Submarine Geomorphology Working Group


WG Chairs:

Dr. Aaron Micallef
Msida (Malte)

Prof. Sebastian Krastel
Kiel (Germany)

Prof. Alessandra Savini
Milan (Italy)

Past Chair:

Vassilios Kapsimalis (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.

    Last WG Annual Reports:

Annual report 2023

Annual report 2020

Activities 2023

  • Convener of the session ‘Submarine Geomorphology and Offshore Hazards’ at the EGU 2023 (23-28 April in Vienna, Austria). More information here.

Activities 2022

  • Convener of the session ‘Marine and Coastal Geomorphology’ at the 10th International Conference on Geomorphology (12-16 September in Coimbra, Portugal), which gathered 33 oral presentations and 17 posters.
  • International Conference on Seafloor Landforms, Processes and Evolution (4-6 July in Valletta, Malta), which gathered 100 oral presentations and 16 posters. More information here.

Activities 2019

  • Training course on mapping technologies in coral reef environments 10th – 19th March 2019 MaRHE centre – Magoodhoo, Faafu Atoll, Republic of Maldives, report here.

Activities 2016

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.