The largest geological feature of the Mediterranean Sea is located East of the Maltese Islands. This is known as the Malta Escarpment - a submarine carbonate cliff that is 4 km high and 250 km long. It has been difficult for scientists to study the Malta Escarpment in detail in the past because of its rough topography.
SCARP is a four year research project that investigates the Malta Escarpment in unprecedented detail. We are using advanced seafloor exploration technology to compile a map of the Malta Escarpment and obtain seafloor samples. These data will allow us to determine the nature and timing of the geological processes responsible for the formation of the Malta Escarpment. Such information is important because carbonate cliffs occur regularly in the geological record, offer a good record of past environmental conditions, and host marine geohazards and specialised biological communities; yet they are some of the least understood features in our oceans.
The project is funded by Marie Curie Actions and involves the participation of the National Oceanography Centre, University College Dublin, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, and Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica.
Visit the following outreach activities related to SCARP: