Western Mediterranean Margins Working Group

Questions & Objectives

The Western Mediterranean is one of the study areas designated to focus the research actions of the Actions Marges project. The Mediterranean encompasses a diverse collection of young and strongly subsided margins that allows studying and comparing sedimentary, paleoclimatic and geodynamic processes quantitatively. The catastrophic Messinian event in the Mediterranean offers unique additional marker for the paleogeography and the understanding and quantification of vertical movements.

For the Western Mediterranean two big research themes has been defined for the 2012-2015 phase:

A. Formation and reactivation of margins and basins in a back-arc context.

  • Formation of margins and basins in the Western Mediterranean
  • Typology of the Western Mediterranean margins
  • Reactivation and deformation of margins in post-rift time


B. Sedimentary record: fluxes and factors

  • What is the impact of tectonic and glacioeustatic cycles on the sedimentary fluxes?
  • The Messinian Salinity Crisis and the enigmatic Lago Mare events
  • Climate optimum/eustatique maximum in the Pliocene : consequences for sedimentation and oceanic circulation.


One of the objectives of the project is to finalize an IODP proposal for an ultra deep drilling (GOLD/DREAM) in the Western Mediterranean.


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