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Microbes and oceanic sulfate, a sulfurous story

Author: Laetitia Guibourdenche (IPGP, Paris) « I was engaged a few years ago in a course of experiments on hydrogen gas, which was procured in the usual method, by the solution of iron turnings in diluted sulphuric acid. The sulphate of iron hence resulting, (…) remained undisturbed, and unnoticed for about a twelve month. At the... Continue Reading →

Eustasy and the Messinian: was the MSC the cause or result of global sea-level change?

Author: Hanneke Heida (Institut Ciències de la Terra Jaume Almera (CSIC), Barcelona - Spain) Over the last century, global sea-levels have been rising at a steadily increasing pace, driven by melting glaciers and continent-based ice sheets and thermal expansion of ocean water. The current pace of the rise of sea level is estimated to be... Continue Reading →


Author: Athina Tzevahirtzian (Università di Palermo) The study of the unique Mediterranean salt giant started well before the nowadays SALTGIANT ETN (2018 – 2021). On March 2016, another European project began, entitled COST Action CA15103 “Uncovering the Mediterranean salt giant (MEDSALT)”. The MEDSALT project has included a critical mass of both experienced and early-career... Continue Reading →

Salt Tectonics – Part III

Author: Simon Blondel (OGS Trieste, Italy) Cover image: Tilted Halokinetic sequences in the Emirhan Minibasin, Silvas Basin, Turkey (photo from Vedat Esen archive). In the previous post, we briefly summarized how salt layers flow and discussed the importance of scaling. This week we will talk about the mechanisms and parameters that govern salt tectonic. The... Continue Reading →

Salt Tectonics – Part II

Author: Simon Blondel (OGS Trieste) In a previous post, I tried to write a summary of the objectives and the benefits of studying Salt tectonics. In my next posts, I will try to provide an overview of the current state of knowledge in this domain and what the scientific community is working on: in other... Continue Reading →

From Fossil fuel exploration to underground storage and geothermal energy: Why do we care about Salt tectonics?

Author: Simon Blondel (OGS Trieste) Giant, halite-dominated salt accumulations are common on Earth. Throughout the human history, they have been mined for their salt that was used for animal nutrition, food conservation, de-icing etc. Compared to the other rocks, halite itself is quite a peculiar material characterized by: a low density;a low permeability;a high solubility... Continue Reading →

The rugged reefs of Mallorca: the key to the Messinian story in the Western Mediterranean?

Authors: Hanneke Heida (ICTJA, CSIC - Barcelona), Fadl Raad (CNRS Montpellier) and Athina Tzevahirtzian (Universitá di Palermo). Last September our ESRs Hanneke Heida, Fadl Raad and Athina Tzevahirtzian had the opportunity to enjoy an Indian Summer investigating the fascinating Messinian outcrops of the island of Mallorca, in the Balearic archipelago.  Hanneke, Athina, Fadl and Professor... Continue Reading →

Brief history of the salt tectonics studies

Author: Gaia Travan (CNRS Lille, France) What makes the salt a unique geological material is its low viscosity value: at low temperature and considering geological times, salt moves as a Newtonian fluid. To have an idea of the viscosity contrast between salt and brittle rocks as carbonates, the difference in viscosity can be higher than... Continue Reading →

Imagining the Mediterranean’s past: Why historians of science should take imaginaries into account?

Author: Beatriz Martínez-Rius (Sorbonne Université, Paris) I bet that all of us have tried to imagine how the Mediterranean looked like 5 million years ago. We’ve tried to draw it, model it, animate it, and depict it through scientific representations of all sorts. When we talk about partial desiccation, reflooding, isolated basins… we are exercising... Continue Reading →

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