News

April 14 2016
Located in the southwestern Mediterranean, the seamount has been named after Francesc Pagès in memory of the ICM scientist, biologist, and expert in gelatinous plankton and jellyfish. This seamount was mapped during the SARAS international campaign, on board of the Ramon Margalef vessel, and is included in the Atlas of the Mediterranean Seamounts and Seamount-Like Structures, recently published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The tribute was proposed by Gemma Ercilla, from the Department of Marine Geosciences of ICM, "for his reputation as a biologist and for his human quality, shown in our conversations at the institute and in sporadic meetings abroad", argues the researcher. The atlas Edited by Maurizio Wurtz and Marzia Rovere, with the collaboration of twenty experts including the ICM scien...
March 11 2016
An international team led by the University of Southampton (UK) and with the participation of César Ranero, ICREA researcher at the Department of Marine Geosciences of the ICM has found that the tectonic faults control the amount of water entering the Earth at depths of several kilometers. The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, have large-scale implications since the reaction between seawater (hydrosphere) and rocks (litosphere) at great depth causes a geochemical exchange, which also produces energy and nutrients that can be used by various anaerobic ecosystems. The scientists conducted experiments on the continental margin west of Iberian peninsula. There, faults were formed when continents of North America from Europe separated from each other, around 120 million years ago. The work is based on the use of s...
November 26 2015
The ICM and the Fishermen's Association of Palamos are working together in a study funded by the Diputació de Girona to assess the impact of different models of trawl doors on the seafloor.   Quick loss of sediments The results of a study recently published by scientists from the ICM and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) warn that the loss of sediment caused by the trawl doors in the submarine canyon of La Fonera (prawn fishing area in Palamós) has increased during the last years. The work, a comparative analysis of sediment cores from the canyon in 2002 and 2011, concludes that the natural sedimentation rates have been altered since trawling was industrialized in the early 70s. Due to this as well as to constant technical changes in boats, sedimentation rates over the past decade are ten t...
October 07 2015
In 1st April 2014, a quake around the northern city of Iquique reached a magnitude of 8.1 and triggered a tsunami. Despite that magnitude, experts were surprised that the quake was not as large and damaging as expected, and that it affected only a limited region. Geologists from the ICM, the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR), and the German Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources now presented a possible explanation for the smaller than expected tremor. They published their findings in the international journal Nature Communications. The reason for the high earthquake frequency in Chile lies just off the coast where the oceanic Nazca plate, one of several tectonic plates in the Pacific region, subducts underneath the South American plate. This leads to the accumulation of stress that will sooner or later, be rel...
May 20 2014
A study led by scientists from the Polytechnic University of Marche (Ancona, Italy) involving researchers from the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM, CSIC) and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), has determined that fishing trawling causes intensive, long-term biological desertification of the sedimentary seabed ecosystems, diminishing their content in organic carbon and threatening their biodiversity. Trawling is the most commonly used extraction methods of sea living resources used around the world, but at the same time, it is also one of the main causes of degradation of the seabed. This fishing practice originated in the second half of the fourteenth century, and in the last thirty years has grown exponentially, being progressively expanding towards greater depths in the ocean. The study, published in the latest issue ...