Research group

Continental Margins Group

Continental Margins Group

We study the geology and geophysics of continental margins and basins

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Our main interest is the Geomarine exploration and understanding of the structure, composition and processes of continental margins and deep oceans.

  • DEVELOPMENT OF NEW MODELS FOR DEEP-WATER SEDIMENTARY SYSTEMS. Geomorphology, depositional architecture, tectonic structures, and seismic and sedimentologic characteristics of turbidite fans, bottom current deposits, glaciomarine systems, submarine canyons, and seamounts.
  • HAZARDOUS MARINE PROCESSES. Mobile seafloor, seafloor erosion, gas and submarine volcanic eruptions; seismic faults and seafloor stability and their tsunamigenic potential.
  • PALAEOGEOGRAPHIC, PALAEOCEANOGRAPHIC AND PALAEOCLIMATIC RECONSTRUCTIONS. Links between natural climatic, oceanographic and geographic changes on geological-time frequencies (thousands of years to millennial scale).
  • UNIQUE AND CONVULSIVE SEDIMENTOLOGICAL EVENTS. The Messinian Salinity Crisis and the related convulsive Atlantic flooding, both affecting the entire Mediterranean Basin.
  • MARINE RESOURCES. Modern analogs of submarine fans and contourites for hydrocarbon prospecting. Searching of shelf sandy deposits for beach nourishment.
* Data from the last two years

Group members

Head of group (PI)

Senior Researcher


Most relevant information

    1. Managing of the most important database of sediment cores and seismic profiles from the S Mediterranean Sea, at CSIC. Collections include more than 1000 sediment samples and tens of thousands of km in different seismic resolution acquired along more than 30 years and 50 national and international geomarine cruises.
    2. Consultant for the Information and Analysis Cell for Risks and Threats of submarine volcanism Hazards (CIARA). Consejo Nacional de Seguridad Marítima (CNSM). David Casas.
    3. Royal Academy of Sciences Exact, Physic ad Natural, since 2005. Belén Alonso. LINK
    4. The most downloaded paper in Terra Nova for 2019. Estrada, F. et al., Tectonic indentation in the central Alboran Sea (westernmost Mediterranean). Terra Nova 30(1): 24-33 (2018). LINK
    5. Participation in the RTVE program: Orbita Laika. Gemma Ercilla was the guest of the night, in an interview about the fascinating seabed. 6th May, 2019. LINK
    6. Planning and running the workshop “Workshop Alboran domain and Gibraltar Arc: geological research and natural hazards”. IACT-CSIC. 16-18 October 2019. Gemma Ercilla.
    • Estrada, Ferran; Galindo-Zaldívar, Jesús; Vázquez, J. T.; Ercilla, Gemma; D'Acremont, E.; Alonso, Belén; Gorini, Christian;

      Tectonic indentation in the central Alboran Sea (westernmost Mediterranean)

      Terra Nova 30(1): 24-33 (2018)
    • Casas, David; Pimentel, A.; Pacheco, José; Martorelli, Eleonora; Sposato, A.; Ercilla, Gemma; Alonso, Belén; Chiocci, Francesco L.;

      Serreta 1998-2001 submarine volcanic eruption, offshore Terceira (Azores): Characterization of the vent and inferences about the eruptive dynamics

      Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 356: 127-140 (2018)
    • Galindo-Zaldívar, Jesús; Ercilla, Gemma; Estrada, Ferran; Sanz de Galdeano, Carlos; Alonso, Belén; Gil, Alejandro J.;

      Imaging the Growth of Recent Faults: The Case of 2016-2017 Seismic Sequence Sea Bottom Deformation in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)

      Tectonics 37: 2513-2530 (2018)
    • Ercilla, Gemma; Juan, Carmen; Alonso, Belén; Estrada, Ferran; Valencia, Javier;

      Influence of alongslope processes on modern turbidite systems and canyons in the Alboran Sea (southwestern Mediterranean)

      Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 144: 1-16 (2019)
    • Ingestion and safe-keeping of marine data

      Period: from 2016 to 2019
      Funding entity:
      TENDER 2015
      Principal Investigator:
      Ercilla Zárraga, Gemma, Continental Margins Group
      Amount awarded:

      Wake up your data - set them free for Blue Society

      The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) consists of more than 160 organisations that together work on assembling, harmonising and making marine data, products and metadata more available to public and private users. The Data Ingestion portal facilitates additional data managers to ingest their marine datasets for further processing, publishing as open data and contributing to applications for society. The initial project started 19th May 2016 and since then it has developed the pathways for processing and elaborating of data submissions, laying a basis for promotion and marketing activities, and making an inventory of potential data sources and their providers.

      The EMODnet Data Ingestion portal seeks to identify and to reach out to other potential providers in order to make their data sets also part of the total offer. This can concern historic data sets that can become part of the large European archives that might be of use for many applications. This can also concern operational oceanography data streams from monitoring platforms that can become part of the European operational oceanography data exchange for feeding forecasting models and supporting various operations.