Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 7

Sunday 7th September, 2014

We have successfully completed the CUMECS-2 expedition! Our team mates are on their way home, but our work is far from over.  Our research is only just beginning...

We collected 8 sediment cores that we will now analyse in the laboratory by looking at the age and physical properties of the sediment. We hope that these data will provide pertinent information about past canyon and earthquake activity.

We also mapped more than 5000 km2 of the Malta-Sicily Escarpment, equivalent to 20 times the size of Malta. Our new map reveals a fascinating and complex landscape that consists of hundreds of valleys and small landslides. The most impressive feature of this landscape is a big submarine canyon, which has a length 3 times that of Malta and a depth of 3.5 km.

Furthermore, we found that the floors of most of these valleys are associated with high acoustic response. That means that the seabed here likely consists of very coarse material, which may indicate that the valleys have been subject to erosive flows until recently. The implications for ocean current flow patterns in the region as well as the type of marine life that inhabits these deep habitats could lead to interesting discoveries as we move forward. 

In the meantime, we would like to particularly thank Marie Curie Actions for making this research cruise possible, and the captain and crew of the R/V OGS Explora, who were so professional, efficient and fun to work alongside. We are grateful to Liz Smith, a Fulbright scholar at the University of Malta, for her help with the outreach activities related to this expedition.

And we would also like to thank our many followers from all over the world. We welcome you to join us on our next adventure! 

The CUMECS-2 team

The CUMECS-2 team.


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