Geohazards associated with the heads of submarine canyons on the Mediterranean Continental Margins of southern Iberia
The FAUCES project addresses the study of marine geological hazards, with special emphasis on sedimentary instabilities associated with the heads of three submarine canyons located on the Mediterranean continental margins of southern Iberia.
The working hypothesis of FAUCES project is that the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon head on the continental margin of Palomares, and the La Linea and Guadiaro canyon heads on the Alboran margin, represent a potential threat, because of their proximity to the coastline with their shallow locations and active morfosedimentary configurations.
These canyon heads interact with coastal and fluvio-marine processes, the action of bottom currents, or seismicity related to tectonic processes. All these characteristics define predisposing and triggering factors for sedimentary instabilities that may create a potential hazard to densely populated coastal areas. Actually, the hazard associated with these canyon heads has been already revealed in the port of Garrucha which is located on the Garrucha canyon head.
The FAUCES project is conceived as a two sub-projects coordinated project, involving 30 researchers, and aims to reinforce an already established national and international scientific cooperation framework that focuses its efforts on marine geological hazards.
The project is organized into three specific objectives: 1) to determine the geomorphology and geological evolution of the canyon heads, during the Quaternary, their processes and controlling factors; 2) to analyze the slope-stability of canyon heads by means of sedimentary and geotechnical characterizations, as well as modeling; and 3) to establish the key elements and geological processes that can represent a potential hazard.
The FAUCES project has the support of several companies and entities: Telefónica Spain, la Agencia Pública de Puertos de Andalucía, la Demarcación de Costas de Andalucía Atlántico (MAGRAMA) and Lyra engineering. It is noteworthy the collaboration of Igeotest which will allow us to obtain in-situ measurements (CPTU) representing a high-level innovation progress in the approach to the study of marine geological hazards.