LOAI’s overarching aim is the comprehensive study of terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric systems, as well as their interactions, using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach. LOAI further promotes the interaction with other research areas, providing know-how and cooperating in multidisciplinary research, and supports policy makers and stakeholders, with new data, models and tools towards a better management and decision making.
The team has a vast expertise in hydrology, oceanography, coastal and ocean dynamics, climate and atmosphere dynamics, and experience in advanced monitoring methodologies, remote sensing and GIS, as well as statistical and numerical modelling.
There are four core topics, each coordinated by a team member:
Atmosphere and climate dynamics (coordinated by Irina Gorodetskaya) – focuses on the atmospheric dynamics, water cycle and impacts on precipitation and surface energy balance, spanning from meteorological phenomena to climate change; a particular focus is on the drivers and impacts of extreme weather events, such as the atmospheric rivers; methodologies span in situ and remote sensing measurements, statistical analysis and regional climate modeling; the regions of focus are the Polar regions – Antarctica and Arctic – and Europe.
Coastal and ocean dynamics (coordinated by Clara Lázaro) – focuses on large- to small-scale oceanic, coastal and estuarine processes. Methods applied are the implementation and application of numerical hydrodynamic and biogeochemical models and the improvement and exploration of remote sensing data (satellite altimetry and multispectral imagery) to: characterise the deep sea, open-ocean, coastal and estuarine circulation; represent their interaction with the atmosphere, species and ecosystems; understand the variability and trends of the systems, and forecast the effects of anthropogenic intervention, extreme events and climate change, simultaneously assessing their risks and impacts.
Coastal monitoring and management (coordinated by José A. Gonçalves) – focuses on the observation and management of coastal systems, assessing: coastal and estuarine water conditions, including underwater noise; land and river/estuarine/ocean bottom morphodynamics; coastal erosion risk and management; land cover, habitat and species distribution. Methods used are mainly UAS remote sensing, with optical multispectral and thermal sensors.
Water resources systems (coordinated by Rodrigo Maia) – focusses on the study of water resources and their management; sediment transport and river hydraulics; hydrological and fluvial processes and their effects on communities and the environment; solutions to mitigate negative impacts and to restore river and estuarine water systems. Methods applied include hydrological and hydraulic modelling; study of extreme events (floods and droughts) and water scarcity; development and application of decision support tools for water resources management; evaluation of water policy and governance; new analytical and experimental technologies for sediment transport studies; and computational modelling of rivers and aquifers behaviour.
LOAI Co-PI: Isabel Iglesias