I am Associate Professor at IGOT - Universidade de Lisboa, where I teach Physical Geography and Remote Sensing. My research is developed within the Centro de Estudos Geográficos team on Climate Change and Environmental Systems (ZEPHYRUS) and I am also collaborator of the Centre of Northern Studies (University Laval, Quebec - Canada). My research focuses on changing permafrost and on the dynamics of Polar and mountain environments. I am especially interested on challenging frontier settings, both cold and warm and on the ways these environments are reacting to climate change. Since 2004, a part of my time is dedicated to the consolidation of the Portuguese Polar Program, which I coordinate. I have participated in 10 campaigns in the Antarctic Peninsula and 3 in the Arctic (Svalbard and Northern Quebec) and I am conducting research in mountains such as the serra da Estrela, the Middle and High Atlas (Morocco), the Fogo Volcano (Cape Verde) and the Patagonian Andes. Since September 2016 I am Science Coordinator at the Estrela Aspiring Geopark.
Gonçalo Vieira, PhD
Estrela Aspiring Geopark
The serra da Estrela has been one my main research areas for over two decades and I am currently contributing to the preparation of its application to a UNESCO Global Geopark. I am Scientific Coordinator at the Associação Geopark Estrela and in this framework, I am very active in preparing the application together with the AGE team at Instituto Politécnico da Guarda. The application involves 9 municipalities, several regional organizations and counts with the full support of the CEG/IGOT - Universidade de Lisboa.
EU-PolarNet is a H2020 EC funded SCA that aims at coordinating Polar science and logistics in Europe. I am especially active in task 3.1 "Polar Platforms: Research ships, stations, aircraft and autonomous instrumentation" where I am co-chair with Yves Frenot (French Polar Institute). My contribution is on the implementation of a database of European Polar infrastructure and I will also coordinate deliverables on access to infrastructure.
Dynamics of the ice-free environments of the Western Antarctic Peninsula
I have been working since 2000 in the western Antarctic Peninsula, one of the regions on Earth with fastest warming. I am interested in identifying changes in the dynamics of the ice-free areas, especially induced by modifications in permafrost. I am maintaining a series of permafrost and active layer observatories across ci. 450 km from King George Island to Anvers Island. Currently we are evaluating possible impacts of changing permafrost on infrastructure, such as research stations and airfields.
This research is a long-term collaboration with Miguel Ramos and Miguel Angel de Pablo (University of Alcalá, Spain), Gabriel Goyanes (Instituto Antártico Argentino), Carlos Schaefer (Univ. Federal de Viçosa, Brazil) and James Bockheim (Univ. Wisconsin-Madison).
Changing vegetation and water colour of permafrost thaw lakes, Sub-Arctic Canada
Vegetation is changing rapidly in the fast warming Arctic and permafrost thaw lake areas are major players on the global biogeochemical cycle of carbon. Since 2015 I have been working in the tundra-taiga zone of northwest Quebec in order to produce high resolution orthophotos and digital surface models of key ecological monitoring areas. For this purpose I use UAV-base remote sensing in cooperation with João Canário (CQE/IST) and Warwick Vincent (CEN/ULaval).
Does permafrost occur in North Africa?
The high mountain environments of Morocco are still poorly known in what concerns to climate and to periglacial activity. In a collaboration with Ali Faleh (Univ Sidi Mohammed Ben Adbellah, Fès) and Carla Mora (CEG/IGOT - ULisboa), in 2015, we have installed a number of air and ground surface temperature dataloggers in the Middle and High Atlas, with the objective to obtain a first characterization of the ground thermal regime and temperature lapse rates. In 2016 we expect to collect a full year of temperature data, which will allow for a first insight into the potential for permafrost occurrence in the High Atlas. Detailed geomorphological mapping is also being conducted.
Glacial and periglacial geomorphology of the serra da Estrela, Portugal
Pleistocene glacial and periglacial environments in the serra da Estrela (Portugal)
Since my PhD thesis research I kept linked to the serra da Estrela range in Central Portugal and especially to glacial and periglacial geomorphology. I am currently supervising Alexandre Nieuwendam, a PhD candidate working on the interpretation of the paleoenvironmental significance of cold slope processes, including permafrost in the Estrela. I have also some ongoing research on dating of glacial phenomena with some results on the way, as a collaboration with David Palacios (Univ. Complutense Madrid).
Large landslides in the Patagonian Andes
Rapidly retreating glaciers in the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares (Patagonia Argentina) induce intense paraglacial activity in the valleys, which include a number of very large landslides. Our main interest is on large landslides in lake margins and focus has been on the Brazo Upsalla of the Argentino Lake, where a very large landslide in 2013 has generated a tsunami that significantly damaged infrastructure in the lake margin. We visited the area in 2015 and conducted a preliminary UAV-based mapping of the landslide, having found that a new landslide is developing in the area, induced significant risk. Currently, I am collaborating with Gabriel Goyanes (IAA) and the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares in order to further study the landslide dynamics and to promote management measures for the area.
Mapping of the Fogo volcano caldera (Cape Verde Islands)
The Fogo Volcano in Cape Verde erupted in late 2014 having affected numerous infrastructure and human activities in the caldera. Within the FCT funded project FIRE, our team will map the main lava flows of the recent eruptions and will produce high resolution digital surface models of the caldera in order to improve modelling of lava flow paths in future eruptions.
ZEPHYRUS - Research Group on Climate Change and Environmental Systems
Centro de Estudos Geográficos - Universidade de Lisboa