Institutt for geovitenskap

Submarine canyon

New high-resolution investigation of submarine canyon and basins floor sedimentary processes in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece.

Bilde av Gulf i Corrint, Hellas
Gulf i Corrint, Hellas
Robert Gawthorpe


As part of the Research Council of Norway funded DeepRift project (Project No. 308805) led by Rob Gawthorpe at the Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen (UiB), an international group of scientists is involved in collecting new high-resolution bathymetry data from the Gulf of Corinth to investigate sedimentary processes operating on submarine slopes and basin floors. The Gulf of Corinth is the locus of present-day extension in central Greece with fault-related subsidence along large normal faults creating submarine slopes and water depths up to 850 m. High rates of tectonic activity on active faults, a closed drainage system, and high sedimentation rates makes it an ideal location to examine how the seascape and deep-water depositional systems respond to tectonic and climate forcing factors.

The October 2023 DeepRift Gulf of Corinth cruise builds on the successful 2020 cruise that collected ship-based multibeam bathymetric and high-resolution seismic profiles. Using the 2020 cruise data, we have identified key areas on the Gulf of Corinth sea-floor for more detailed investigation during the current cruise. We will focus on collecting data from: i) areas of interactions between transverse and axial submarine canyons, ii) base-of-slope submarine fans, and iii) axial submarine canyons and the transition of the mouth of the canyon.

The cruise will use the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research’s (HCMR) R/V Aegaeo research vessel and the Norwegian Defence Research Institute’s (FFI) Hugin Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) equipped with a multibeam echo sounder, synthetic aperture radar and sub-bottom profiler. Present on the cruise are: Rob Gawthorpe and Martin Muravchik (UiB), Petter Lågstad (FFI), Dimitri Sakellariou (HCMR) and Richard Collier and Mohammed Mohammed (University of Leeds).

For information on the 2023 Gulf of Corinth AUV cruise go to Instagram and search for robgawthorpe1 or martinmuravchik.