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Prof. Dr. Elda Miramontes García


+49 421 218-65200



GEO, 2560

Research interests

In my research, I study the sedimentary processes that control seafloor morphology and sediment distribution in the deep sea, with a special focus on deposits generated by ocean currents. I am also interested in how oceanic circulation interacts with turbidity currents and affects submarine channels. My aim is to better understand sediment dynamics in modern deep-sea settings to improve paleoceanographic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions based on sedimentary archives. I also study the distribution of plastics in the marine environment. With my expertise in sediment dynamics, I investigate the processes that transport plastic particles to the seafloor and their effects on the environment.

I use a combination of different methods and datasets to analyse sedimentary processes in deep-water systems and their related deposits: geophysical data (multibeam bathymetry and seismic data), sediment cores, in situ measurements of currents (vessel-mounted ADCP and moorings), numerical hydrodynamic modelling and flume-tank experiments. 

You can follow all the news about my work in Bluesky and ResearchGate:






  • Nicholson, U., Stow, D., Brackenridge, R., Miramontes, E., Wåhlin, A. (2024). Introduction: Special issue on bottom currents and contourites: Processes, products and Impact. Marine Geology, 107237, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2024.107237.
  • Yu, K., Miramontes, E., Cartigny, M.J.B., Yang, Y., Xu, J. (2024). The impacts of profile concavity on turbidite deposits: Insights from the submarine canyon on global continental margins. Geomorphology, 454, 109157, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2024.109157.


  • Babonneau, N., Raisson, F., Genêt, A., Lopes, U., Fierens, R., Miramontes, E., Révillon, S., Rabineau, M., Droz, L., Belleney, D., Moulin, M., Aslanian, D. (2023). Contourite on the Limpopo Corridor, Mozambique margin: Long‐term evolution, facies distribution and Plio‐Quaternary processes. Sedimentology, 70, 728-758, https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.13045.
  • Chen, M., Wu, S., Wang, R., Zhang, J., Xie, P., Wang, M., Wang, X., Xiong, Q., Yu, J., Miramontes, E. (2023). Sedimentary architecture of submarine lobes affected by bottom currents: Insights from the Rovuma Basin offshore East Africa. Basin Research, https://doi.org/10.1111/bre.12829.
  • Chiggiato, J., Schroeder, K., Mourre, B., Miramontes, E., Lionello, P., Marcos, M., Pinardi, N., Mason, E., Álvarez, M., Trincardi, F. (2023). Chapter 1 - Introdution. In Oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea (pp. 1-11). Elsevier, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-823692-5.00002-9.
  • Hanafi-Portier, M., Samadi, S., Corbari, L., Boulard, M., Miramontes, E., Penven, P., Leroy, B., Napoléon, T., Jorry, S.J., Olu, K. (2023). Multiscale spatial patterns and environmental drivers of seamount and island slope megafaunal assemblages along the Mozambique channel. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 10498, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2023.104198.
  • Kreps, G., Lembke-Jene, L., Romero, S., Ferrari, R., Lamy, F., Miramontes, E. (2023). Bottom-Current Variability and the Relationship with Topography and Sedimentary Processses in the Drake Passage. Journal of Geophysical research: Oceans, https://doi.org/10.1029/2022JC019623.
  • Lopes, U., Babonneau, N., Fierens, R., Revillon, S., Raisson, F., Miramontes, E., Rabineau, M., Aslanian, D., Moulin, M. (2023). Foraminiferal sandy contourite of the Limpopo Corridor (Mozambique margin): Facies characterization and paleaoceanographic record. Marine Geology, 459, 107031, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2023.107031.
  • Miramontes, E., Déverchère, J., Pellegrini, C., Chiarella, D. (2023). Mediterranean Sea evolution and present-day physiography. In Oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea (pp. 13-39). Elsevier, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-823692-5.00006-6.
  • Miramontes, E., Pellegrini, C., Casalbore, D., Dupré, S. (2023). Active geological processes in the Mediterranean Sea. In Oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea (pp. 453-499). Elsevier, https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-823692-5.00010-8.
  • Warnke, F., Schwenk, T., Miramontes, E., Spiess, V., Wenau, S., Bozzano, G., Baqués, M., Kasten, S. (2023). Evolution of complex giant seafloor depressions at the northern Argentine continental margin (SW Atlantic Ocean) under the influence of a dynamic bottom current regime. Frontiers in Earth Science, 11,  https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2023.1117013.
  • Wilckens, H., Eggenhuisen, J.T., Adema, P.H., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Silva Jacinto, R., Miramontes, E. (2023). Secondary flow in contour currents controls the formation of moat-drift contourite systems. Communications Earth & Environment, 4(1), 316, https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-023-00978-0.
  • Wilckens, H., Schwenk, T., Lüdmann, T., Betzler, C., Zhang, W., Chen, J., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Lefebvre, A., Cattaneo, A., Spieß, V., Miramontes, E. (2023). Factors controlling the morphology and internal sediment architecture of moats and their associated contourite drifts. Sedimentology, 70, 1472-1495, https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.13093.
  • Yu, K., Lefebvre, A., Li, W., Zhan, W., Miramontes, E. (2023). Channel Inception Through Bottom Current Erosion of Pockmarks Revealed by Numerical Simulation. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.5610.


  • Rodrigues, S., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Fonnesu, M., Miramontes, E., Rebesco, M., Campbell, D.C. (2022). A new classification system for mixed (turbidite-contourite) depositional systems: Examples, conceptual models and diagnostic criteria for modern and ancient records. Earth-Science Reviews, 104030, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104030.
  • Rodrigues, S., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Fonnesu, M., Miramontes, E., Rebesco, M., Campbell, D.C. (2022). Reply to the comment on "A new classification system for mixed (turbidite-contourite) depositional systems: Examples, conceptual models and diagnostic criteria for modern and ancient records". Earth-Science Reviews, 104155, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2022.104155.
  • Yin, S., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Miramontes, E., Shen, Z., Yang, C., Gao, J., Liu, S., Li, J. (2022). Sequential bedform development in mixed turbidite-contourite systems: An example from the Cosmonaut Sea, East Antarctica. Geomorphology, 410, 108287, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2022.108287.


  • Das, P., Lin, A.T.S., Chen, M.P.P., Miramontes, E., Liu, C.S., Huang, N.W., Kung, J., Hsu, S.-K., Pillutla, R.K., Nayak, K. (2021). Deep-sea submarine erosion by the Kuroshio current in the Manila accretionary prism, offshore Southern Taiwan. Tectonophysics, 228813, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2021.228813.
  • de Castro, S., Miramontes, E., Dorador, J., Jouet, G., Cattaneo, A., Rodríguez-Tovar, F.J., Hernández-Molina, F.J. (2021). Siliciclastic and bioclastic contouritic sands: Textural and geochemical characterisation. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 128, 105002, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105002.
  • Miramontes, E., Thiéblemont, A., Babonneau, N., Penven, P., Raisson, F., Droz, L., Jorry, S.J., Fierens, R., Counts, J., Wilckens, H., Cattaneo, A., Jouet, G. (2021). Contourite and mixed turbidite-contourite systems in the Mozambique Channel (SW Indian Ocean): Link between geometry, sediment characteristics and modelled bottom currents. Marine Geology, 437, 106502, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106502, download.
  • Wilckens, H.Miramontes, E., Schwenk, T., Artana, C., Zhang, W., Piola, A., Baques, M., Provost, C., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Felgendreher, M., Spieß, V., Kasten, S. (2021). The erosive power of the Malvinas Current: Influence of bottom currents on morpho-sedimentary features along the northern Argentine margin (SW Atlantic Ocean). Marine Geology, 439, 106539, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2021.106539. Preprint: https://eartharxiv.org/repository/view/2411/
  • Yu, K., Miramontes, E., Alves, T. M., Li, W., Liang, L., Li, S., Zhan, W., Wu, S. (2021). Incision of submarine channels over pockmark trains in the South China Sea. Geophysical Research Letters, e2021GL092861, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL092861.



  • Jorry, S.J., Jouet, G., Edinger, E.N., Toucanne, S., Counts, J.W., Miramontes, E., Courgeon, S., Vázquez Riveiros, N., Le Roy, P., Camoin, G.F. (2020). From platform top to adjacent deep sea: New source-to-sink insights into carbonate sediment production and transfer in the SW Indian Ocean (Glorieuses archipelago).Marine Geology, 423, 106144, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106144.

  • Kane, I.A., Clare, M.A., Miramontes, E., Wogelius, R., Rothwell, J.J., Garreau, P., Pohl, F. (2020). Seafloor microplastic hotspots controlled by deep-sea circulation. Science, 368, 1140–1145, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aba5899.

  • Miramontes, E., Eggenhuisen, J.T., Silva Jacinto, R.S., Poneti, G., Pohl, F., Normandeau, A., Campbell, C., Hernández-Molina, F.J. (2020). Channel-levee evolution in combined contour current-turbidity current flows from flume-tank experiments. Geology, 48(4), 353–357, https://doi.org/10.1130/G47111.1.

  • Miramontes, E., Eggenhuisen, J.T., Silva Jacinto, R.S., Poneti, G., Pohl, F., Normandeau, A., Campbell, C., Hernández-Molina, F.J. (2020). Channel-levee evolution in combined contour current-turbidity current flows from flume-tank experiments: Reply. Geology, 48(8): e508, https://doi.org/10.1130/G47885Y.1.
  • Miramontes, E., Jouet, G., Thereau, E., Bruno, M., Penven, P., Guerin, C., Le Roy, P., Droz, L., Jorry, S.J., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Thiéblemont, A., Silva Jacinto, R., Cattaneo, A. (2020). The impact of internal waves on upper continental slopes: insights from the Mozambican margin (southwest Indian Ocean).Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 45(6), 1469–1482, https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.4818.

  • Pastor, L., Brandily, C., Schmidt, S., Miramontes, E., Appere, D., Chéron, S., Boissier, A., Jouet, G. (2020). Modern sedimentation and geochemical imprints in sediments from the NW Madagascar margin. Marine Geology, 426, 106184, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2020.106184.


  • Counts, J. W., Jorry, S.J., Vazquez Riveiros, N., Jouet, G., Giraudeau, J., Cheron, S., Boissier, A., Miramontes, E. (2019). A Late Quaternary record of highstand shedding from an isolated carbonate platform (Juan de Nova, southern Indian Ocean). The Depositional Record, 5, 540-557, https://doi.org/10.1002/dep2.57.
  • Fierens, R., Droz, L., Toucanne, S., Raisson, F., Jouet, G., Babonneau, N., Miramontes, E., Landurain, S., Jorry, S.J. (2019). Late Quaternary geomorphology and sedimentary processes in the Zambezi turbidite system (Mozambique Channel). Geomorphology, 334, 1-28, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2019.02.033.
  • Miramontes, E., Penven, P., Fierens, R., Droz, L., Toucanne, S., Jorry, S.J., Jouet, G., Pastor, L., Silva Jacinto, R., Gaillot, A., Giraudeau, J., Raisson, F. (2019). The influence of bottom currents on the Zambezi Valley morphology (Mozambique Channel, SW Indian Ocean): In situ current observations and hydrodynamic modelling. Marine Geology, 410, 42-55, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.01.002.
  • Miramontes, E., Jorry, S.J., Jouet, G., Counts, J.W., Le Roy, P., Courgeon, S., Guerin, C., Hernández-Molina, F.J. (2019). Deep marine dunes on drowned isolated carbonate terraces (Mozambique Channel, SW Indian Ocean). Sedimentology, 66(4), 1222-1242, https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12572.
  • Miramontes, E., Garreau, P., Cattaneo, A., Caillaud, M., Jouet, G., Pellen, R., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Clare, M.A. (2019). Contourite distribution in the NW Mediterranean Sea: new insights from hydrodynamic modelling. Geomorphology, 333, 43-60, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2019.02.030.
  • Thiéblemont, A., Hernández-Molina, F. J., Miramontes, E., Raisson, F., Penven, P. (2019). Contourite depositional systems along the Mozambique channel: The interplay between bottom currents and sedimentary processes. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 147, 79-99, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsr.2019.03.012.


  • Counts, J. W., Jorry, S. J., Leroux, E., Miramontes, E., Jouet, G. (2018). Sedimentation adjacent to atolls and volcano-cored carbonate platforms in the Mozambique Channel (SW Indian Ocean). Marine Geology, 404, 41-59, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2018.07.003.
  • Miramontes, E., Sultan, N., Garziglia, S., Jouet, G., Pelleter, E., Cattaneo, A. (2018). Altered volcanic deposits as basal failure surfaces of submarine landslides. Geology, 46(7), 663-666, https://doi.org/10.1130/G40268.1.
  • Miramontes, E., Garziglia, S., Sultan, N., Jouet, G., Cattaneo, A. (2018). Morphological control of slope instability in contourites: a geotechnical approach. Landslides, 15(6), 1085-1095, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-018-0956-6.


  • Cattaneo, A., Miramontes, E., Samalens, K., Garreau, P., Caillaud, M., Marsset, B., Corradi, N., Migeon, S. (2017). Contourite identification along Italian margins: The case of the Portofino drift (Ligurian Sea). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 87, 137-147, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.03.026.
  • Hernández-Molina, F. J., Campbell, S., Badalini, G., Thompson, P., Walker, R., Soto, M., Conti, B., Preu, B., Thieblemont, A., Hyslop, L., Miramontes, E., Morales, E. (2018). Large bedforms on contourite terraces: Sedimentary and conceptual implications. Geology, 46(1), 27-30, https://doi.org/10.1130/G39655.1.


  • Miramontes, E., Cattaneo, A., Jouet, G., Théreau, E., Thomas, Y., Rovere, M., Cauquil, E., Trincardi, F. (2016). The Pianosa Contourite Depositional System (Northern Tyrrhenian Sea): Drift morphology and Plio-Quaternary stratigraphic evolution. Marine Geology, 378, 20-42, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2015.11.004.
  • Miramontes, E., Cattaneo, A., Jouet, G., Garziglia, S. (2016). Implications of Sediment Dynamics in Mass Transport along the Pianosa Ridge (Northern Tyrrhenian Sea). In Lamarche G., Mountjoy, J.Bull, S., Hubble, T., Krastel, S., Lane, E., Micallef, A., Moscardelli, L., Mueller, C., Pecher, I., Woelz, S. (Eds.), Submarine mass movements and their consequences, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, Advances in Natural Hazard Research, Springer, 30, 301–309, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20979-1_30.