Intensive course

ICG 2022 IAG-EGU Intensive Course for Young Geomorphologists on “Geomorphological changes in fire affected landscapes: field and laboratory techniques for soil erosion analysis”

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Event location: University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Date: 17 to 20 September 2022
Maximum number of participants: 25
Price: €550.00*

Aims and scope

Although the occurrence of forest fires and its impacts on Earth surface may be identified since the Carboniferous Period, some 300 to 350 million years before the present time, it is in the Holocene Epoch (the past 10,000 years), that it has been more significant, due to the major role humans have played in fire spread across the planet. Forest fires (or Wildland fires) are a generalised and recurrent problem. Although wildland fires are characteristic of certain regions and seasons, they occur with varying regularity and severity across almost every biome on Earth.

Fire is an important Earth system process and the primary terrestrial ecosystem disturbance agent on a global scale and it depends on vegetation characteristics, climate, and human activities, and generates feedbacks by affecting biogeochemical cycles, vegetation composition and structure, land, atmosphere, water and heat exchanges, atmospheric chemistry and composition, and human health and property. Fire is also a significant evolutionary force, and is one of the first tools that humans used to re-shape their world.

Wildland fires are also an important factor for soil degradation, being a major cause of desertification in most of the fire-prone forest lands in the world. Soil erosion is a global problem and, although it is more severe in developing countries, it has now become more of a concern in more technologically advanced countries. When this process takes place at rates higher than those of weathering and those necessary for soil formation, its loss is irreversible. Erosive processes, facilitated by the development of rills and gullies, which have a significant impact on agricultural land, also produce adverse effects downstream, namely sedimentation and the clogging of the bottoms of valleys, which can result in the obstruction of communication routes and destruction of other infrastructure and properties.

With this perspective in mind, the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) promotes the organization of the ICG 2022 IAG-EGU Intensive Course for Young Geomorphologists devoted to “Geomorphological changes in fire affected landscapes: field and laboratory techniques for soil erosion analysis”. The Intensive Course is dedicated to Early Career Scientists (hereafter ECS) and will be held in September 2022 in Guimarães (Northwestern Portugal), within the organization of the 10th International Conference of Geomorphology.

The northwestern region of Portugal is heavily affected by wildland fires, promoting significant impacts on soils, resulting in intense erosional processes occurring on slopes, especially during the first autumn rainfall events, contributing for an increased change on landforms and landscape transformation. Besides soil erosion, other geomorphological hazards are triggered after wildland fires, such as landslides and flash floods. This set of geomorphic processes, intimately related with the occurrence of wildland fires, threatens not only the quality and productivity of soils, but also the population and assets exposed to these recurrent events.

Being this region frequently affected by these hazards, it offers us an excellent field of work where we can observe and identify the effects of its occurrence. The area affected by the 2017 fire of Braga will be an area to visit, where we can witness the geomorphological consequences of forest fire followed by the storm Ana, characterized by intense rainfall.

Consequently, this Intensive Course will offer the possibility for ECS to train their skills in field recognition and survey of soil erosion in fire affected areas, in combination with laboratory techniques (soil analysis) and implementation of geospatial technologies (GIS and RS).

The present-day challenges associated to soil erosion and other interconnected geomorphological hazards management require young researchers in geomorphology to combine field activity with digital skills for data analysis and modelling, especially in geographical information systems, statistics, computer programming and remote sensing. Accordingly, the Intensive Course will also provide the participants with practical exercises on some of the internationally used analyses of geomorphological data in the field of soil erosion and geomorphological hazards. Participants will learn how to translate the collected field data into useful information for a wide array of scientific applications and geo-spatial problems.

This event is part of the IAG Training Programme and will be an extraordinary occasion for Early Career Scientists, and especially for those from less-favoured countries, to increase their knowledge in geomorphology and wildfires-related soil erosion and to do networking with experienced scientists and early career researchers in an informal and international context.

The event will be organized in collaboration with the EGU Geomorphology Division, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the aforementioned and the IAG.

The Intensive Course will be focused on specific topics of soil erosion and other geomorphological hazards like:

  • Basic concepts on soil erosion and geomorphological hazards related with fire affected areas
  • Post-fire soil erosion
  • Geomorphological field survey and soil erosion monitoring methodologies
  • Laboratorial techniques for soil analysis
  • GIS and statistical analysis
  • Remote sensing methods applied to burnt areas and soil erosion analysis
  • Strategies for soil erosion mitigation techniques in fire affected areas
  • Burnt areas management strategies

Lecturers/invited speakers

  • Maria José Roxo, New University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Lea Wittenberg, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Sílvio Rodrigues, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil
  • Tomás de Figueiredo, Polythecnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal
  • Marcos Francos, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • António Vieira, University of Minho, Portugal
  • António Bento Gonçalves, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Saulo Folharini, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sarah Santos, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Jorge Novais, University of Minho, Portugal

Programme committee

  • António Vieira, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sílvio Rodrigues, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil
  • Marta Della Seta, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy – IAG Training Officer
  • Susan Conway, University of Nantes, France
  • Marisa Palucis, Dartmouth College, USA
  • António Bento Gonçalves, University of Minho, Portugal
  • José Rocha, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sarah Santos, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Adélia Nunes, University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Isabel Paiva, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Organisation committee

  • António Vieira, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sílvio Rodrigues, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil
  • António Bento Gonçalves, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Saulo Folharini, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sarah Santos, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Jorge Novais, University of Minho, Portugal
  • José Rocha, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Sara Silva, University of Minho, Portugal

* The price of the intensive course includes transportation from Coimbra to Guimarães (17/09) and return (21/09), and during the two days of fieldwork, four nights of accommodation and breakfast, four lunches and four dinners, and documentation to support the course.

The International Association of Geomorphologists, in collaboration with the EGU, the French Geomorphology Group and COMLAND, supports this intensive course by offering a number of grants to favour the participation of Young Geomorphologists** worldwide who are willing to take part in the 10th International Conference on Geomorphology (Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 September 2022) and related Intensive Course for Young Geomorphologists (17 to 20 September).

Participants who have obtained a grant must also register and pay for the intensive course.

** Undergraduate or postgraduate - Masters/PhD students or scientists who have received their highest degree, i.e. BSc, MSc, or PhD, within the past seven years. Provided parental leave fell into that period, up to one year of parental leave time may be added per child, where appropriate.

Contact person:

Prof. Doutor António Avelino Batista Vieira
Universidade do Minho
Instituto de Ciências Sociais
Departamento de Geografia
Campus de Azurém
4800-058 Guimarães
Portugal

http://www.geografia.uminho.pt
vieira@geografia.uminho.pt
Tel.: +351 253510560 & +351 253510576