Eratosthenes Seamount / Eastern Mediterranean Sea - Cruise No. MSM14/2 - January 18 - February 25, 2010 - Limassol (Cyprus) - Limassol (Cyprus) (English)

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The initial study area of the cruise MSM14-2 GeoNORM (Geophysik im NOerdlichen Roten Meer) was the northern Red Sea. However, because of not given research permissions from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the study area had to be changed to the alternative study area Eratosthenes Seamount (ESM), south of Cyprus. The ESM is supposed to represent a continental fragment of the former African-Arabian Plate that is entering the subduction zone south of Cyprus i.e. the subduction turns into collision in the area of the ESM. This changed the entire tectonic setting in the Eastern Mediterranean. Therefore, the tectonic evolution of the area is rather complex with phases of extension, subduction, compression, salt tectonics and gravitational processes and not comprehensively understood. Because of the isolation of the ESM as a continental fragment this region is an ideal spot to investigate the transition from regular subduction to continental collision and its associated tectonic processes i.e. faults were activated or reactivated, transform motion has to be compensated, the overriding plate has been elevated. This impacts the ongoing geolocical and tectonic processes in this region but also influence the social and economic life in the Eastern Mediterranean as earthquakes and submarine landslides are possible geohazards and the entering of the ESM to the subduction trench alters the thermal history of the adjacent sedimentary basins significantly what should have an influence on the maturity processes within the source rock sediments and new faults open new migration paths for hydrocarbon fluids or gases.