Between 21 and 23 February, EMUNI will host a workshop of the project MEDSALT, which is coordinated by an EMUNI member Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS).
MEDSALT project aims to create a new flexible scientific network that will address the causes, timing, emplacement mechanisms, and consequences at local and planetary scale of the largest and most recent 'salt giant' on Earth: The late Miocene (Messinian) salt layer in the Mediterranean basin. It is a 1.5 km-thick salt layer that covered the bottom of the deep Mediterranean basins about 5.5 million years ago and is preserved beneath the deep ocean floor today. The origin of the Mediterranean salt giant is linked to an extraordinary event in the geological history of the Mediterranean region, commonly referred to as the Messinian Salinity Crisis.
This inter-sectorial and multinational cooperation network will comprise a critical mass of both experienced and early-career researchers from Europe and beyond. The goal will be achieved through capacity building, researchers’ mobility, skills development, knowledge exchange and scientific networking.
The study of the unique salt giant is inherently cross-disciplinary, embracing geology, geophysics, geochemistry, microbiology, and paleoclimatology. It is an opportunity for the scientific community to share objectives, data, expertise and tools with industry since there is considerable interest in oil and gas exploration, and consequent hazards, targeting the Mediterranean’s deep salt deposits.
The MEDSALT Action proposal has been conceived as a joint initiative coordinating scientific targets from existing research efforts including the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling (ECORD), the Japanese and US branches of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP), the EU- FP7 ITN MEDGATE, TOPO-EUROPE, and other national and international research programmes focussing on the Mediterranean salt giant.
In the course of the project (2018-2020), 4 training school will be offered to PhD students and Early Stage Researchers (young scientists with no more that 8 years since their doctoral degree). The trainings will address the following scientific themes related to the Mediterranean Salt Giant:
- Messinian Salinity Crisis
- Salt Tectonics, fluids and geohazards
- Deep Biosphere
- Deep Earth to surface processes interactions
The MEDSALT Project website is https://medsalt.eu/the-project/. It is coordinated by Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale - OGS http://www.ogs.trieste.it.