Research on periglacial processes and landforms in the Serra da Estrela is being carried out by the University of Lisbon group. Current focus is on the study of the Pleistocene permafrost and periglacial landforms, their relationship to the glacial landforms and palaeoenvironmental significance. In the Limestone Massif of Estremadura the group is studying relict stratified slope deposits. The University of Coimbra group is studying the Serra do Caramulo area with a focus on relict periglacial slope deposits.

During the past year the investigations of Antarctic permafrost by the University of Lisbon group have developed further. A collaborative project with the Universities of Alcalá de Henares (Spain) and Zurich (Switzerland) was funded by the Spanish Antarctic Programme. This project is within the framework of the International Polar Year projects on Thermal State of Permafrost (TSP) and Antarctic Permafrost and Soils (ANTPAS). Field work focusing on geophysical and geomorphological survey in order to define the sites for borehole drilling is planned for January - February 2006. A project focusing on the installation of CALM-S sites in Livingston and Deception Islands is under preparation.

A proposal for a national committee for the International Polar Year is under evaluation and permafrost is planned to be a major theme in the Portuguese IPY.

Results of Portuguese research on periglacial environments have been presented in several international meetings in 2005, namely in the EGU conference in Vienna, EUCOP II in Potsdam and IAG conference in Zaragoza.

2005 was a especially significant year with Portugal being accepted as Associate Member of the IPA.

Gonçalo Vieira (