Scientists from the university’s Marine Geology and Seafloor Surveying group will set out on a two-month expedition in New Zealand to investigate offshore groundwater systems.

Offshore groundwater systems are bodies of freshwater occurring in sediments on the ocean floor. They form during periods of lower sea level or due to extensions of terrestrial groundwater systems offshore.

Together with colleagues from New Zealand and Germany, the university geoscientists plan to map a groundwater system offshore Christchurch in 3D using geophysical instruments and obtain water samples to analyse them in the laboratory.

If successful, the survey will be replicated in the Maltese islands the following years.

This expedition is the first stage of MARCAN, a five-year research project led by Aaron Micallef and funded by a European Research Council starting grant.

The MARCAN expedition departs on April 7 and can be followed on the Facebook page of the Marine Geology & Seafloor Surveying group