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Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas

Unitat de Tecnologia Marina

Centre Mediterrani d’Investigacions Marines i Ambientals



Partnership Description:

The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) is the largest research institution in Spain. The research team dedicated to this project is a multidisciplinary group composed by the
group leader from the Marine Technology Unit (UTM), together with scientists of three institutes of CSIC: the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) Institute of Earth Sciences “Jaume Almera” (ICTJA) and the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN). The UTM together with the ICM are integrated in the Mediterranean Centre for Marine and Environmental Research (CMIMA), probably the largest marine centre in Spain. The activity of these institutes encompasses several fields in the geosciences, specially focusing on sedimentology, geomorphology, geodynamics, tectonophysics, and seismology both on land and offshore. The Marine Technology Unit (UTM) is a national service that provides technical and logistic support for National and European Union RD Marine Science and Antarctic Programmes, and generates research and technological development in marine science. Several of the national Large Scale Scientific Facilities are under responsibility of the UTM, such as the oceanographic research vessels Hespérides, García del Cid and Mytilus, and the Spanish Antarctic station "Juan Carlos I", where UTM also keeps the monitoring of environmental data during winter closing. The RD department of the UTM conducts research in several consolidated lines of marine science and technology which include: seafloor to crustal imaging and geodynamic evolution of continental margins, characterisation of active
structures in margins and implications for geological hazard assessment (earthquakes and tsunamis, submarine landslides, gas hydrates), implementation and promotion of new software for processing acoustic and seismic data, and development of new instrumentation NEAREST Project – sub-priotity 25 and submarine sensors. Since the early nineties, researchers from the CSIC group have been involved in successive European and National projects  to explore the Iberian Margins, and specially to unravel the shallow and deep structure of the Gulf of Cadiz. In 1994, the EC IAM project (Iberian Atlantic Margins, PI: E. Banda), investigated the structure of the Gulf of Cadiz and Atlantic Margins based on deep seismic reflection profiles. In thematic continuity, the national project MAIAE (Iberian Atlantic Margins: Architecture and Evolution, PI: J.J.
Dañobeitia, MAR98-0962, 1998-2001), was funded. In the frame of the EC BIGSETS project (Big Sources of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in SW Iberia ENV4-CT97-0547, 1998-2000), the CSIC team is involved in the investigation of active structures sources of earthquakes and tsunamis. In 2001, we benefited from the Access to Research Infrastructures, European Access to Seafloor Survey Systems (EASSS III) - TOBI sidescan sonar system (HPRI-CT- 1999-00047) in the frame of the HITS project (High Resolution Imaging of Tsunamigenic structures in the SW Iberian Margin, PI. E. Gràcia) mapping with unprecedented resolution the active faults, such as the Marques de Pombal Fault and associated slides. Ongoing projects, such as the national project IMPULS (Integrated Paleoseismic study of Active structures in South Iberia, REN  2003-05996-MAR, PI. E. Gràcia) and ESF EuroMargins SWIM (Earthquake and tsunami hazards of active faults at the SW Iberian Margin: Deep structure, high-resolution imaging and paleoseismic signature, 01-LEC-EMA09F, PI (Spain): E. Gràcia) are devoted to a multidisciplinary study onshore-offshore of the active faults and slope instabilities with paleoseismic implications.

Role of the Partner:

CSIC will be the leader of the work packages devoted to characterisation of the tsunami sources and to the paleoseismic tsunami recognition. It carries out the refraction experiment in SE Iberia and will characterise the sediment instabilities in the offshore area.

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