Paleolimnology in Azores: A powerful tool to detect climate and environmental changes.

  • Estado
  • Nome
    Pedro Miguel Valente Mendes Raposeiro
  • Entidade de acolhimento


The main objective of this research project is to obtain a high-resolution spatial and temporal reconstruction of the North Atlantic Oscillation climatic phenomenon at multiannual-decadal scale for the last 1,000 years, identify reference conditions of Azorean lakes from the multiproxy characterization of lacustrine sediments and develop integrated metrics that capture the inherent complexity of island, responding to the needs of the WFD.

This objective will be achieved following the tasks:

  1. Multiproxy high-resolution characterization of the sedimentary cores taken from the selected lake systems
  2. Paleolimnological and paleoclimate reconstruction at last 1,000 years
  3. Assessments of intra annual, decadal and interdecadal relationships between NAO and the surface climate of Azores
  4. Exploratory analysis between multiproxies from the sedimentary lacustrine cores and Azores instrumental climate timeseries
  5. Identification of reference conditions of Azorean lakes
  6. Develop and test integrated metrics that capture the inherent complexity of island ecosystems through a multi-scale approach in order to better understand local and regional mechanisms operating in these systems, responding to the needs of the WFD.

The main results of this project will give very valuable insights about the complex interactions between the NAO – precipitation – limnology of insular lakes, which will facilitate the design of sustainable strategies for their management at short-, mid and long-term temporal scales, allowing a conscious management, sustainable and effective the islands of the archipelago. Also, the identification of reference conditions would provide valuable information to develop and test metrics in order to better understand local and regional mechanisms operating in these systems, responding to the needs of the WFD.
The European Commission is encouraging the Member States to consider the future projections on climate variability and change, and the possible effects on water bodies ecological status, into the implementation of EU water policy, that is, in the assessment of pressures and impacts, monitoring program and adoption of measures. Although it is expected that first climate change related short term effects on water status will be caused more by human responses to climate change than by the climate change itself, the understanding of the long time evolution of lake responses in the past will help to make long term predictions and reduce the uncertainties related to the future effects on lake ecosystems, as well as to improve the design of monitoring program to detect first signals of climate change impacts.
This research project will be developed within the framework of the funded research project PaleoNAO (The role of NAO in Western Europe climate variability during the Late Glacial and Holocene based on Iberian and Azores Island lake cores and climate instrumental data, CGL2010-15767). An extensive coring campaign has planned to carried out in the Azores archipelago ensuring the availability of first-quality sediment cores as well as the funds to cover the expenses derived from the study of the samples.