C4G is a distributed research infrastructure
“Collaboratory: an organizational entity that spans distance, supports rich and recurring human interaction oriented to a common research area (…), and provides access to data sources, artifacts, and tools required to accomplish research tasks” (Bos, 2007).
The Collaboratory for Geosciences (C4G) is a distributed research infrastructure (RI) that promotes the networking of researchers and the sharing of equipment, data, collections and tools in Solid Earth Sciences (SES). C4G comprises the disciplines of geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, geodesy, geophysics, geomechanics and geomathematics, and provides services in the transversal areas of georesources, natural hazards and the environment, for the Portuguese territory, onshore and offshore. C4G integrates a very comprehensive but scattered range of human and material resources, boosting their value to the research community, to industry and to the Society at large. C4G will join its European counterparts in the ESFRI project European Plate Observing System (EPOS), promoting Portugal as a service provider in the international research arena.
Players – C4G includes all the relevant SES players in Portugal: LNEG is the national geological survey, with competences in natural resources, geologic hazards and geo-environment; IPMA is the national authority for earthquake monitoring and geomagnetism; DGT maintains the national geodetic network. In addition C4G encompasses six universities and one private institution. A novel e.infrastructure will be implemented to harness the power of the distributed resources, easing effective collaboration, allowing remote access to products and services, and acting as a national node of the EPOS e.infrastructure.
Strategic relevance – C4G is based at Covilhã, a city with flourishing software and internet-related industries, and embraces the notion that service-oriented research e.infrastructures have a role in the development of the country’s interior. The topics addressed by C4G are of prime strategic relevance at all levels. The exploration, characterization, exploitation, recycling and efficient use of georesources are generalized strategic goals, inevitable in any agenda for sustainability.
Geo-hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, coastal erosion, floods, draughts, landslides, etc) are a main concern for most regions. Monitoring environmental quality and predicting environmental impacts is mandatory at national level, and is also a European priority. C4G will capacitate the SES community for excellence, will invigorate the relationship between governmental agencies, industry and academia, and will back up training, all of which are national targets.
The PI of C4G coordinates EPOS-PP WG4 and recently led a successful application to include an Integrated European GNSS RI in the upcoming H2020 calls. A successful C4G application will place UBI in an excellent position to host the EPOS Geodesy thematic node and to become a key international service provider in EU Geosciences.
Key-Words: Solid Earth science; Georesources; Natural hazards; Environment monitoring; Continental and oceanic sub-surface; Earth observation networks and E-infrastructure