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FS Poseidon POS389 & POS393 & FS Maria S. Merian MSM15/5: TOPO-MED - Topographic, structural and seismotectonic consequences of plate re-organization in the Gulf of Cadiz and Alboran Sea, POS 389: Valletta, Malta – Malaga, Spain, 06.–17.08.2009, POS393: Malaga, Spain – Faro, Portugal, 14.–24.01.2010, MSM15/5: Valletta, Malta - Rostock, Germany, 17.–29.07.2010

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  • Earth Science
  • Geography
  • Medicine


The evolution from the Western Mediterranean Sea is inherently governed by (i) plate convergence between Nubia (Africa) / Eurasia and (ii) subduction related slab-roll back. Both processes are responsible for the surface features / topography of the Gulf of Cadiz / Gibraltar Arc / Alboran Sea / Rif / Betic domain and deep-seated features related to the consumption of African lithosphere. The project is part of the ESF-EUROCORES programme TOPO-EUROPE and is aiming to study the interrelation between convergence and major tectonic fault zones in the Gulf of Cadiz and the Alboran Sea (Trans-Alboran- Shear-Zone – Alboran Ridge) and Miocene subduction / deep-seated seismicity at 40-150 km depth. Monitoring networks with ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and hydrophones (OBH) were installed first in the Alboran Sea (August 2009 to January 2010) and later in the Gulf of Cadiz (January 2010 to July 2010), providing for the first time local earthquake data collected on ocean bottom stations. First results suggest that the collected data are of every good quality to assess seismotectonics in both domains and yielding travel time data for unique tomographic images of the Gibraltar arc area and Alboran domain, providing seismic constraints on the structure of crust and mantle.

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