Geohazards associated with the heads of submarine canyons on the Mediterranean Continental Margins of southern Iberia
The FAUCES project addressed the study of marine geological hazards, with special emphasis on sedimentary instabilities associated with the heads of three submarine canyons located on the Mediterranean continental margins of southern Iberia.
The working hypothesis of FAUCES project was that the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon head on the continental margin of Palomares, and the La Linea and Guadiaro canyon heads on the Alboran margin, represent a potential threat, because of their proximity to the coastline with their shallow locations and active morfosedimentary configurations.
These canyon heads interact with coastal and fluvio-marine processes, the action of bottom currents, or seismicity related to tectonic processes. All these characteristics define predisposing and triggering factors for sedimentary instabilities that may create a potential hazard to densely populated coastal areas. Actually, the hazard associated with these canyon heads has been already revealed in the port of Garrucha which is located on the Garrucha canyon head.
The FAUCES project was conceived as two sub-projects coordinated project, involving 30 researchers from national and international groups that focus on marine geological hazards.
The project developed three specific objectives: 1) to determine the geomorphology and geological evolution of the canyon heads, during the Quaternary, their processes and controlling factors; 2) to analyze the slope-stability of canyon heads by means of sedimentary and geotechnical characterizations, as well as modeling; and 3) to establish the key elements and geological processes that can represent a potential hazard.