Claudio Lo Iacono

Claudio Lo Iacono
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC · Marine Geosciences Institute - ICM Barcelona

Senior Scientist in Marine Geosciences

About

157
Publications
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Publications

Publications (157)
Article
Full-text available
An acoustic study of the Almería Margin (eastern Alboran Sea, SW Mediterranean) was carried out by means of an integrated dataset, comprising deep-towed TOBI sidescan sonar, swath-bathymetry, TOPAS high-resolution seismics and sediment gravity cores. The Almería Margin is a complex system dominated by volcanic and tectonic features shaped by recent...
Article
Full-text available
Deepwater landslides are often underestimated as potential tsunami triggers. The North Gorringe avalanche (NGA) is a large (~80 km3 and 35 km runout) newly discovered and deepwater (2900 m to 5100 m depth) mass failure located at the northern fl ank of Gorringe Bank on the southwest Iberian margin. Steep slopes and pervasive fracturing are suggeste...
Article
Predictive habitat mapping has shown great promise to improve the understanding of the spatial distribution and complexity of benthic habitats and is a valuable means to highlight species-environment relationships where field data are limited. Although spatial distribution models may represent an important step forward in science-based ecosystem ma...
Article
Submarine canyons are known to force ocean mesoscale circulation and local hydrodynamics. Alternate up-and down-canyon near-bottom flows have been widely documented along the upper reaches, connecting the canyon heads with the contiguous outer shelves and vice versa. Nonetheless, we still miss clear evidence of bedform fields expressing these compl...
Article
Full-text available
Posidonia oceanica is a widespread coastal Mediterranean seagrass which accumulates in its subsurface large quantities of organic material derived from its roots, rhizomes and leaf sheaths embedded in sandy sediments. These organic deposits may be up to several meters thick as they accumulate over thousands of years forming the matte, whose high co...
Article
Cold-water corals are key species of benthic ecosystems, sensitive to changes in climate and capable of recording them in the chemical composition of their skeletons. The study of cold-water coral mound development in relation to palaeoceanographic variations during the Pleistocene and Holocene stages in the Mediterranean Sea has mainly been focuss...
Article
Submarine canyons are preferential pathways for transport of particulate matter and contaminants from the shelf to the deep sea. The Gulf of Palermo continental margin has a very narrow shelf (about 2–3 km wide on average) and is incised by several submarine canyons that favour shelf-slope sediment transfer. A sediment core collected on the outer s...
Article
Full-text available
Bottom trawling in submarine canyons can affect their natural sedimentation rates, but studies addressing this issue are still scarce. In the Gulf of Palermo (SW Mediterranean), bottom trawling occurs on the slope around Oreto, Arenella and Eleuterio canyons. Analyses of excess ²¹⁰Pb concentrations and grain size fractions in sediment cores from th...
Chapter
Benthic habitats, as well as their associated biota, have been studied in the Alboran Sea since the nineteenth century, with a very significant increase of knowledge in the last five decades. The geographical location of the Alboran Sea between three different biogeographical regions, the complex oceanography and the heterogeneous seafloor promote...
Article
Full-text available
Cold-water coral reefs (CWC) are known to be biodiversity hotspots, however, the sponge assemblages found to dwell within these habitats haven not been studied in depth to date in the Mediterranean Sea. The present article provides the first insight on the associated sponge fauna of the recently discovered CWC communities on the Catalan Margin and,...
Article
Full-text available
Benthic fauna form spatial patterns which are the result of both biotic and abiotic processes, which can be quantified with a range of landscape ecology descriptors. Fine- to medium-scale spatial patterns (<1–10 m) have seldom been quantified in deep-sea habitats, but can provide fundamental ecological insights into species’ niches and interactions...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we present geomorphological hazard mapping of the San Vito Peninsula offshore (Sicilian margin of Tyrrhenian Sea), characterised by a very narrow continental shelf and a very dipping, tectonically active continental slope, no far from a seismogenic belt. The data set consists of morpho-bathymetric models achieved by means of multibeam...
Article
Full-text available
Cold-water coral mounds are key hot-spots of deep ocean biodiversity and also important archives of past climatic conditions. Nonetheless, the paleo-oceanographic setting in which coral mounds developed in the Mediterranean Sea during the last 500 ka still needs to be properly understood. This study describes the coral deposits and corresponding ag...
Chapter
Submarine canyons are deep, large-scale incisions that occur on the continental shelf and slope of all ocean margins. These landforms serve as preferential particle-transport conduits that connect the coastal zone with the deep-sea. Canyons have been studied for decades and are among the most iconic submarine geomorphic features. Advances in marine...
Article
We present here for the first time a morpho-structural study of the submarine sector of the Ustica volcanic edifice, located in the south-western Tyrrhenian Sea, considered as an inactive volcanic system, middle Pleistocene in age. The main aim of this research study is to unravel the submarine dynamics along the slope sectors of the Ustica volcano...
Article
Megabenthic assemblages in deep-sea sedimentary environments receive far less attention than those occurring on rocky environments, despite they have been widely impacted by destructive trawling activities, mainly due to their association with important commercial species. ROV dives conducted on bathyal muds of the Alboran Sea continental slope (we...
Article
Full-text available
RESUM L’any 2019 es commemoraren els 200 anys del naixement de Narcís Monturiol, enginyer i inventor,en tant que creador, del primer submarí tripulat de propulsió autònoma: l’Ictineu. Des d’ençà, els submarins tingueren i estan tenint un rol cada vegada més rellevant en la recerca científica marina. En aquest treball volem fer un reconeixement a l’...
Article
One of Saturn's largest moons, Enceladus, possesses a vast extraterrestrial ocean (i.e., exo-ocean) that is increasingly becoming the hotspot of future research initiatives dedicated to the exploration of putative life. Here, a new bio-exploration concept design for Enceladus' exo-ocean is proposed, focusing on the potential presence of organisms a...
Article
Full-text available
Submarine canyons are associated with increased biodiversity, including cold-water coral (CWC) colonies and reefs which are features of high conservation value that are under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Effective spatial management and conservation of these features requires accurate distribution maps and a deeper understanding of the proces...
Chapter
This study provides a first characterization of the geomorphic features and relative habitats of the Francesc Page`s Bank, located on the upper slope of the Moroccan continental margin in the southern Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean. The Francesc Page`s Bank is an ellipsoidal structural high covering 80 km2 within a depth range of 76�580 m. High...
Article
Full-text available
Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling were studied on the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (southwestern Mediterranean), thr...
Article
Full-text available
Fine-scale structural complexity created by reef-building coral in shallow-water environments is influential on biodiversity, species assemblage and functional trait expression. Cold-water coral reefs are also hotspots of biodiversity, often attributed to the hard surface and structural complexity provided by the coral. However, that complexity has...
Article
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Large continental faults extend for thousands of kilometres to form boundaries between rigid tectonic blocks. These faults are associated with prominent topographic features and can produce large earthquakes. Here we show the first evidence of a major tectonic structure in its initial-stage, the Al-Idrissi Fault System (AIFS), in the Alboran Sea. C...
Article
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In this paper we present the seabed maps of the shallow-water areas of Lampedusa and Linosa, belonging to the Pelagie Islands Marine Protected Area. Two surveys were carried out (“Lampedusa 2015” and “Linosa 2016”) to collect bathymetric and acoustic backscatter data through the use of a Reson SeaBat 7125 high-resolution multibeam system. Ground-tr...
Poster
Full-text available
During the ABIDES (Assessment of Bottom-trawling Impacts in DEep-sea Sediments) Project, 20 ROV dives were conducted along the Catalan margin (NW Mediterranean) targeting heavily exploited continental slope fishing grounds, with the aim of exploring the impact of bottom trawling activities on the sedimentary environment and deep-sea benthic communi...
Chapter
In the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, cold-water corals Madrepora oculata, Lophelia pertusa, Dendrophyllia cornigera and Desmophyllum dianthus have been mostly described at relatively shallow depths (i.e. <400 m). Here, we report the results of the inspection of the large, deeply incised Cap de Creus, La Fonera and Blanes submarine canyons in orde...
Chapter
Habitat mapping is increasingly considered as a reliable and efficient methodology to explore and represent the complexity and extent of benthic communities. Providing a full-coverage spatial perspective of habitat heterogeneity is becoming an essential tool in science-based management of natural resources, specifically regarding vulnerable marine...
Chapter
The deep-sea of the Levantine Mediterranean basin is still a fairly undiscovered world. The outer insular shelf of Cyprus, a gateway to the deep realm, is not an exception, as very few deep areas in the waters surrounding this island have been explored up to now. Here we present a brief overview of the discovery of an extraordinary population of th...
Article
Full-text available
Bottom trawling in the deep sea is one of the main drivers of sediment resuspension, eroding the deep seafloor and altering the content and composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM). The physical and biogeochemical impacts of bottom trawling on the seafloor were studied in the continental slope of the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily (Southwester...
Article
Full-text available
Scleractinian cold-water coral (CWC) reefs are key habitats for benthic fauna as they enhance spatial heterogeneity and biodiversity. Understanding their environmental and ecological dynamics has therefore important implications for biodiversity conservation. This is especially true for the Mediterranean Sea, where living cold-water coral reefs are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
During the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), between 5.97 and 5.33 Ma, the Mediterranean Sea became disconnected from the world's oceans and a fast and continuous evaporation generated its partial desiccation, resulting in the deposition of more than one million cubic kilometres of salt. The extent of the evaporative drawdown phases associated to th...
Article
Occurrence and abundance of deep-water corals in the Levantine Mediterranean Sea is still largely unknown. This is the first attempt to quantitatively describe a Dendrophyllia ramea population discovered in June 2015 during the CYCLAMEN expedition on board the Research Vessel Aegaeo. This population is the deepest ever described until now in the Me...
Article
Carbonate escarpments are submarine limestone and dolomite cliffs that have been documented in numerous sites around the world. Their geomorphic evolution is poorly understood due to difficulties in assessing escarpment outcrops and the limited resolution achieved by geophysical techniques across their steep topographies. The geomorphic evolution o...
Presentation
Full-text available
Marine spatial management, aiming for a sustainable use of marine resources, requires an accurate spatial representation of habitats and biodiversity. Identifying and mapping habitats is recognised by several international organizations as a key activity in protecting natural resources (e.g.: UN vulnerable marine ecosystems, OSPAR threatened and/ o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Cold-water carbonate bioconstructions are the product of complex interactions between calcifying organisms and the surrounding environment, and deeply contribute in affecting the evolution of the submarine landscape in space and time. Important variables contributing to their development, growth and/or demise include sedimentary dynamics, food supp...
Chapter
The most significant breakthroughs in science are often made as a result of technological developments and innovation. A new capacity to gather more data, measure more precisely or make entirely new observations generally leads to new insights and fundamental understanding. The future of ocean research and exploration therefore lies in robotics: ma...
Conference Paper
We present morphological and stratigraphic results coming from surveys acquired in a NNW-SSE trending submarine depression (Marettimo Valley) located in the Egadi Islands (western Sicily offshore). In this area the seafloor is characterized by both depositional and erosional features generated under a variety of sedimentary processes. We identified...
Conference Paper
Here we present an overview of the three largest continental strike-slip fault systems in the Alboran Basin: Carboneras, Yusuf and Al-Idrissi. Our dataset results from an integration of different types of acoustic and seismic data acquired during five marine cruise during the past 10 years. A multiscale approach utilizing newly acquired AUV near-bo...
Conference Paper
Large earthquakes, submarine landslides and their occasional tsunami originated are geohazards of great societal concern because of the impact on the world economies and coastal populations. Dramatic examples of such events include the 2004 northern Sumatra and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes and tsunamis. However, earthquakes of magnitude > 7.0 in areas o...
Presentation
Full-text available
Cold-water corals (CWC) situated in submarine canyons represent features of high conservatio n value that are under increasing anthropogenic pressure. Accurate CWC distribution maps are required to implement effective spatial management and monitor change. However, due to the challenges of surveying such remote locations, little is known about thes...
Poster
Bottom trawling is a major driver of sedimentary dynamics in the deep sea, resuspending surface sediments and eroding the seafloor. Although the impacts of trawling on deep-sea sediment properties and the resulting impairment of the ecosystem functioning have been previously documented, its repercussions on the bioavailability of organic matter sti...
Poster
Industrial bottom trawl fishery is among the human activities with most impact on deep-sea ecosystems, due to its widespread geographical distribution and to its strong effects on renewable natural resources. One of the main goals of the EU Euforfleet-2 Project ISLAND (ExplorIng SiciLian CAnyoN Dynamics) was to explore the role of bottom trawling i...
Article
During the CODEMAP 2015 research expedition to the Whittard Canyon, Celtic Margin (NE Atlantic), a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) gathered High Definition video footage of the canyon rockwalls at depths of approximately 412–4184 m below sea level. This dataset was supplemented by predominantly carbonate rock samples collected during the dives, whi...
Article
Full-text available
Complex multifault earthquake ruptures involving secondary faults emphasize the necessity to characterize their seismogenic potential better and study their relationship with major faults to improve the seismic hazard assessment of a region. High-resolution geophysical data were interpreted to make a detailed characterization of the Averroes Fault...
Poster
In the framework of the ABIDES (Assessment of Bottom-trawling Impacts in DEep-sea Sediments) Project, a focused ROV cruise targeting heavily impacted fishing grounds of the Catalan margin (NW Mediterranean) was conducted in September 2017. Trawling fleets on this region have been specialized on a monospecific fishery targeting the blue and red deep...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean black coral fauna includes type species of four antipatharian genera belonging to four different families, therefore phylogenetic studies hold great potential for enhancing systematics within the order. The analysis of six Mediterranean antipatharian species by means of nuclear sequence data of internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 an...
Chapter
Full-text available
Multibeam bathymetric data collected along the Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands) for a depth range of 70–850 m revealed the occurrence of bedforms along some of the submarine canyons of the Balearic southern slope. The four main canyons presented in this study display a linear to sinuous geometry, incising the slope for up to 170 m and carving the...
Chapter
Full-text available
The analysis of sidescan sonar data and sediment samples around the Egadi Islands, on the NW Sicilian margin (southern Tyrrhenian), revealed the existence of two main sorted bedform fields. Sorted bedforms were mapped along the shelf sectors of the Marettimo and Favignana Islands, organized on elongated patches almost perpendicular to the coastline...
Chapter
Submarine canyons are deep incisions observed along most of the world’s continental margins. Their topographic relief is as dramatic as that of any canyon or river valley on land but is hidden beneath the surface of the ocean. Our knowledge of canyons has therefore come primarily from remote sensing and sampling, and has involved contributions from...
Conference Paper
Parole chiave: Coralligeno di piattaforma, Habitat mapping, Maxent. Il Coralligeno di piattaforma è un indicatore ambientale e hotspot di biodiversità nelle zone marine costiere. Poiché esso viene considerato un ecosistema marino vulnerabile, numerose sono le azioni volte alla sua completa caratterizzazione e mappatura. L'obiettivo del lavoro è di...
Chapter
Full-text available
Multibeam bathymetric data revealed the occurrence of a train of bedforms along a gully system in the Gulf of Palermo, southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The observed gullies, located in the westernmost sector of the Gulf of Palermo, incise the outer shelf at a depth of 120 m and converge at the Zafferano Canyon, connecting to the Palermo Basin at a depth of...
Chapter
Recently acquired swath bathymetry, high-resolution seismic profiles and bottom sediment samples have revealed the presence of large-scale fine-grained sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope. Like many other deep-water sediment waves, these features were previously attributed to gravitational slope failure related to creep-like...
Article
A sand ridge field with crests oriented NE–SW (52°) located between 55 and 85 m water depth on the Valencia continental shelf (Spain) was mapped with multibeam swath bathymetry and characterized with high-resolution seismic reflection profiling and sediment sampling. Boundary layer hydrodynamic and suspended sediment concentration measurements cond...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present here the first results of the analysis and interpretation of the swath bathymetry and side scan sonar data collected along the southeastern outer shelf and upper slope regions of the Cyprus insular margin (offshore Cape Greco). The resultant bathymetric model and the derivatives (e.g.: slope, aspect, benthic position index) are presented...