Study area

Two study areas provide a precise context for MARCAN. Study area 1 is the siliclastic sedimentary Canterbury margin, eastern South Island of New Zealand. Study area 2 comprises the north-eastern Maltese Islands, an example of a carbonate bedrock margin. In each study area, a coastal study site and an offshore study site are considered. These study areas have been selected because they are representative of the most prevalent passive continental margin types globally, and because they are comprehensively covered by available good quality topographic, stratigraphic, structural and groundwater data.

Work plan

MARCAN work is divided into 4 Work Packages (WP).

WP1 Data collection and processing:
Two oceanographic cruises are planned to acquire geophysical data and water/seafloor samples from the offshore study sites. Sediment/rock samples and photographs will be collected during fieldwork from the terrestrial study sites. A 3D geologic model will be generated for the two study areas.
WP2 Characteristics and dynamics of TDM groundwater systems in passive margins:
The distribution and dimensions of offshore groundwater systems will be quantified by resolving for porosity and salinity from the geophysical data, and by tying results with sub-seafloor and water column data. A high resolution groundwater model will be developed to estimate groundwater characteristics at present, and simulate their changes during an integral glacial cycle.
WP3 TDM groundwater as a geomorphic agent at the micro-scale:
Experiments simulating groundwater erosion and weathering in sediment and bedrock samples will be performed to develop numerical models for micro-scale deformation during an integral glacial cycle.
WP4 TDM groundwater as a geomorphic agent at the macro-scale:
Specifically developed slope stability models and fine-scale deformation models (WP3) will be combined to produce an advanced, high resolution landscape evolution model. This will allow us to determine if, and under which conditions, TDM groundwater is an effective geomorphic process in continental margins during an integral glacial cycle.