Pedro J.M. Costa


Job: Lecturer

Research Group: RG2 – Earth Surface Processes
Position at IDL: Group Coordinator


Room: Torre C, 506

Academic Degree and field of specialization:

Current position – Lecturer – Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal

2012 PhD in Geology Departamento de Geologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal

2006 Master in Geography and Earth Sciences (Sedimentology) Dep. of Geography and Earth Sciences, School for the Environment, Brunel University, London, UK

2002 BSc in Geology, “Licenciatura pré-Bolonha” (5-year degree) Departamento de Ciências da Terra, Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal


Scientific Informations




Research Gate:

Google Scholar:

Scientific Interests

Main Interests:

My research focus on the study of coastal processes using geomorphological and sedimentological data coupled with physical and numerical modeling to understand morphological and sediment changes caused by natural hazards (e.g. tsunamis and storms) and their impacts on the environment.

I also work on the establishment of provenance relationships in siliciclastic sediments, aspects of aeolian sediment transport, Antarctic soils, Mars geology and geoarchaeological studies.



Coastal and marine geology; Natural hazards; Tsunami and Storm deposits; Sedimentology, Sedimentary dynamics; Provenance studies; Sediment transport modelling


Selected Publications:

  1. 2020 Costa, P.J.M., Dawson, S., Ramalho, R., Engel, M., Dourado, F., Bosnic, I. & Andrade, C. A review on onshore tsunami deposits along the Atlantic coasts, Earth-Science Reviews, 2020, 103441, ISSN 0012-8252,
  2. 2020 Costa, P.J.M. & Andrade, C. 2020, "Tsunami deposits: Present knowledge and future challenges", Sedimentology, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 1189-1206.
  3. 2020 Dunkl, I., von Eynatten, H., Andò, S., Lünsdorf, K., Morton, A., Alexander, B., Aradi, L., Augustsson, C., Bahlburg, H., Barbarano, M. , Benedictus, A., Cascalho, J., Costa P., et al. 2020, Comparability of heavy mineral data–The first interlaboratory round robin test. Earth-Science Reviews, p.103210.
  4. 2019 Dawson, A.G., Dawson, S., Bondevik, S., Costa, P.J.M., Hill, J., Stewart, I. Reconciling Storegga tsunami sedimentation patterns with modelled wave heights: A discussion from the Shetland Isles field laboratory (2019) Sedimentology. DOI: 10.1111/sed.12643
  5. 2019 Říha, K., Křupka, A., Costa, P.J.M. Image analysis applied to quartz grain microtextural provenance studies (2019) Computers and Geosciences, 125, 98-108. 10.1016/j.cageo.2019.01.007
  6. 2018 Costa, P.J. M., Gelfenbaum, G., Dawson, S., La Selle, S., Milne, F., Cascalho, J., Ponte Lira, C., Andrade, C. Freitas, M.C. and Jaffe, B., (2018). The application of microtextural and heavy mineral analysis to discriminate between storm and tsunami deposits. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Volume 456, Tsunamis: Geology, Hazards and Risks. Scourse, E. M., Chapman, N. A., Tappin, D. R. and Wallis, S. R. (eds), p. 167-190. doi:10.1144/SP456.7
  7. 2017 Costa, P.J. M., Kim, Y. D., Park, Y. S., Quintela, M., Mahaney, W. C., Dourado, F. and Dawson, S. (2017). Imprints in silica grains induced during a wave flume experiment: approach to determine microtextural signatures during aqueous transport. Journal of Sedimentary Research, Volume 87 (7), 677-687 doi: 10.2110/jsr.2017.39
  8. 2017 Moreira, S.,Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Ponte Lira, C., Freitas, M.C., Oliveira, M.A. and Reichart, G.-J., (2017). High resolution geochemical and grain-size analysis of the AD 1755tsunami deposit: Insights on the inland extent and inundation phases. Marine Geology,Available online 19 April 2017 ISSN 0025-3227,
  9. 2017 Wang, G., Li, J., Ravi, S., Van Pelt, S., Costa, P.J. M., and David, D., (2017). Tracer techniques in aeolian research: Approaches, applications, and challenges. Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 170, 1-16
  10. 2016 Costa, P.J. M., Costas, S., Oliveira, M.A., González-Villanueva, R., Roelvink, D., Andrade, C., Freitas, M.C., Cunha, P.P., Martins, A., Buylaert, J.P. and Murray, A. (2016). How did the AD 1755 tsunami impact on sand barriers across the southern coast of Portugal? Geomorphology, Volume 268, 296-311
  11. 2015 Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Cascalho, J., Dawson, A. G., Freitas, M. C., Paris, R. and Dawson, S., (2015). Onshore tsunami sediment transport mechanisms inferred from heavy mineral assemblages. The Holocene, Volume 25, no. 5, 795-809. doi: 10.1177/0959683615569322
  12. 2013 Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Mahaney, W. C., da Silva, F. M., Freire, P., Freitas, M. C., Janardo, C., Oliveira, M. A., Silva, T. and Lopes, V., (2013). Aeolian microtextures in silica spheres induced in a wind tunnel experiment: Comparison with aeolian quartz. Geomorphology, 180, 120-129. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.09.011. issn: 0169-555X
  13. 2012 Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Dawson, A. G., Mahaney, W. C., Freitas, M. C., Paris, R. and Taborda, R., (2012). Microtextural characteristics of quartz grains transported and deposited by tsunamis and storms. Sedimentary Geology, 275, 55-69. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2012.07.013. issn: 0037-0738
  14. 2012 Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Freitas, M. C., Oliveira, M. A., Lopes, V., Dawson, A. G., Moreno, J., Fatela, F. and Jouanneau, J. M., (2012). A tsunami record in the sedimentary archive of the central Algarve coast, Portugal: Characterizing sediment, reconstructing sources and inundation paths. The Holocene, 22, 8, 899-914. doi: 10.1177/0959683611434227. issn: 0959-6836
  15. 2011 Costa, P.J. M., Andrade, C., Freitas, M. C., Oliveira, M. A., da Silva, C. M., Omira, R., Taborda, R., Baptista, M. A. and Dawson, A. G., (2011). Boulder deposition during major tsunami events. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 36, 15, 2054-2068. issn: 0197-9337


Projects (most relevant):

• Set 2018 – August 2021 – PI- OnOff – Coupling onshore and offshore tsunami record: complementary tools for a broader perspective on tsunami events. Budget: 236 520 euros. Participating institutions: Instituto D.Luiz (FCUL), Instituto Hidrográfico, Universidade do Algarve, Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente, Aachen University (Alemanha) and United States Geological Survey. Funded by FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. Project website

• Sept 2020 - Aug 2023 – Task leader - Pre-defined Project 2 for National Roadmap for Adaptation XXI - Portuguese Territorial Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for XXI Century . Funded by EEA Grants (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway Grants).

• November 2020- October 2023 – TSUNASTORM - Distinguishing tsunami and storm deposits affected by postdepositional processes – a multi-proxy approach (TSUNASTORM). PI - Witold Szczucinski (Poznan Univ.). Funded by Polish National Science Centre.

• August 2018 – July 2021 – Research team member – UNTIeD: UNlocking the megaTsunamI Deadlock: using the near-source impacts to constrain tsunami generation by volcanic flank collapses. Budget: 239 800 euros. Participating institutions: Instituto D.Luiz (FCUL), Instituto Hidrográfico, etc. (PI – Ricardo Ramalho). Funded by FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia.

• Jan 2019-Dec 2021 – Wetlands vulnerability: impact of pollution, climate change and extreme events. Research team member, Funded by FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. 

• Sept 2016 to March 2021 – Task leader - “Desastres Naturais: Tsunamis no Rio de Janeiro: Pensando o impensável" Funded by Governo do Estado do Rio de Janeiro e a Secretaria de Ciência e Tecnologia e Inovação, por meio da FAPERJ, Brazil (IP – Francisco Dourado).

• Nov 2019 – Feb 2021 – Scientific Consultancy for Secretaria Regional dos Assuntos do Mar of project UCRA – Rounded cobble in the Azores - Utilização do Calhau Rolado nos Açores – Caracterização, Diagnóstico e Plano de Gestão.

• Sept 2017- Dec 2020 – Task leader - “Die offshore Ablagerungen des Lissabon-Tsunamis von 1755 (Algarve, Portugal): Erhaltung, sedimentgeochemische Charakterisierung und palökologische Auswirkungen eines extremen Naturereignisses" Funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaf (DFG; German Research Foundation)

• Novembro 2017 – Co-chief Scientist – “Geological and geophysical data offshore the Algarve – Oceanographic campaign on board of Navio Research Vessel METEOR – Mission M152″. Funded Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaf (DFG; German Research Foundation (PI – Klaus Reicherter).

• September 2016 to present –  – “Protocolo de Colaboração com Câmara Municipal de Vila do Bispo” Colaborating in sedimentological and archeological studies and member of the local museum scientific board

• January 2015 to December 2018 – Task leader – “Eventos de oleaje extremo en el area atlantica ibero-magrebi: el registro geologico de tsunamis y ciclones durante el holoceno”. Funded by Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación of the Ministerio de Economía Y Competitividad (Spain) (PI – Javier Lario Gomez). Total amount funded: 45 000 euros

• October 2014 to present – Collaboration with the United States Geological Survey in the sedimentological and geomorphological characterization of Hurricane Sandy Washover in Fire Island (New Jersey)

• October  2012 to Dec 2019 – Research team member – “Will climate change in the Arctic increase the landslide-tsunami risk to the UK?” Funded by Natural Environment Research Council – UK. (PI – Pete Talling, Task leader – Sue Dawson). Budget: £2.3 million

• September 2007 to present – Collaboration in scientific projects in the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. Projectos including: coastal monitoring programs, tracer experiments, holocene paleoenvironmental studies (Projects funded by FCT, Câmaras Municipais, Direcções Gerais, etc.)


Books & Chapters (selected):

  • 2020 Costa, P. (2020). Microtextures in tsunami deposits – a useful sediment fingerprinting tool in Pilarczyk, J.E., Engel, M.  May, M., Garret, E. and Brill, D. Editors (Eds.), Geological Records of Tsunamis and other Extreme Waves, pp. 838, Elsevier. 
  • 2020 Dawson, S., Costa, P., Dawson, A. and Engel, M. (2020). Onshore archives of tsunami deposits in Pilarczyk, J.E., Engel, M.  May, M., Garret, E. and Brill, D. Editors (Eds.), Geological Records of Tsunamis and other Extreme Waves, pp. 838, Elsevier.
  • 2020 Costa, Pedro J.M., Feist, L., Dawson, A., Stewart, I., Reicherter, K., Andrade, C. (in press). An overview on offshore tsunami deposits. Book: Tsunamiites Features and Implications, 2nd Edition. Edited by Shiki, T. and Nanayama F. Published by Elsevier.
  • 2020 Costa, Pedro J.M., Lario, J., Reicherter, K. (in press). Tsunami deposits in Atlantic Iberia: a succinct review. Edited by Manuel Alvarez Aguilar. Published by Springer. 
  • 2017 Costa, P.J.M., and Andrade, C. (2017). 5th International Tsunami Field Symposium – Field Guide. 97 pages. isbn: 978-989-20-7817-5_2
  • 2017 Costa, P.J.M., Andrade, C. and Freitas, M.C. – Editors – (2017). 5th International Tsunami Field Symposium – Volume of Abstracts. 131 pages
  • 2016 Costa, P.J.M., Oliveira, M. A., González-Villanueva, R., Andrade, C. and Freitas, M. C., (2016). Imprints of the AD 1755 Tsunami in Algarve (South Portugal) Lowlands and Post-impact Recovery. In: V. Santiago-Fandiño, H. Tanaka, M. Spiske (Eds.), Tsunamis and Earthquakes in Coastal Environments: Significance and Restoration. Springer International Publishing, 17-30. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28528-3_2
  • 2016 Andrade, C., Freitas, M. C., Oliveira, M. A. and Costa, P.J.M., (2016). On the sedimentological and historical evidences of seismic-triggered tsunamis on the Algarve coast of Portugal. Natural Hazards and Plate Tectonics. 29 pp. Edited by Duarte, J. Published by AGU/Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-05397-2.
  • 2015 Costa, P.J.M., (2015). Sediment transport. Encyclopedia of Estuaries, 8 pp. Editor Kennish, M. J. Published by Springer Science. ISBN: 978-94-017-8800-7
  • 2014 Costa, P.J.M. and Dawson, S., (2014). Tsunami Sedimentology. In: A.R. Meyers (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 1-17.
  • 2014 Costa, P.J.M., Andrade, C. and Dawson, S., (2014). Geological recognition of onshore tsunami deposits. Series: Coastal Research Library, Vol. 8 Advances in Coastal and Marine Resources Environmental Management and Governance, 28 pp. Edited by Finkl, C. W., Makowski, Christopher Published by Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-06305-8_1


Pedagogical profile:

• Supervisions - over 20 BSc final dissertations, 6 MSc thesis, 2 PhD thesis and 1 postdoctoral supervision

• 2019-2021 - Co-coordinator of MSc program in Dinâmicas Sociais, Riscos Naturais e Tecnológicos (Univ. Coimbra)

• 2019-2021 – Lecturer\Professor of Geologia Geral, Cartografia Geológica I, Geomatemática and Cartografia Geológica II (BSc in Geology), Análise e Gestão de Riscos Naturais, Fatores e Análise do Risco and Métodos de Apoio à Decisão em Ciências do Risco (MSc in Social Dynamics, Natural anda Technological Risks), Geologia Geral (MSc in Environmental Engeneering) from the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Coimbra.

•  2017-2019 – Member of the Scientific Committee (Departamento de Geologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa)

•  2014-2019 – Invited lecturer of Geologia Geral e Campo (BSc in Geologia), Geologia (BSc in Biologia), Projecto (BSc in Geologia) e Geological Field Trip (EarthSystems PhD program) of the Departamento de Geologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa)

•  2010-2014 – Invited Lecturer on SIG's, Processos Costeiros, Geomorfologia, Geologia Geral, Riscos at the Departamento de Geologia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

•  2002-2004 - Part-time Lecturer on Introduction to Physical Geography, Coastal Hazards and Natural Catastrophes on the BSc program in Physical Geography of the Dep. of Geography and Earth Sciences, School for the Environment, Brunel University, UK

A sua fotografia