Opendata, web and dolomites


Topographically-driven meteoric groundwater – An important geomorphic agent

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "MARCAN" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: KIEL
postcode: 24148

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙757˙432 €
 EC max contribution 1˙757˙432 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-01-01   to  2021-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
2    UNIVERSITA TA MALTA MT (MSIDA) participant 833˙251.00


 Project objective

Topographically-driven meteoric (TDM) recharge is a key driver of offshore groundwater systems because sea level has been lower than at present for 80% of the last 2.6 million years. Groundwater has been implicated as an important agent in the geomorphic evolution of passive continental margins and the canyons that incise them. However, the geomorphic efficacy of groundwater remains dubious, and a diagnostic link between landscape form and groundwater processes remains poorly quantified, especially for bedrock and cohesive sediments. Obstacles that prevent going beyond the current state-of-knowledge include: (i) a focus on terrestrial contexts and a lack of mechanistic understanding of groundwater erosion/weathering; (ii) limited information on offshore groundwater architecture, history and dynamics. By addressing the role of TDM offshore groundwater in the geomorphic evolution of the most prevalent types of continental margins, MARCAN is expected to open new scientific horizons in continental margin research and bring about a step-change in our understanding of some of the most widespread and significant landforms on Earth. The project’s methodology is rooted in an innovative, multi-scale and multidisciplinary approach that incorporates: (i) the most detailed 3D characterisation of TDM offshore groundwater systems and their evolution during an integral glacial cycle, based on state-of-the-art marine data and hydrogeologic models, and (ii) the development of a comprehensive continental margin geomorphic evolution model, based on realistic laboratory simulations, accurate field measurements and advanced numerical solutions. By placing better constraints on past fluid migration histories, MARCAN will also have strong applied relevance, primarily by improving assessment and exploitation of offshore freshwater as a source of drinking water.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Aaron Micallef, Joshu Mountjoy, Katrin Schwalenberg, Marion Jegen, Bradley Weymer, Susi Woelz, Peter Gerring, Neeske Luebben, Daniele Spatola, Daniel Cunarro Otero, Christof Mueller
How Offshore Groundwater Shapes the Seafloor
published pages: , ISSN: 2324-9250, DOI: 10.1029/2018EO090691
Eos 99 2019-06-19
2018 Joshu J. Mountjoy, Jamie D. Howarth, Alan R. Orpin, Philip M. Barnes, David A. Bowden, Ashley A. Rowden, Alexandre C. G. Schimel, Caroline Holden, Huw J. Horgan, Scott D. Nodder, Jason R. Patton, Geoffroy Lamarche, Matthew Gerstenberger, Aaron Micallef, Arne Pallentin, Tim Kane
Earthquakes drive large-scale submarine canyon development and sediment supply to deep-ocean basins
published pages: eaar3748, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3748
Science Advances 4/3 2019-06-19
2018 Aaron Micallef, Angelo Camerlenghi, Daniel Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel Cunarro Otero, Marc-André Gutscher, Giovanni Barreca, Daniele Spatola, Lorenzo Facchin, Riccardo Geletti, Sebastian Krastel, Felix Gross, Morelia Urlaub
Evidence of the Zanclean megaflood in the eastern Mediterranean Basin
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-19446-3
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-06-19
2018 Michael Clare, Jason Chaytor, Oliver Dabson, Davide Gamboa, Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Harry Eady, James Hunt, Christopher Jackson, Oded Katz, Sebastian Krastel, Ricardo León, Aaron Micallef, Jasper Moernaut, Roberto Moriconi, Lorena Moscardelli, Christof Mueller, Alexandre Normandeau, Marco Patacci, Michael Steventon, Morelia Urlaub, David Völker, Lesli Wood, Zane Jobe
A consistent global approach for the morphometric characterization of subaqueous landslides
published pages: SP477.15, ISSN: 0305-8719, DOI: 10.1144/SP477.15
Geological Society, London, Special Publications 2019-06-19
2019 Aaron Micallef, Angelo Camerlenghi, Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Daniel Garcia-Castellanos, Marc-André Gutscher, Claudio Lo Iacono, Veerle A.I. Huvenne, Joshu J. Mountjoy, Charles K. Paull, Timothy Le Bas, Daniele Spatola, Lorenzo Facchin, Daniela Accettella
Geomorphic evolution of the Malta Escarpment and implications for the Messinian evaporative drawdown in the eastern Mediterranean Sea
published pages: 264-283, ISSN: 0169-555X, DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.11.012
Geomorphology 327 2019-06-07
2019 Aaron Micallef, Daniele Spatola, Antonio Caracausi, Francesco Italiano, Giovanni Barreca, Sebastiano D\'Amico, Lorenzo Petronio, Franco Coren, Lorenzo Facchin, Rita Blanos, Alessandro Pavan, Paolo Paganini, Marco Taviani
Active degassing across the Maltese Islands (Mediterranean Sea) and implications for its neotectonics
published pages: 361-374, ISSN: 0264-8172, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.03.033
Marine and Petroleum Geology 104 2019-06-07

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