Several Spanish research teams are working on permafrost and periglacial processes in Spanish mountains, Antarctica and Andes, continuing previous work. Activities in 2009 focused on: Periglacial processes and environments in the Iberian Peninsula (Galician Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Cantabrian Mountains, Pyrenees and Central System); Permafrost and periglacial processes in Maritime Antarctic; and Martian permafrost.

Projects on Maritime Antarctic are focused on “Active layer Monitoring and Modelling”, from University of Alcalá, leaded by M. Ramos, and on “Geomorphic dynamic, permafrost mapping and periglacial environment”, leaded by J. López-Martínez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). Studies in Cantabrian Mountains have been carried out by the University of León Group, leaded by J.M. Redondo, and the University of Valladolid, leaded by E. Serrano, working especially in the Palentine Mountains and Picos de Europa massif. ‘The University of Santiago de Compostela group, headed by A. Pérez-Alberti and M. Valcárcel, is working on nival and periglacial processes in the Galician Mountains, and on Crionival landforms in Southern Andes (Tierra de Fuego). In the Pyrenees two groups work on periglacial environments, one from the University of Zaragoza, led by Dr. J. Chueca, focusing on nival and thermal regimes and one from the University of Valladolid, headed by E. Serrano looking at permafrost and present day periglacial processes. The University of Barcelona group, led by A. Gómez-Ortíz, works in Sierra Nevada, where a Doctoral Thesis titled “Holocene Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of The Sierra Nevada from sedimentary records” has been presented by M. Oliva.

The Universities of Salamanca and Complutense of Madrid Group, led by R. Cruz and J. Pedraza are working on Quaternary periglacial landforms on Central System. The research team of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, headed by D. Palacios, works in the Andean volcanoes, and a Doctoral Thesis titled “Climatic Change impact on glaciers of Nevado Coropiuna volcanic complex (Central Andes, South Perú)” has been presented by J. Úbeda. Finally, the Astro Biological Center (CAB) and the University of Alcalá work further on Martian permafrost.

From 21 to 24 June, 2009, the Second Iberian Congress of IPA took place in Sigüenza (Spain), organised by the University of Alcalá and coordinated by M. Ramos. This is a joint meeting between the Spanish and Portuguese Permafrost communities, a continuation of IPA-Spain ones, started in 1993. The congress topic was “Periglacial environments, permafrost and climatic variability” with three main sessions: A) “Present-day dynamic in mountain periglacial environments”, B) “Iberian results during the International Polar Year (IPY)”, and C) “Permafrost like planetary cryospheric subsystem”. The meeting welcomed forty five participants, included three lectures (F. Nelson, H.W. Hubberten and G. Vieira). Twenty six oral presentations and eighteen posters were presented. Nineteen oral presentations and thirteen posters make the Spanish contribution. The II Iberian IPA Congress did finish with a fieldtrip in the Iberian Range Highlands. The next meeting, the Third Iberian Congress of IPA, will be organized by University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in Galice, June 2011, and coordinated by M. Valcárcel.

Enrique Serrano (serranoe@fyl.uva.es).