Research

The dynamics of the lithosphere at different temporal and spatial scales is the main goal. Research encompasses multidisciplinary geological and geophysical studies: structural mapping combined with advanced microscope digital analysis and geochemistry; seismic, geoelectric, magnetic, gravimetric and high-precision down hole temperature measurements methods to infer the internal complex structure of oceanic and continental lithosphere. Such combination of techniques will be used mostly in 3 main approaches:

  1. We concentrate our efforts in the Meso-Cenozoic Portuguese continental crust and its oceanic extension (in cooperation with the Portuguese Continental Shelf Extension – EMEPC). The recent geodynamical evolution is accessed, in interplate domains (e.g. Azores complex rift, Iberia/Africa boundary), and at intraplate ones (e.g. Pangaea break up and in the alpine reworking of previous major anisotropies).

  1. Understand the geodynamical context of magmatic, metamorphic and deformation processes. Studies focus on the Variscan and Cadomian deformation in Portugal, and its correlation with the Spanish and Moroccan sectors, having an important connection with several mineralization episodes (focus of Georesources and Geomaterials group).

iii. Seismic hazard using a new methodology combining seismic source studies and ground motion modelling with a 3D velocity model covering a wide geographic area (western part of the Eu?Nu plate boundary, Africa and Ibero-Maghrebian area) and a range of topics within the field of active tectonics – the most up-to-date deformation processes that affect the Earth’s crust, resulting in earthquakes or recent deformations in the planet?s faults and folds -, and seismic risks.

  1. The scientific capacity in the field of the Earth interior structure led to invitations for some members to be engaged in the emerging area of Archaeological Geophysics, in which they participate in multidisciplinary teams that study archaeological sites.9.3.2 Identification and summary description of up to 3 contributions deemed most important of those provided in 2013-2017 by researchers who belong to the Research Group in the current R&D Unit application

Several national and international projects were carried out in the domain of Lithosphere Geodynamics, competitively funded, in collaboration with international network of researchers (European, Mediterranean and African countries). The major achievements are the following:

1) Seismic Hazard, Active tectonics and temperature mapping: the Group developed and published:

(i) the first Maximum observed intensity maps of Algeria, Portugal Continental and Azores Islands based on a wide variety of historical and recent earthquakes;

(ii) the first Earthquake hazard Maps in North Africa based on Neo-deterministic seismic hazard assessment;

(iii) we collaborated in the construction of the first Seismotectonic Map of Africa funded by the UNESCO. These seismic and tectonic maps are novel and have been published for the first time;

(iv) new insights into the reconstructed temperature in Portugal over the last 400-years;

(v) Significant Results of Geoelectrical Surveys in the Area of Crater 70, Deception Island, Maritime Antarctica, where ICT member A. Correia is the PI of the Project HYDROTOMO – Geoelectric study of permafrost and the active layer and its possible influence on the evolution of ecosystems near the Korean Antarctic Base and the Peruvian Antarctic Base.

2)Iberian Variscan Fold Belt:

we developed and published:

  1. i) Models for granitic intrusions based in structural, magnetic fabric, gravity modelling and fluid inclusions data;
  2. ii) The Ibero-Armorican Arc in the context of the Pre- Pangean Southern Europe;

iii) Several approaches to shear zone dynamics, from finite strain methods and shearband boudin microstructures to the exhumation of migmatites along a major Iberian shear zone;

  1. iv) Dating of major Cenozoic tectonic events in Central Portugal and their interaction with the fluvial and lithological constraints controlling the fluvial landscape.

3)Archaeological Geophysics:

The scientific capacities of ICT with regard to the study of Earth’s interior structure, together with some related equipment recently acquired, led some members to be invited to collaborate with other I&D units in archeological projects to which the emerging area of Archaeological Geophysics is fundamental. Of this activity, we highlight:

  1. i) localization of vestiges of the Iron Age temple, in votive deposit found in Garvão (south Portugal);
  2. ii) establishment of the material and human resources applied in the exploration of the archaeological heritage;

iii) investigation of systems capable of taking advantage of the synergies between Precision Agriculture, Geophysics and Archeology for a better knowledge of the Archaeological heritage in the most superficial layers of the soil;

  1. iv) multidisciplinary project to implement in the Roman Archaeological complex of Pisões that will incorporate an Experimental Geoarchaeologic Field to support geophysics valences of research, academic and professional training is directed by a ICT member of this group.
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