MARCAN Project Results Published

13 March 2020. The results of the discovery of freshwater body off the New Zealand Canterbury coast from MARCAN project have been published in the international journal Nature Communications. MARCAN is a research project that investigates the role of offshore groundwater in the geomorphic evolution of continental margins. Some of the SMART project team also contribute to this project which started in January 2017.

The article for this study can be accessed in the journal Nature Communications through and a press release is also available on GEOMAR website.


SMART Summer School 2020 Announced

9 March 2020. Applications are now being accepted for the SMART Summer School 2020 “Understanding marine hydrogeology through the lens of geochemistry”. The second offering of the Summer Schools will be held at the University of Malta from 6 – 10 July 2020.

The focus of this year’s School is on biogeochemical exercises in characterizing freshened reservoir fluid origin, migration, and related element cycles. During the course students will learn about how to differentiate freshened subsea groundwater, identification of freshened water discharging at the seafloor using radio-tracing techniques, along with discussion about the biogeochemical cycles of nutrients and other tracers discharging in coastal waters. Modeling exercises, laboratory work and a field excursion to Malta and Gozo coastal outcrops will be part of the Summer School. The course will be taught by leading researchers in marine geochemistry and hydrogeology.


Equal Opportunity Meeting

4 July 2019. During the SMART Summer School Marion Jegen and Bradley Weymer from GEOMAR had a meeting with Mr. Roderick Vassallo, Prof. Marie Therese Camilleri Podesta and some other colleagues from the University of Malta regarding gender equality and equal opportunity in Marine Science and Technology. Marion Jegen is part of the Baltic Gender project which started on the 1st of September 2016. Baltic Gender project aims to reduce gender inequalities in Marine Science and Technology which is traditionally dominated by male and lack of women in leadership positions. The detail of Baltic Gender project can be seen on The meeting was not only focused on transfer of knowledge, but also capacity building between GEOMAR and the University of Malta.


SMART Summer School

1-5 July 2019. The SMART Summer School was held at the University of Malta Msida Campus. The Summer School aims to provide junior scientists with a comprehensive view on coastal groundwater research. This year, the focus is on using geophysics as a tool to map the location and quantify the geometry and volume of onshore/offshore aquifers as a potential resource to relieve water stress in coastal communities.

The lectures were given by seven professors and researchers from GEOMAR, the University of MALTA, and Texas A&M University. Nine graduate students at either the Master’s or PhD level from different countries and various academic backgrounds participated in this event. Besides classroom lectures, the participants also had a chance to conduct an onshore geophysical survey using an electromagnetic instrument. The field excursion took place in Pembroke, Malta which was chosen to discover how the fault in the site interacted with the groundwater system.


Groundwater Workshop at GEOMAR

18 June 2019. A workshop discussing new approaches to explore submarine groundwater reservoirs was held at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. More than 20 scientists from all over Germany participated in the workshop to discuss the research needed for the exploration of submarine groundwater resources.


SMART Summer School Announced

7 March 2019. Applications are now being accepted for the SMART Summer School “Understanding marine hydrogeology through the lens of geophysics: Bridging the gap across the coastal zone” to be held at the University of Malta from 30 June – 5 July 2019.

The SMART Summer School will provide in-depth lectures combined with training in the form of hands-on labs and a field survey. The focus of this year’s School is using both onshore and offshore geophysical methods to understand offshore groundwater aquifers and their possible connection to terrestrial aquifers. Offshore groundwater research is gaining increased attention especially regarding whether these resources may be used sustainably to reduce water stress for many coastal communities including Malta. We aim to provide students with a broad overview of this exciting and new frontier in marine science. During the course, students will learn about electromagnetic (EM) and seismic methods and learn how to process and interpret these data. The course will be taught by leading researchers in marine geophysics, marine geology, coastal geology, and near-surface applied geophysics.


SMART kick-off meeting

28 November 2018. The SMART kick-off meeting was held at GEOMAR - Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Reseach Kiel, Germany. Team members and colleagues from eight institues attended the meeting including; GEOMAR, University of Malta, Univeristy of Kiel, Texas A&M University, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ. Nearly thirty participants attended the meeting from four countries (Germany, Malta, New Zealand, and the United States). 

                                          Picture: GEOMAR Website

                         Photos: Aaron Micallef/University of Malta












                                   Photos: Bradley Weymer/GEOMAR

Photo: Jan Steffen/GEOMAR










                                    Photos: Tamara Worzewski