Submarine Geomorphology Working Group


WG Chairs:

Dr. Aaron Micallef
Msida (Malta)


Prof. Sebastian Krastel
Kiel (Germany)




Dr. Antoine Chabrol
Ecole française d’Athènes (Greece)

Introduction to WG activity

The Working Group on Submarine Geomorphology investigates the morphology and evolution of seafloor landforms, and the processes responsible for their formation, in particular erosion and depositional processes, sediment movement and deformation, volcanic activity, fluid migration, and anthropogenic impacts. In this working group, scientists from different disciplines are encouraged to interact and employ state-of-the-art seafloor exploration instruments and analytical techniques (e.g. high resolution bathymetry, side scan sonar, seismic reflection profiling, ROV, AUV, seabed sampling, seafloor classification, geomorphometry) to better understand the most extensive geomorphic system on our planet.

The main objectives of our working group are to:

  • Establish submarine geomorphology as a field of research;
  • Disseminate techniques used and discoveries made by submarine geomorphologists with earth scientists and professionals;
  • Encourage new students in geomorphology to develop skills and knowledge in the field of submarine geomorphology;
  • Promote interaction between terrestrial and submarine geomorphologists to share knowledge and techniques;
  • Identify the key questions that need to be addressed by submarine geomorphologists in the near future.

The main activities of our working group will include:

  • Organisation of sessions on submarine geomorphology in international conferences;
  • Coordination of training schools for young geomorphologists concerning seafloor data acquisition, processing and interpretation techniques;
  • Editing of a book on submarine geomorphology, including chapters on the current state of knowledge on the key geomorphological processes shaping the seafloor, written by invited experts from around the world;
  • Creation of a web page that will: (1) act as a forum on themes of submarine geomorphology between our working group and other communities of scientists and professionals, (2) provide opportunities to link up scientists and update members on upcoming projects, surveys, conferences, etc;
  • Sharing scientific articles on submarine geomorphology;
  • Development of a standardised submarine geomorphological legend.

Activities 2015

  • Created a web page, Facebook page (85 members), LinkedIn page (163 members) and Google Group to share news and announcements on research projects and cruises, upcoming conferences and training schools, and job opportunities.
-35th International Geological Congress 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa:

a) Session on “Subaerial and submarine landslide processes and hazards” at the

b) Workshop on “Seafloor exploration and surveying techniques for the Earth Sciences: the state-of-the-art

-12th International Symposium on Landslides 2016 in Naples, Italy:

Session on “Comparing and bridging subaerial and subaqueous mass movement processesand concepts” at the

Edited volume on Submarine Geomorphology