The Earth Surface Processes group investigates coastal Natural Hazards, Climate Change at different time-scales and hydrological Resources. The group measures, monitors and models external geodynamics from source to sink, at the interface biosphere-lithosphere-hydrosphere using expertise in coastal processes, geomorphology, engineering geology, hydrogeology, paleontology, sedimentology, remote sensing/geospatial information.
Scientific Highlights 2017
IDL developed models to assess impacts of storm events and climate change on coastal systems, including vulnerability mapping methods for both sandy and rocky coasts and methods to evaluate changes in low energy intertidal domains. New conceptual models were developed, challenging existing forcing-response mechanisms (e.g. platform beaches, saltmarshes), based on a better understanding of system functioning and sensitivity to environmental changes, and supported by extensive monitoring based on standard acquisition techniques and state-of-the-art observation systems developed within the research team.
Tsunami deposit research
IDL developed sedimentological methodologies (e.g. microtextural analysis, high-resolution digital image analysis and geochemistry XRF – analyses, heavy minerals, magnetic susceptibility, micromorphology, ground penetrating radar, etc.) to study tsunami and storm deposits, with a focus on Holocene cases in Portugal, Scotland, Chile, Japan, Indonesia, and the USA. The group also developed numerical and physical modelling (e.g. wave tanks and sediment transport modelling software). This approach allowed for improved reconstructions of past tsunami and storm variables, such as run-up height, sediment provenance, inundation extent, and backwash and inundation phases.