microscopio cabeceras

Sergio  Sánchez del Moral


914111328 - 1191




Investigador Cientifico del CSIC

Investigación / Research



Ph.D. in Geosciences (1994), has over 20 years experience in modeling low-Temperature geochemical processes including isotope geochemistry and geomicrobiology with an internationally recognised track record of applying specialised analytical techniques for problem solving applied to surface and sub-surface processes.


Currently he is Head of the Department of Geology of the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN). He was the coordinator and principal investigator of the research teams of the Altamira Cave during the period 2002-2012. He has participated in, or led a variety of large research projects involving national and international institutions and has experience as PI on five funded research projects related to CO2. From last 5 years SSM has been principal investigator of several research projects funded in competitive calls by Spanish public bodies, including: CGL2010-17108/BTE: Temporal variability of CO2 concentration in karst systems: mechanisms for subsurface-atmosphere interaction and implications for fluxes estimation in the global carbon balance; CGL2013-43324-R: Sourcing methane and carbon dioxide in subsurface environments.


Dr. Sanchez-Moral has an international research profile and has generated a large internationally recognised body of research with over published 80 SCI-indexed papers ( ( From last 5 years, the research group of SSM has focused his major efforts on the application of stable isotope geochemistry and cave monitoring to solving the issue of CO2 and CH4 exchange processes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere as a key to understanding the feedbacks between climate change and the land surface.





OJo Guareña Cave  - CGL2013-43324-R: Sourcing methane and carbon dioxide in subsurface environments.





Publications (2010 - 2015)




Garcia-Guinea, J., Correcher, V., Benavente, D., Sanchez-Moral, S. Composition, Luminescence, and Color of a Natural Blue Calcium Carbonate from Madagascar. Spectroscopy Letters: An International Journal for Rapid Communication, (2015) 48:2, 107-111.


Garcia-Guinea, J., Furio, M; Sanchez-Moral, S., Jurado, V., Correcher, V., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Composition and spectra of copper-carotenoid sediments from a pyrite mine stream in Spain. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy (2015) 135, 25: 203-210.


Fernández-Cortés, A., S Cuezva, E García-Antón, M Alvárez-Gallego, D Benavente, JM Calaforra, Sanchez-Moral, S. Climate-Driven Changes on Storage and Sink of Carbon Dioxide in Subsurface Atmosphere of Karst Terrains. In: Andreo, B. et al., Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Hydrogeological and Environmental Investigations in Karst Systems, Environmental Earth Sciences, vol 1 (2015): 523-531.


Pla, C., J. J. Galiana-Merino, J. Cuevas-González, J. M. Andreu, J. C. Cañaveras, S. Cuezva, A. Fernández-Cortés, E. García-Antón, S. Sanchez-Moral, D. Benavente. Definition of Microclimatic Conditions in a Karst Cavity: Rull Cave (Alicante, Spain) In: Andreo, B. et al., Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Hydrogeological and Environmental Investigations in Karst Systems, Environmental Earth Sciences, vol 1 (2015): 497-503.




Jurado, V.; Miller, AZ.; Cuezva, S.; Fernández-Cortes, A.; Benavente, D.; Rogerio-Candelera, M.A.; Reyes, J.; Cañaveras, J.C.; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Saiz-Jimenez, C. Recolonization of mortars by endolithic organisms on the walls of San Roque church in Campeche (Mexico): a case of tertiary bioreceptivity Construction and Building Material (2014) 53: 348-359.


Diaz-Herraiz, M., Jurado, V., Cuezva, S., Laiz, L., Pallecchi, P., Tiano, P., Sanchez-Moral, S., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Deterioration of an etruscan tomb by bacteria from the order rhizobiales. Scientific Reports (2014): 4 : 3610.


Garcia-Anton, E., Cuezva, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Benavente, D., Sanchez-Moral, S. Main drivers of diffusive and advective processes of CO2-gas exchange between a shallow vadose zone and the atmosphere. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control (2014) 21: 113-129.


Garcia-Anton, E., Cuezva, S., Jurado, V.; Porca, E., Miller, A.Z., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Saiz-Jimenez, C., Sanchez-Moral, S. Combining stable-isotope (δ13C) of trace gases and aerobiological data to monitor the entry and dispersion of microorganisms in caves. Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2014) 21 (1):473-484.


De la Rasilla, M., Rosa, A., Cañaveras JC, Lalueza-Fox, C., Santamaría, D., Sanchez-Moral, S., et al. El Sidrón (PIloña, Asturias). In: Sala-Ramos, R.,. Universidad de Burgos. Pleistocene and Holocene hunter-gatherers in Iberia and the Gibraltar Strait: the current archaeological record. (2014). Págs. 122 - 128.


Fernández-Cortés, A., Elez, J.; Cuezva, S., Cañaveras., J.C., Benavente, D., Rogerio, M.A., Saiz-Jimenez C., Sanchez-Moral, S. The conservation of the Carmona Necropolis (Sevilla, Spain). In: The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage - Saiz-Jimenez (Ed) Taylor & Francis Group, London, (2014): 45-50.


Fernández-Cortés, A., Sanz-Rubio, E., Sanchez-Malo, A., Cuezva, S., García-Antón, E., Sanchez-Moral, S., Afonso, M.J., Chamine, H.I., Hermosín, B. Detection of urban subsurface pollution by rapid multiparametric surveys in the 16th century Paranhos spring water tunnel (Porto, Portugal) In: The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage - Saiz-Jimenez (Ed) Taylor & Francis Group, London, (2014):89-94.


Sanchez-Moral, S., Cuezva, S., García-Antón, E., Fernández-Cortés, A., Elez, J., Benavente, D., Cañaveras., J.C., Jurado, V., Rogerio-Candelera, M.A., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Microclimatic monitoring in Altamira Cave: Two decades of scientific projects for its conservation. In: The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage - Saiz-Jimenez (Ed) Taylor & Francis Group, London, (2014):139-144.





Spatial distribution of the visible microbial colonies on the ceiling at Altamira Cave. The Polychrome Hall features dozens of paintings of bison and other animals, spread across 150 square meters of cave ceiling that were painted more than 14,000 years ago.



Jurado, V., Laiz, L., Sanchez-Moral, S., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Pathogenic microorganisms related to human visits in Altamira Cave, Spain. In: The Conservation of Subterranean Cultural Heritage - Saiz-Jimenez (Ed) Taylor & Francis Group, London, (2014):229-238. ISBN 978-1-138-02694-0





Dredge, J., Fairchild, I.J., Harrison, R.M., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Sanchez-Moral, S., Jurado, V., Gunn, J., Smith, A., Spotl, C., Mattey, D., Wynn, P., Grassineau, N. Cave aerosols: distribution and contribution to speleothem geochemistry. Quaternary Science Reviews (2013), 63: 23-41.


Wood, R.E.; Higham, T.F.G.; Torres, T. de; Tisnérat-Laborde, N.; Valladas, H.; Ortiz, J. E.; Lalueza-Fox, C.; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Cañaveras, J.C.; Rosas, A.; Santamaría, D.; Rasilla, M. A new date for the neanderthals from el Sidrón Cave (Asturias, northern Spain). Archaeometry (2013), 55 (1) , pp. 148-158.


Elez, J., Cuezva, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Garcia-Anton, E.; Benavente, D., Cañaveras, J., Sanchez-Moral, S. A GIS based methodology to quantitatively define an Adjacent Protected Area in a shallow karst cavity: the case of Altamira cave. Journal of Environmental Management (2013), 118: 122-134.


Diaz-Herraiz, M., Jurado, V., Cuezva, S., Laiz, L., Pallecchi, P., Tiano, P., Sanchez-Moral, S., Saiz-Jimenez, C. The Actinobacterial Colonization of Etruscan Paintings. Scientific Reports (2013), 3 : 1440.


García‐Guinea, J.; Almendros, G.; Benavente, D.; Correcher, V.; Pérez‐García, A.; Recio-Vázquez, L.; Sanchez-‐Moral, S. Incompatible building materials within the stereotomic Avalos sculptures of the Valley of Fallen (Madrid, Spain). Materiales de Construcción (2013), 63, 309: 117-129.


Fernández-Cortés, A., Benavente, D., Cuezva, S.; Cañaveras, J.C.; Alvarez-Gallego, M. Garcia-Anton, E., Soler, V., Sanchez-Moral, S. Effect of water vapour condensation on the radon content in subsurface air in a hypogeal inactive-volcanic environment in Galdar Cave, Spain. Atmospheric Environment (2013), 75: 15-23.


Garcia-Guinea, J., Recio-Vazquez, L., Almendros, G., Benavente, D., Correcher, V., Perez-Garcia, A., Sanchez-Moral, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A. Petrophysical properties, composition and deterioration of the Calatorao biogenic stone: Case of the sculptures masonry of the Valley of the Fallen (Madrid, Spain). Environmental Earth Sciences (2013), 69 (5) , pp. 1733-1750.


Roland, M.E. , Serrano-Ortiz, P., Kowalski, A.S., Godderis, Y., Sanchez-Canete, E.P., Ciais, P., Domingo, F., Cuezva, S., Sanchez-Moral, S., Longdoz, B., Yakir, D., Van Grieken, V., Schott, J., Cardell, C., Janssens, I.A. Atmospheric turbulence triggers pronounced diel pattern in karst carbonate geochemistry. Biogeosciences (2013), 10: 5009-5017.


Garcia-Guinea, J., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Alvarez-Gallego, M. Garcia-Anton, E., Casas-Ruiz, M., Blazquez-Perez, D., Teijón, O., Cuezva, S., Correcher, V., Sanchez-Moral, S. Leaching of uranyl-silica complexes from the host metapelite rock favoring high radon activity of subsoil air: case of Castañar cave (Spain). Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry (2013): 298:1567-1585.


Alvarez-Gallego, M., Garcia-Anton, E., Robredo, L.M., Sanchez, L., Garralon, A., Cuezva, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Sanchez-Moral., S. Cave air dynamic and water infiltration controlling the carbon isotope exchange process at karst subsurface. Central European Geology, Vol. 56/2-3 (2013): 141-143.


Garcia-Anton, E., Cuezva, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Alvarez-Gallego, M., Sanchez-Moral., S. δ13CO2 (air) as a proxy of CO2 (gas) flux in shallow underground environment. Central European Geology, Vol. 56/2-3 (2013): 143-146.





Sanchez-Moral, S., M.C. Portillo, I. Janices, S. Cuezva, A. Fernández-Cortés, J.C. Cañaveras, J.M. Gonzalez. The role of microorganisms in the formation of calcitic moonmilk deposits and speleothems in Altamira Cave. Geomorpholgy 139-140 (2012): 285-292.


Cuezva, S, Fernandez-Cortes, A., , Porca, E., Pašić, L., Jurado, V., Hernandez-Marine, M., Serrano-Ortiz, P., Hermosin, B., , Cañaveras, J.C., Sanchez‐-Moral, S., Saiz-Jimenez, C. The biogeochemical role of Actinobacteria in Altamira Cave, Spain. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 81 (2012): 281-290.



Scanning electron micrographs of Actinobacteria biofilm over limestone corroded substrata (Polychromes ceiling, Altamira Cave).



Miller, A.Z., Dionísio, A., Sequeira Braga, M.A., Hernández-Mariné, M., Afonso, M.J., Muralha, V.S.F., Herrera, L.K., Raabe, J., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cuezva, S., Hermosin, B., Sanchez-Moral, S., Chaminé, H., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Biogenic Mn oxide minerals coating in a subsurface granite environment. Chemical Geology 322-323 (2012): 181-191.






Cuezva, S.; Fernández-Cortés, A., Benavente, D., Serrano-Ortiz, P., Kowalski, A.S.., Sanchez-Moral, S. Short-time CO2(g) exchange processes between a shallow karstic cavity and the external atmosphere during summer: role of the surface soil layer. Atmospheric Environment 45 (7) (2011): 1418-1427.


Serrano-Ortiz, P.; Roland, M; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Janssens, I.A.; Domingo, F.; Goddérise, Y.; Kowalski, A.S. Corrigendum to: Hidden, abiotic CO2 flows and gaseous reservoirs in the terrestrial carbon cycle: Review and perspectives (vol 150, pg 321, 2010). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151 (4) (2011): 529-529


Zammit, G., Sanchez-Moral, S., Albertano, P. Bacterially mediated mineralisation processes lead to biodeterioration of artworks in Maltese catacombs. Science of the Total Environment, 409 (2011): 2773-2782.


Fernandez-Cortes, A., Sanchez-Moral, S., Cuezva, S., Benavente, D., Abella, R. Characterization of trace gases fluctuations on a "low energy" cave (Castañar de Íbor, Spain) using techniques of entropy of curves. International Journal of Climatology 31 (2011): 127-143



Monitoring system located in Castañar Cave (Cáceres, Spain)



Benavente, D., Sanchez-Moral, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cañaveras, J.C., Elez, J., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Salt damage and microclimate in the Postumius Tomb, Roman Necropolis of Carmona, Spain. Environmental Earth Sciences (2011) 18:1037-1045.


Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cuezva, S., Sanchez-Moral, S., Cañaveras, J.C., Porca, E., Jurado, V., Martin-Sanchez, P.M., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Detection of human-induced environmental disturbances in a show cave. Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2011) 63:1529-1543.


Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cuezva, S., García Anton, E., García-Guinea, K., Sanchez-Moral, S. Rare Earth Elements in a Speleothem analyzed by ICP-MS, EDS and Spectra Cathodoluminescence. Spectrocopy Letters (2011) 44:474-479.


Saiz-Jimenez, C., Cuezva, S., Jurado, V., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Porca, E., Benavente, D., Cañaveras, J.C., Sanchez-Moral, S. Paleolithic Art in Peril: Policy and Science Collide at Altamira Cave. Science (2011), 334: 42-43.


García Anton, E., Cuezva, S., Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cuevas-González, J.,Muñoz-Cervera, M.C., Benavente, D., Sanchez-Moral, S., Canaveras, J.C. Mineral variations study of Canelobre Cave phosphate stalactites by Raman and luminescence methods. Spectrocopy Letters (2011), 44:539-542.


Sanchez-Moral, S.Fernandez-Cortes, A., Cuezva, S., Cañaveras, J.C., Correcher, V., Miller, A.Z., Dionisio, A., Marques, J.M., Saiz-Jimenez, C., Afonso, M.J., Chamine, H., Furio, M., García-Guinea, J. Uranyl-evansites from Porto (Nothwest Portugal) and Galicia (Nothwest Spain): Structure and Assignment of Spectra Catholuminescence and Raman bands. Spectrocopy Letters (2011) 44: 511-515.




Jurado, V.; Laiz, L.; Rodríguez-Nava, V.; Boiron, P; Hermosin, B; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Saiz-Jimenez, C. Pathogenic microorganisms in caves. International Journal of Speleology, 39, 1 (2010): 15-24
Serrano-Ortiz, P.; Roland, M; Sánchez-Moral, S.; Janssens, I.A.; Domingo, F.; Goddérise, Y.; Kowalski, A.S.. Hidden, abiotic CO2 flows and gaseous reservoirs in the terrestrial carbon cycle: a review. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 150 (3) (2010): 321-329


Santamaría, D.; Fortea, J.; De la Rasilla, m.; Martínez, l.; Martínez, E.; Cañaveras, J.C.; Sanchez-Moral, S.; Rosas, A.; Estalrrich, A.; García-Tabernero, A.; Lalueza-Fox, C. The technological and typological behaviour of a Neanderthal group from el Sidron Cave (Asturias, Spain). Oxford Journal of Archaeology 29(2) (2010): 119-148.


Jurado, V., Porca, E., Cuezva, S., Fernández-Cortes, A., Sanchez-Moral, S., Saiz-Jimenez, C. Fungal outbreak in a show cave. Science of the Total Environment, 408 (2010): 3632-3638


Fernandez-Cortes, A., Sanchez-Moral, S., Cañaveras, JC.; Cuevas-, J; Cuezva, S., Andreu, J.M. Variations on seepage water geochemistry induced by natural and anthropic microclimatic changes: Implications for the speleothems growth conditions. Geodinamica Acta, 23/1-3 (2010): 2-13.


De Torres, T., Ortiz, J. E., Grün, R., Eggins, S., Valladas, H., Mercier, N., Tisnérat-Laborde, N., Juliá, R., Soler, V., Martínez, E., Sanchez-Moral, S. Cañaveras, JC., Lario, J., Badal, E., Lalueza-Fox, C., Rosas, A., Santamaría, D., De La Rasilla, M., Fortea, J. Dating of the hominid (Homo Neanderthalensis) remains accumulation from El Sidrón cave (Asturias, North Spain): an example of multi-methodological approach to the dating of Upper Pleistocene sites. Archaeometry 52, 4 (2010) 680-705.




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