Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra


Lithosphere dynamics

Our research seeks to characterize the structure and evolution of the lithosphere, exploring from the processes shaping the Earth surface to those determining the location of energy resources like for example, the hydrocarbons. We work either in continental or marine regions, particularly in domains where the lithospheric plates collide forming orogens that can eventually collapse forming sedimentary basins.

The different specialities developed by this group allow generating a comprehensive analysis of the structure, dynamics and evolution of the geological processes building up mountain belts, continental margins and sedimentary basins. We merge results from different observations and datasets, integrating for example deformations linked to earthquakes and their associated geologic risks, making possible to evaluate their effects in surface slides or the stability of civil engineering works.

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Marine Geosciences


The Geomarine Sciences group realizes multidisciplinary studies on continental margins and marine basins, analyzing processes that interplay in the dynamics of the Earth System and in its relationship with Global Change. It integrates research on Geology, Geophysics, Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry in marine environments and includes offshore-onshore correlations. Research topics on basic science aim the study of relationships between the deep processes which affect the lithosphere and the external processes which make conditional the morphology, environment and climate on the Earth surface. Concerning the applied science, this group studies a variety of topics on geological hazards (active tectonics and associated seismicity, sedimentary instability and submarine slides), coast line and sea level variability (management of coastal areas), climate change (in the past and nowadays, at both regional and global scales) and natural resources (hydrocarbon).

At the moment, and probably also at short and medium term, the Geomarine Sciences group works on these objectives in margins and basins of the Western Mediterranean (Alboran Sea and Algerian - South Balearic basin), Antarctica (Wilkes Land and Scotia and Weddell Seas), Atlantic ocean (Gulf of Cadiz, NW and SW margins), Pacific, Indian and Arctic oceans.
Moreover, this group dedicates to the training of young researchers and to outreach activities for the dissemination of its scientific tasks to the society.

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Laboratory of Crystallographic Studies
The Laboratory of Crystallographic Studies is dedicated to the study of nucleation and growth of crystals from dissolution. The laboratory uses the knowledge generated by these fundamental studies in the design and optimization of applied processes for obtaining crystals as well as for understanding the processes of crystallization, crystalline aggregation and pattern formation in natural and technological environments. The research developed in the laboratory combines fundamental and applied science with a strong dissemination and didactic component.

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Petrology and geochemistry

The research group brings together researchers dedicated to the study of the processes of formation and evolution of the crust and upper mantle and oceanic continental, through a multidisciplinary approach that integrates the field petrological, geochemical, geochronological, metallogenetic studies. From a methodological perspective, our research is based on geological mapping and field observations, the petrographic studies and textural instrumental analysis applied quantitative textural description, thermocronology and the chemical composition and isotopic composition of minerals and rocks, supplemented by theoretical and experimental studies.

The main goal of the line of research is to study petrological and mineral genetic processes, with a view to deciphering the role of the different factors involved in the genesis igneous and metamorphic, igneous rocks, and ore deposits from the earth's crust and mantle.

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Low-temperature mineral processes

The group researches the processes that affect the lithosphere, from surface conditions to low-grade metamorphism, with particular attention on the behaviour of philosilicates, phosphates, carbonates (including biogenic carbonates) and metallic ores. Using mineralogical, geochemical, biogeochemical and metallogenetic approaches to rocks and sediments, we apply field, laboratory and computational techniques, and we analyse the composition, stability, structure, formation, mechanisms and reaction dynamics, morphology, self-organization and properties of minerals and related natural systems. We also consider industrial applications of special clays (bentonites, fibrous clays) and geo-environmental studies. From a methodological point of view, our research is based on crystallographic, mineralogical, geochemical, and textural analyses with electron-microscopy, physico-chemical, and computational-chemical techniques, among others.

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