middle of the eastern Mediterranean; and the Austrian expeditions in the " Pola " discovered in the " Pola Deep " (35° 44' N., 21 45' E.), south-west of Cape Matapan, a maximum depth of 2046 fathoms. Between these two deep areas a ridge runs in a north-westerly direction 550 fathoms from the surface - possibly a projection from the African plateau.
Another bank i ioo fathoms from the surface runs south from the east end of Crete, separating the Pola Deep from the depths of the Levant basin, in which a depth of 1960 fathoms was recorded near Makri on the coast of Asia Minor.