Hydrates are ice-like compounds that form within deep-marine sediments, concentrating greenhouse gases in vast, metastable reservoirs. An understanding of hydrate formation and release over time is of wide scientific and social importance, due to their impact on global climate, on continental slope stability and their potential as an energy resource. HYDRAMED is the first project to address the dynamics of gas hydrates in the Mediterranean basin as a whole. The objective is to obtain a regional understanding of the potential for their past and present occurrence, over glacial/interglacial timescales, so as to establish a context for further more detailed research initiatives. This will be achieved through a multi-disciplinary, problem-driven approach, using theoretical analyses to make regional predictions of hydrate occurrence and thickness that can be tested against geophysical and geological evidence, ultimately to identify possible mechanisms and locations of formation and release. An objective of this regional approach is to contact other groups and organisations active in research and exploration in the Mediterranean, in order to promote the exchange of information and ideas and to obtain access to unpublished (archived or commercial) seismic and seabed data. The host institution also holds archived data and has the necessary experience to provide the, training sought, both in geophysical modelling (of hydrate stability) and in the management of a large research project. The overall intention of HYDRAMED is to build on my existing skills in marine and petroleum geology in order to obtain the experience necessary to propose and manage further projects in geoscience research relevant to climate change. In this the project is consistent with the long-term focus of the EIF Fellowships, as well as with the overall objectives of the Marie-Curie actions to develop independent career prospects while promoting excellence in European research.
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