DeepRift 2023: exploring the Gulf of Corinth

DeepRift 2023: exploring the Gulf of Corinth

As part of the Research Council of Norway-funded DeepRift project led by Rob Gawthorpe at the Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen (UiB), an international group of scientists is involved in collecting new high-resolution bathymetry data from the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, to investigate sedimentary processes operating on submarine slopes and basin floors.

The Gulf of Corinth is the site of present-day extension in central Greece with fault-related subsidence along large normal faults creating submarine slopes and water depths up to 850 metres. High rates of tectonic activity on active faults, a closed drainage system and high sedimentation rates make it an ideal location to examine how the seascape and deepwater depositional systems respond to tectonic and climate forcing factors.

Axial submarine canyons

The October 2023 DeepRift Gulf of Corinth cruise builds on the successful 2020 cruise that collected ship-based multibeam bathymetric and high-resolution seismic profiles. Using the 2020 cruise data, the team has identified key areas on the Gulf of Corinth seafloor for more detailed investigation during the current cruise. The focus will be on collecting data from: i) areas of interaction between transverse and axial submarine canyons, ii) base-of-slope submarine fans, and iii) axial submarine canyons and the transition of the mouth of the canyon.

The cruise will use the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research’s (HCMR) Aegaeo research vessel and the Norwegian Defence Research Institute’s (FFI) Hugin autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) equipped with a multibeam echosounder, synthetic aperture radar and sub-bottom profiler. Those present on the cruise include Rob Gawthorpe and Martin Muravchik (UiB), Petter Lågstad (FFI), Dimitri Sakellariou (HCMR) and Richard Collier and Mohammed Mohammed (University of Leeds).

For updates and information regarding the 2023 Gulf of Corinth AUV cruise, visit Instagram and search for ‘robgawthorpe1’ or ‘martinmuravchik’.

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