From 2011, IPA-Portugal implemented a national coordinating committee. The members of the committee are: Alexandre Trindade (PYRN-Portugal), António Correia (Univ. Évora), Carla Mora (CEG/IGOT-UL), Gonçalo Vieira (CEG/IGOT-UL - National Representative), João Canário (IPIMAR), Marc Oliva (CEG/IGOT-UL), Mário Neves (CEG/IGOT-UL), Pedro Pina (IST, Technical Univ. Lisbon) and Teresa Barata (Univ. Coimbra).
Research activities on Antarctic permafrost framed within the project Permantar-2 (Permafrost and Climate Change in the Maritime Antarctic) coordinated by the University of Lisbon (CEG/IGOT-UL, PI G. Vieira) took place in Livingston, Deception and King George Islands. Focus was on permafrost and active layer monitoring, snow cover and geomorphodynamics. The collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison allowed to gather new observations on soils from Deception and Livingston islands. Through a collaboration with the Federal University of Viçosa (C. Schaefer), a new shallow borehole has been installed at Tyrrel Plateau, Keller Peninsula (King George Island). PERMANTAR-2 is a collaboration of CEG/IGOT-UL with the Centre of Geophysics of the University of Évora (A. Correia) and Centre of Geophysics of the University of Lisbon (F. Santos), as well as with several foreign institutions: Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil), University of Alcalá de Henares (Spain, Miguel Ramos), University of Buenos Aires (Argentina, A. Caselli) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA, James Bockheim). Also in the South Shetlands, the CEG/IGOT-UL team in collaboration with the CGUL run two remote sensing projects on monitoring of snow cover using SAR (SNOWANTAR, PI C. Mora) and on terrain deformation using INSAR (TIDEFINSAR, PI G. Vieira). A new DLR project on both topics is also being implemented by both institutions, in a collaboration that also includes the University of Oslo (A. Kaab).
The CERENA team, at Instituto Superior Técnico, is studying Mars polygonal terrains using Earth analogues to improve the knowledge of the abundant Martian networks. In the summer of 2011, a field campaign in Adventdalen (Svalbard) was conducted together with CEG/IGOT-UL and UNIS (Norway), to gather polygonal pattern features for comparison with Martian analogues. The field survey, enabled to collect accurate data on the geometry and topology of the polygons, on the characteristics of the vegetation and on the depth of the active layer. Remote sensing derived classifications of vegetation types have been field validated and a detailed geomorphological surveying was conducted. The in-situ measured features are being integrated with two sets of remotely sensed imagery with very high spatial resolution and confronted with those of Mars to evaluate where do Adventdalen polygons stand in relation to quantitatively characterized Martian networks. More information about ongoing activities can be found at http://planetsci-cerena.weebly.com.
Research on paleopermafrost and periglacial environments by the CEG/IGOT-UL in the Serra da Estrela (Central Portugal) has restarted. A. Trindade received a FCT funded grant for conducting PhD research on the topic. The focus is on paleoenvironmental interpretation of slope deposits through sedimentological analysis.
The Portuguese IPA group joined at the 3rd Iberian Conference of the IPA in Piornedo, Northwest Spain, where new results of research have been presented. The meeting served also to discuss collaborations with the Spanish colleagues, as well as to plan for the upcoming 4th European Conference on Permafrost that will take place in 2014 in Évora (Portugal). The Organizing Committee met in Piornedo, together with the Spanish IPA members and planned for the conference and especially on the Spanish contribution for the pre and post conference field trips. EUCOP4 was approved in October by the IPA as its Regional Conference for 2014. The event will be jointly organized by the Universities of Lisbon and Évora, in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Évora.
The FCT-CAPES funded Luso-Brazilean Programme for Research on Antarctic Permafrost and Terrestrial Ecosystem Dynamics, a collaboration of the CEG/IGOT-UL (G. Vieira), CGE-UE (A. Correia) and Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil (C. Schaefer) started in 2011. This project aims at coordinating research of both countries on permafrost and active layer in the Antarctic Peninsula and includes student and staff exchange between both countries. A. Trindade, a PhD student from the CEG/IGOT-UL has been in Brazil for 3 months in order to learn new skills on cryosoil geochemistry and micromorphology. PhD student T. Torres and Post-Doc B. Mendonça from Brazil visited Portugal for 5 months in late 2011 for training on active layer and permafrost monitoring and analysis. In the framework of this project, G. Vieira and C. Mora lectured the intensive course "Introduction to geomorphic dynamics of polar and mountain environments" at the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil) in October 2011. The course counted with the participation of over 60 MS and PhD students, as well as post-docs from 3 Brazilean universities.
Participants in the course "Introduction to geomorphic dynamics of polar and mountain environments" at the Federal University of Viçosa (Brazil) in October 2011.
Gonçalo Vieira and Pedro Pina