42 years of history (in 2021)
The Continental Margins Group is rooted all the way back in the very beginnings of Marine Geology in Spain. It all began in the 1980s, with the Oceanographic Study of the Continental Shelf programme, financed by the Spanish-North American Cooperation Project and the Spanish Continental Margins Geological Mapping Programme funded by the Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME). Through these programmes, scientific and technical staff were incorporated to create a group dedicated to marine geology research at the CSIC’s Jaume Almera Institute (IJA) in Barcelona.
In 1986, the Marine Geology Research Unit from the IJA joined the Fisheries Research Institute (IIP), which shortly afterwards was renamed the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM).
Under the leadership of A. Maldonado, the marine geology group was consolidated with the incorporation of B. Alonso, J. Baraza, J.I Díaz, J. Esquius, G. Ercilla, M. Farrán, J. Guillén, N. Maestro, and A. Palanques. Between 1986 and 1991, all the disciplines of marine geological sciences were further boosted by the progressive improvement of scientific and technical infrastructures. This included access to the new oceanographic research vessel with both oceanic and polar capacity, the Hespérides, representing a qualitative leap forward.
From 1991 onwards, the established scientists at the Marine Geology Research Unit began to diversify and develop further areas of study, as well as train new scientists. With the transfer of the ICM to its current headquarters as part of the CMIMA in 2001, geology diversified into two research groups: the Coastal and Oceanic Processes Group (Grupo de Procesos Litorales y Oceánicos; GPLO) and the Continental Margins Group (Grupo de Márgenes Continentales; GMC). In response to new research interests and public-private collaboration, a new group, the Barcelona Centre for Subsurface Imaging, was set up in 2008, together with, more recently, the Laboratory of Seafloor and Subseafloor Geological Processes.
The current Continental Margins Group focuses on basic and applied geological research on continental margins and deep marine environments. Throughout its history, it has gained extensive experience working in a variety of geological and geographical contexts, from the Mediterranean to the Antarctic. In addition to its research, the GMC manages one of the most important collections of marine sediments and seismic profiles in southern Europe (Collections).