TWINS - the Twin-slide complex offshore Sicily - Cruise No. MSM15/3 - June 5 - July 4, 2010 - Elefsina (Greece) - Marsaxlokk (Malta) (English)

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Right at the start of MERIAN expedition MSM15/3, the Greek government cancelled our work permit for Greek waters. Based on that, we developed instantaneously on board a new research program to investigate the Twin slides offshore Sicily and applied successful for work permit for Italian waters during this expedition. This was only feasible through the sudden collaboration and excellent support by colleagues from the universities of Bologna, Trieste and Barcelona. Consequently, three MeBo cores with length up to 55mbsf and core recovery >80% were drilled into the slid masses itself as well as the undisturbed source sediments above the headwall of both slides. In addition, 5 gravity cores were recovered and a closed bathymetrical and hydroacoustical map of the entire Twin slide complex were recorded utilizing the MERIAN SIMRAD EM 120/EM710 and the PARASOUND sub-bottom profiler during MSM15/3. These data enable to test different hypotheses regarding the trigger mechanisms of submarine landslides, the interaction between sediment physics and slide kinematics as well as the recurrence rate of slope destabilisation which were the major objectives of this expedition. Besides the fact that this is a unique dataset with respect to slide research these sediment cores cover i. a. the last ~250kyr recording a prolonged interval of sea-level fall and low stands in the Mediterranean enabling detailed paleo-oceanographic studies.