The SHAKE cruise has been programmed in the frame of the SHAKE project (Searching tHe record of pAst earthquaKes in south IbEria: advanced technologies in terrestrial and marine paleoseismology) granted in January 2012 and which lasts until 30th June of 2016. The main programme to which the SHAKE cruise belongs is the Spanish National Plan of Research, Development and Innovation (R+D+I), specifically on the topic of Marine Geological Hazards. The SHAKE project builds up on more than 10-year experience gained during successive national and European projects (see below), to carry out geological and geophysical surveys on the South Iberian Margin fault systems and determine their seismic potential. The SHAKE team is composed by researchers specialized on active tectonics, paleoseismology, fluid geochemistry, habitat mapping and deep-sea biology. Members of the SHAKE team have experience using HOVs, AUVs and ROVs. The SHAKE cruise represents a step further in understanding the seismic potential of the active faults of the Alboran Sea.
The SHAKE cruise consisted in a 30-day in situ investigation using state-of-the-art underwater vehicles (AUV and ROV) to survey the active seismogenic faults of the Eastern Alboran Sea (Carboneras Fault, Djibouti Fault, North-South Faults, Al Idrissi Fault and Yusuf Fault), located at the SE Iberian and NE Moroccan margins. These fault systems have been well characterized (i.e. geometry and kinematics, seismostratigraphy, seismic potential) during previous national and European projects. In the frame of the ongoing Spanish project SHAKE we were allocated shiptime onboard the Spanish RV “Sarmiento de Gamboa” (SdG) to carry out a in situ marine paleoseismic investigation of active faults and its associated processes. The first part of the cruise (Leg 1: 23 April-13 May; 21 days) was devoted to acoustic seafloor investigation (i.e. micro-bathymetry, sub-bottom profiler) to search for surface ruptures and on-fault / near-fault co-seismic seafloor deformation using the AUVs “AsterX” and “IdefX” (IFREMER, France) obtained in the frame of an OFEG exchange collaboration. The second part of the cruise (Leg 2: 16 May to 22 May, 7 days), was devoted to a direct visual seafloor exploration and sampling of selected sites (i.e. scarps related to earthquake ruptures, fluid venting and associated habitats) using the ROV “Max Rover” (HCMR, Greece) in the frame of the IRIS project granted in EuroFleets-2.