18 December 2019

Each year, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography recognizes a young scientist for an outstanding peer-reviewed, English-language paper in the aquatic sciences with the Raymond L. Lindeman Award. The 2020 Lindeman Award will be given to Cristina Romera-Castillo in recognition of the paper, “Dissolved organic carbon leaching from plastics stimulates microbial activity in the ocean” published in Nature Communications. The award will be presented to Dr. Romera-Castillo, currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Marine Science Institute-CSIC in Spain, in February at the 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California.

In this seminal paper, Romera-Castillo and coauthors demonstrate that the presence of plastics has the potential to alter the basic biogeochemical functioning of the oceans,...

28 November 2019

Understanding how earthquakes occur is one of the main open questions in the field of seismology. Decades of research have not been enough to establish a model to predict earthquake’s behaviour neither to explain the systematic variation of the properties of their seismic rupture observed according to the depth where they initiate. This situation has often led to underestimate their capacity to generate tsunamis, making it difficult to develop early warning systems in areas affected by large and great earthquakes.

A study carried out by Valentí Sallarès, a CSIC researcher, and César R. Ranero, ICREA researcher, both at the Institute of Marine Sciences of Barcelona of the CSIC, which stands for Spanish National Council for Scientific Research, ​​proposes a paradigm shift and presents a new conceptual...

2 September 2019

An international team led by the Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM-CSIC, Barcelona) demonstrate the growth of a young fault in the Alboran Sea, called the Al-Idrissi Fault System, source of the magnitude (Mw) 6.4 earthquake, which affected Al-Hoceima, Melilla and the south of the Iberian Peninsula in January 2016. The study, published in Nature Communications, shows the generation and growth of an active fault system.

Geologically, the Alboran Sea is a young basin located between the Eurasia and the African tectonic plates. At the boundary between both plates is located the Al-Idrissi Fault System (AIFS), across the seafloor of the Alboran Sea. It represents the longest active tectonic structure in the region. The fault is about 100 km long and 1 to 4.8 km wide, accommodating a total slip rate of 3.8 mm/yr....

27 August 2019

A study with researchers from CEAB and ICM, both centres of CSIC, reveals that marine sponges, the oldest group of animals on the planet, contribute significantly to one of the fundamental biogeochemical cycles of the ocean: the silicon cycle. Until now, it was believed that the main sinks of silicon occurred through the burial of diatoms, but according to the new results, published in Nature Geosciences, skeletons of marine sponges are also important sinks of silicon in the global ocean.

Silicon is one of the most abundant chemical elements in the universe and, after oxygen, the second one on Earth. In the ocean, it is part of sediments, minerals and rocks and, more importantly, it occurs dissolved in the seawater. “This dissolved silicon plays a key role in the ecological functioning of the ocean. Among other...

13 August 2019

The Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) leads a study, published in Global Change Biology, which proposes a conceptual framework and classification for ocean acidification refugia (OAR) for the first time. OARs are specific locations where ocean acidification impacts could be less intense, protecting biodiversity.

OARs can be spatial, where a physical barrier minimizes exposure to low pH seawater; or adaptive, where conditions stimulate genetic adaptation. In the first case, the species are protected against the extreme conditions of acidification, such as in deep-sea mountains or points of high primary production. In the second, organisms are exposed to low pH seawater intermittently, as occurs, for example, in areas with frequent deep seawater upwelling, where species can develop adaptation mechanisms.

Dr. Lydia...