By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
The team made a reconstruction of the Mediterranean during the "megaflood"
Research has revealed details of the catastrophic Zanclean flood that refilled the Mediterranean Sea more than five million years ago.
The flood occurred when Atlantic waters found their way into the cut-off and desiccated Mediterranean basin.
The researchers say that a 200km channel across the Gibraltar strait was carved out by the floodwaters.
Their findings, published in Nature, show that the resulting flood could have filled the basin within two years.
The team was led by Daniel Garcia-Castellanos from the Research Council of Spain (CSIC).
He explained that he and his colleagues laid the foundations for this study by working on tectonic lakes.