Marcelo Fernandes and José María Fernández have finished a short research visit from September to October at the Laboratoire National des Nucléides Cosmogéniques (LN2C) – Centre Européen de Recherche et d’Enseignement des Géosciences de l’Environnement (CEREGE), in Aix-en-Provence (France). The aim of this visit was to perform the physical and chemical processing of 47 rock samples from Val d’Aran (Central Pyrenees) and the Fildes peninsula (King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica) conducting for the extraction of 10Be and 36Cl cosmogenic nuclides, used for the application of cosmic-ray exposure dating. This technique will allow to date the deglaciation from the last glacial-interglacial transition in both study areas, giving answer to the research objectives of Marcelo Fernandes’s PhD thesis and the NUNANTAR Project.
CEG Zephyrus P&M was in the Serra da Estrela in September together with a team from CERENA-IST and UBI for conducting UAV LiDAR surveys and terrestrial laser scanner in areas where vegetation density poses problems for ground elevation mapping using optical drones. We expect with this approach will be especially useful for mapping the Fonte Santa moraine close to Manteigas. Surveys were also conducted in the Covão do Teixo area.
In September the ZP&M team has been in the field with the CERENA-IST team to support the PhD research of André Texugo on the archaeology of 5K BP human settlements in the Estremadura region. The team has been surveying several archaeological sites were dense vegetation induces major limitations for terrain analysis. The use of a drone-based LiDAR will allow to mitigate the vegetation effects and improve the 3D mapping of the sites.
From 4 to 12 September the Zephryus Polar & Mountain Research Team was in the Serra da Estrela to continue the rock sampling aiming at a better understanding on the chronology of the Estrela glaciation. This time the focus was on the plateau areas. UAV surveying of geosites was also conducted using both optical and multispectral cameras. The field work counted with the support of the Estrela UNESCO Global Geopark team.
The project TERRANOVA team has conducted its field season in the Serra da Estrela mountain in Central Portugal in July and September 2020. TERRANOVA stands for “Tor exhumation rates and soil erosion: relation between non-glaciated and formerly vastly glaciated areas” and is a new project lead by the University of Zurich (Gerald Raab, Markus Egli and Wasja Dollenmeier), with the participation of Polar2E through the CEG/IGOT Zephryus Polar & Mountain Research Group (Gonçalo Vieira), University of Wroclaw (Piotr Migon), Boku (Christopher Luthgens) and University of Calabria (Fabio Scarciglia). The team has been surveying and sampling tors and glacial landforms and deposits in the Estrela UNESCO Global Geopark plateaus, to unravel their chronology and better understand the landscape evolution in this granite mountain. The project counts with the collaboration of the Estrela Geopark team and is funded by the University of Zurich.
More information: https://www.geraldraab.com/projects/terra-nova/
Between the 4th and the 26th of July, Marcelo Fernandes, Marc Oliva and José María Fernández conducted field work with researchers from the AntAlp (University of Barcelona) and the GFAM (Complutense University of Madrid) research groups, in the Aran valley (Central Pyrenees). Together they have collected rock samples for Cosmic Ray Exposure dating to unveil the chronology of the glacial advances/stabilizations during the deglaciation in the Upper Garonne valley. From the terminal basin (400 m) to highest glacial cirque (2400 m), more than 90 samples were collected on moraine boulders, erratics, polished surfaces and rock glacier boulders. Beside the glacial evolution, the chronology of the transition stage between the glacial and the periglacial domains is also pursuit in this research.
Gonçalo Vieira was elected member of the Executive Committee of the International Permafrost Association in the last Council Meeting in June . He agreed to serve as one of the IPA Vice-Presidents and was appointed to this position by the Executive Committee for the period of 2020-2022.
The Executive Committee of the IPA for 2020-2022 is:
– Christopher Burn (Canada), President
– Isabelle Gärtner-Roer (Switzerland), Vice-President
– Gonçalo Vieira (Portugal), Vice-President
– Kjersti Gisnas (Norway)
– Michael Krautblatter (Germany)
– Yuanming Lai (China)
– Fritz Nelson (USA)
The International Permafrost Association, founded in 1983, has as its objectives to foster the dissemination of knowledge concerning permafrost and to promote cooperation among persons and national or international organizations engaged in scientific investigation and engineering work on permafrost.
More information at https://ipa.arcticportal.org.
New Paper! Reconstructing cold climate paleoenvironments from micromorphological analysis of relict slope deposits (Serra da Estrela, Central Portugal)
The paper focuses on analysis of macro‐ and micromorphological characteristics of relict slope deposits in Serra da Estrela (Portugal) to understand the significance of different slope processes and paleoenvironmental settings. Micromorphology is a useful sedimentology technique allowing significant advances compared to macroscopic techniques. Results show that different processes are involved in the development of the slope deposits, reflecting different environmental conditions. The main processes responsible for the emplacement of the relict slope deposits are solifluction, debris‐flow and runoff, but postdepositional changes are also present. Solifluction was identified in slope deposits between 650 and 1500 m a.s.l. The common microfeatures identified are circular arrangement of grains with a core grain, rounded vesicles, vertical grains, matrix deformations and fine‐grained deposits. Slope deposits above 1300 m a.s.l have a platy microstructure and coincide with the altitudinal range of the relict rock glaciers, indicating the elevation limit of permafrost. Below this altitude platy microstructures are less frequent. Slope deposits in north‐facing slopes were affected by frost‐induced processes in a seasonal frost regime, followed by a postdeposition illuvial phase. Debris‐flow and runoff were identified in slope deposits between 680 and 1260 m a.s.l. The common microfeatures are oblique grains, grain dumps, and coarse and fine grain lineations, and banded microstructures were identified in runoff processes. Debris‐flow deposits have a circular arrangement of grains without a core grain, identified in sediments in paraglacial and periglacial environments. The slope deposits show evidence of past periods of enhanced periglacial activity since the last glaciation until the Younger Dryas.
Nieuwendam, A., Woronko, B., Schaefer, C., & Johansson, M. (2020). Reconstructing cold climate paleoenvironments from micromorphological analysis of relict slope deposits (Serra da Estrela, Central Portugal). Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. https://doi.org/10.1002/ppp.2054
ZEPHYRUS Polar & Mountain Research Team members Gonçalo Vieira and Carla Mora, together with José Luís Zêzere (RISKAM/CEG) have edited the book Landforms and Landscapes of Portugal, integrated in the Springer collection World Geomorphological Landscapes.
Landforms and Landscapes of Portugal brings together contributions from 47 authors, presenting a thorough overview of the main highlights of the landscape of Portugal’s mainland. The book, which is a tribute to Professor António de Brum Ferreira, first President of the Portuguese Association of Geomorphologists and former Professor at the University of Lisbon, is organized in five parts: a) Geomorphological setting, dynamics and hazards, b) Coasts, c) Mountains and valleys, d) Urban areas and e) The Portuguese UNESCO Geoparks. This is the first book in English to concentrate on the geomorphology of Portugal and is a benchmark for Portuguese geomorphology.