Centro de Geofísica
IGUC - Home
Centre for Geophysics

Centre for Geophysics of the University of Coimbra - CGUC

The Centre

The Geophysical Institute of the University of Coimbra (Instituto Geofísico da Universidade de Coimbra - IGUC) was founded in 1864, when the first climatological measurements began. Shortly after, in 1866, the geomagnetic observatory was installed (it is still the only one in Portugal and the European westernmost), and in 1907 the seismic station recorded the first seismograms. The data-series are uninterrupted until today and, in these 140 years, have been the support for countless research studies, both in Portugal and abroad. A group of researchers gathered and decided that it was time to begin working within the framework of a formally organised and funded research centre: the Centre for Geophysics of the University of Coimbra (CGUC), taking advantage of the infrastructural facilities that are granted by IGUC. The creation of this centre enabled:

bulletTo integrate common efforts, preventing dispersion and optimising resources.
bulletTo work within a multidisciplinary environment, as the team comes from different backgrounds: Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering and Planetary Science.
bulletTo bring the present orientations of masters (8), doctorate (1) and postdoc (2) work into a common scientific and logistic framework.
bulletTo integrate national and international scientific relations in a common institutional framework.
bulletTo prevent the termination of such long data-series - a certain fate, in the near future, due to the aging of the equipments and to the increasing cultural noise.

Work in the new Centre, will be developed along three research lines:

A. Solid Planet - whose present work themes includes:

  1. Numerical modelling of seismicity.
  2. Seismotectonic characterisation of the Portuguese Mainland.
  3. To enable a continued access of the scientific community to the records of the geomagnetic observatory.
  4. Support for graduate students research in Geophysics.

B. Atmosphere/Lithosphere Interface - whose present work themes includes:

  1. Environmental monitoring and identification of patterns in climatic variations.
  2. Hydrology and environmental susceptibility.
  3. Support for graduate students research in Geophysics.

C. Planetary Science - whose present work themes includes:

  1. Thematic mapping of terrestrial planets.
  2. Automatic mapping.
  3. Support for graduate students research in Planetary Science.

IGUC was granted the statute of Recognized Collaborating Laboratory (RCL) by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Mars Express Mission. The Centre's members will cooperate actively in the formation of young scientists, not only by tutoring postgraduate students but also by lecturing specialisation courses. The first course on geophysical logging was held in 2002, in collaboration with Pedro Nunes Institute, three short courses on teaching geophysics were held in the same year and the first advanced course on planetary imaging was held in 2003.