Funding by BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) 

Continental margins are increasingly used for wind parks, hydrocarbon extraction, pipelines, telecommunication cables, fishing, and mining. The increasing coastal population and new ventures in offshore human activities set new challenges to the assessment and mitigation of marine hazards. Submarine landslides, which have repeatedly caused devastating tsunamis and destroyed seabed infrastructure, are one of the most dangerous marine hazards. In contrast to earthquakes, where endangered areas are relatively well constrained and recurrence rates are often known from historic records, occurrence and timing of submarine landslides remain largely enigmatic. Therefore, hazard assessments for submarine landslides are more difficult than for other marine geohazards. Given the urgent need for improved hazard assessments, key future challenges are the identification of endangered areas, real-time monitoring of submarine slopes, and development of early warning systems. This project took a step towards monitoring of unstable submarine slopes and early warning by means of numerical modeling and analysis of in-situ seafloor deformation measurements from an active submarine landslide.

GeoSEA Chile

In late 2015 three transponder arrays were deployed at the central sector of the South America - Nazca convergent plate boundary along the Iquique segment, offshore Northern Chile. The networks cover the marine forearc and the outer rise to monitor crustal deformation.

PI: Prof. Dr. Heidrun Kopp

OCEANblogs - SO244

related cruises

  • OVP Toro, Nov 2014
  • RV Sonne, SO244-1, Nov 2015
    Chief Scientist: Prof. Jan-Hinrich Behrmann
  • RV Sonne, SO244-2, Dec 2015
    Chief Scientist: Prof. Heidrun Kopp
  • RV Marcus G. Langseth, MGL1610, Oct - Dec 2016
    PI: Prof. Anne Trehu (Oregon State University)
  • RV Sonne, COMBO, Jan - Feb 2022
    Chiefscientist: Prof. Heidrun Kopp

GeoSEA Marmara

At the marine sector of the North Anatolian fault zone in the Marmara Sea a joint French-German array was installed in 2014 to measure the strain build-up along the Main Marmara fault.

PI: Prof. Heidrun Kopp & Dr. Dietrich Lange

GEOMAR News article (only available in German)

related cruises

GeoSEA Mount Etna

The largest and most active volcano in Europe is Mount Etna located on the east coast of Sicily. Over the last decades, extensive geodetic surveys focusing on the onshore flanks of Mount Etna have revealed instability of its eastern flank, which continuously moves seawards with displacement rates of up to 50 mm/yr. Catastrophic failure of the volcanic edifice could trigger a devastating tsunami in adjacent regions. The mechanism that is driven flank deformation is still under debate. Information on the dynamics of the submerged offshore domain might give new insights into the deformation mechanism. During the FS Poseidon cruise POS496 in April 2016 an acoustic geodetic network of five autonomous seafloor transponders was deployed across a dextral oblique transpressive fault north of Catania Canyon. This fault is interpreted as the offshore extension of the Tremestieri Fault System and as the offshore southern margin of the sliding sector. The seafloor geodetic transponders measure acoustic distances across the fault, absolute pressure and tilt for a period of up to 3 years.

PI: Dr. Morelia Urlaub

GEOMAR News article

related cruises