Cristina Roque (que aparece en la fotografía superior) es la investigadora principal de proyecto portugués CONDRIBER. En esta entrada Cristina nos presenta los objetivos de este proyecto, ejecutado en el Instituto Dom Luiz, Universidade de Lisboa y financiado por la Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia de Portugal.

Los proyectos CONDRIBER y MOWER, como ejemplo de colaboración internacional, están coordinados. Por este motivo durante la campaña  MOWER  se adquirien datos que permitan resolver los objetivos solapados de ambos proyectos.


The CONDRIBER project (Contourite drifts and associated mass-transport deposits along the SW Iberia margin – implications to slope stability and tsunami hazard assessment) is a Portuguese national scientific project sponsored by the FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. The proponent institution is the IDL-Instituto Dom Luiz, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal.

One of the main findings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – IODP Expedition 339 (Mediterranean Outflow), carried out in November 2011-January 2012, has been the occurrence of mass-transport deposits (MTD) within the contourite drifts depositional system of the SW Iberia margin. Moreover, this relationship between contourite drifts and MTD seems to be more conspicuous then thought before, although the geological meaning remains unknown.


The importance of investigate contourite drifts and associated MTD along the SW Iberia margin is two-folded, first from a purely scientific point of view and second from a social and economic one. Scientifically, fundamental questions with a broad international significance, regarding the relationships between contourite drifts deposition and down-slope processes in a seismogenic setting, remain up to now unanswered. Concerning the social and economic relevance, one of the less studied aspects about contourite sediments is its potentiality to generate landslides. Considering the seismicity of the SW Iberia margin, the generation of landslides induced-tsunamis as consequence of an earthquake, should be taken in account. This is especially important in the case of Faro and Sines drifts, which developed in areas that coincide with the location of main seismicity clusters.


 Condriber study area

Thus the CONDRIBER project aims i) to understand the relationship between contourite deposition and MTD (landslides, slumps and debris flows) events, in the seismogenic setting of the SW Iberia margin since the Pliocene, and ii) establish the importance of contourite drifts sediments for slope stability and tsunami hazard assessment in the Alentejo margin, West Iberia.

The expected achievements of the this project are i) the better understanding of the linkage between contourite difts deposition, generation of MTD, and mechanisms of soft-sediments deformation in a seismogenic setting like the SW Iberia margin; ii) the improvement of landslide and tsunami hazard assessment in the Alentejo margin, through mapping of potential areas of slope failure risk and numerical modelling; iii) the identification of new contourite drifts and MTD in the Estremadura Spur area, which will allow a better knowledge of the contourite drift system along the West Iberia margin and of the Mediterranean Outflow Water pathway since the Pliocene.

The research team is an international multidisciplinary group that includes experts on geology of contourite drifts and MTD, tectonics and morphostructure, physical properties and geotechnical characterization of marine sediments, and numerical modeling of tsunamis.

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