Tungsten Hard, dense and very resistant to corrosion ore. It is the element which has the highest fusion temperature. Light bulb filaments; Electronic components; Cut and perforation tools; Special steels; Propelling tubes for missiles and rockets; Chemical industry: Lubricants; Paints; Military warfare.
Copper Brownish red ore which is ductile and a really good thermal and electric conductor. When exposed to the air, it gains a green cover. Ship propellers; Coins; Metallic leagues: Architecture; Civil construction; Electric cables; Boilers; Pipes e valves; Electric motors; Decoration; Industry; Ship hull painting (cuprous oxide).
Tin Silvery, malleable, non toxic metal. It is resistant to corrosion and oxidation. Musical instrument tubes Coins; Decoration; Recipients; Eletronic Components; Cromed paper; Electroplating; Anticorrosion agent; Electrical fuses; Bronze (copper+tin).
Iron Silvery grey, malleable, and easy to work. It is cheap and easily found on the surface. It is a ferromagnetic mineral. Machinery; Screws, nails; Tools; Civil Construction; Dying; Steel production; Magnets; Sculpture; Decoration.
Uranium Nuclear fuel; Glass pigmentation; Photography; Nuclear warfare; Bullets; Aircraft industry; Disease diagnosis. Highly radioactive element. Presents great density and malleability.
It’s an iron disulphate. Golden ore, easy to work and a little toxic. It’s a semiconductor and holds excellent electrochemical properties.Pyrites Source of sulphur; Solar energy collectors; Thermal batteries.
Golden, ductile and very valuable ore. Has good thermal and electric conductivity. It’s resistant to corrosion and oxidation.Gold Jewellery; Money: Gold coins; Gold bars; Electric joints.
Marble It’s a rock originated in the metamorphism of limestone. It presents great durability, owning to the conditions during which it is created. It possesses a very compact crystalline structure,, hardness and a bright gloss. It can show different colours, fairly the same. Civil construction; Ornamental effects.
Granite Civil construction; Ornamental effects. It’s an intrusive magmatic rock. It presents great hardness, crystalline texture and light colouring. It’s a very resistant rock.
Ornamental effect; Pavements; Aluminium obtention. It’s an unusual magmatic rock. It presents a similar colour to granite. Nephelinic Syenite
Chemically, it’s made of sodium chloride. It’s a sedimentary rock, an evaporite, resulting from the precipitation of dissolved salts, due to the evaporation of the water that contains them in the solution. Salt rock Soap; Rubber; Glass; Pottery; Detergents; Medicines; Paper.
Limestones are sedimentary rocks, formed by calcium carbonate. They are bright- coloured and little resistant to weathering and erosion. Sometimes, when they present fossils, we call them Conchiferous Limestones. Limestone Chalk; Lime; Cement; Correction of the soil pH; Glass production; Construction; Ornamental effects.
Clay Sedimentary rock formed by very fine grains. It has a low hardness and is easily reduced to dust. These rocks have high plasticity. Pottery; Bricks; Construction; Semiconductors used in computers; Medicinal uses.
Sand Civil construction; Landfills; Plaster; Glass production. It’s a sedimentary rock, formed by sediments that are a little bigger than the ones that form clay.
Mineral Coal It’s a sedimentary rock with a biogenic origin. Its’ colour can vary from dark- brown to black. Fuel: Domestic use; Electricity; Prevention of oil spills.
Geothermal Energy Geothermal energy comes from the Earth’s internal heat. It can be: High enthalpy; Low enthalpy.
High Enthalpy It’s related to instable areas where the energy flow is very high. Within the Earth, sometimes rocks stay too close to magmatic intrusions, which make them very hot, thus promoting the heating of nearby underground water. This water, at very high temperatures is used by Man to activate turbines and, by doing so, to produce electric energy.
Low enthalpy It exists in areas where the energy flow isn’t so high. It can’t be used to produce electric power. It’s used in: Indoor, industrial and agricultural heating; Pisciculture; Hot baths (Spa); Cooking.
Hydroelectric Energy The water activates the turbine so that the energy from the movement is converted into electric energy. Advantages: High efficiency; Great durability; No CO 2 emissions. Disadvantages: High construction and maintenance costs; Negative impacts in the ecosystems: - Land habitats destruction; - It stops the migration of certain fish species; Reduction of the quantity of withdrawn debris in the sea.
Solar Energy Advantages: The geographic positioning of our country provides a great number of solar exposition hours; Decrease of the emission of pollutant gases. Disadvantage: Initial investment. It consists in taking profit from the Sun’s energy through the use of solar panels.
Eolic Energy It consists in taking profit from the energy produced by the wind, by turning it into electric energy through aerogenerators. In Portugal: In 1986, Portugal’s first eolic park was built in the island of Porto Santo, Madeira. At the end of 2007, Portugal was the tenth biggest producer of eolic energy worldwide. Nowadays we are still building more and more parks.
Eolic Energy Advantages: Renewable energy; Doesn’t emit noxious gases to the atmosphere; Allows the supply of energy for a small population where there isn’t a direct access point. Disadvantages: Initial investment; Environmental impact; Visual and sonorous pollution; Very distant from cities; Impossibility to supply continuously and constantly wind.
Environmental Issues The most important environmental issues existent in Portugal are: Pollution; Species Extinction; Deforestation; Territory Ordination.
Pollution: There are three types of pollution that affect our region: Soil Pollution: It can have origin urbane and agrarian; It’s caused by the presence of garbage in the soil left by the people.
Atmospheric Pollution: It’s caused by the emission of pollutant gases to the atmosphere, essentially provoked by the industrial activity. In Portugal the most industrialized areas are: Center/ South: Barreiro and Setúbal; North of the country.
Water Pollution: Causes: Emission of sewage waters and waste waters from agriculture to streams; Fuel spilled by boats and other motorized vehicles; Garbage accumulation near streams and seas.
Species Extinction In all of our country’s flora and fauna there are several species that are in risk of becoming extinct. In the Algarve we are working conserve some of the species that live here. Birds: The aquatic birds are those who occur more often in the moisty zones of our region, where their conservation is being carried out: The Ria Formosa; The Castro Marim marshland; The Vilamoura wetlands; The Lagoa dos Salgados.
In Portugal, the most endangered bird species are: The Chilreta (Sterna albifrons); The Borrelho de Coleira Interrompida(Charadrius alexandrinus) The Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber); The Águia de Bonelli (Hieraaetus fasciatus).
Mammals: There are two important cases of mammal conservation in the Algarve : The Morcego ferradura (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum); The iberian lynx (Lynx pardinux).
Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinux) The iberian lynx is the most endangered feline species in the iberian peninsule, being estimated that there are only 100 individuals left. The Algarve highlands are one of the the few places where the lynx has been sighted.
Reptiles: One of the few european chameleon comunities (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) finds its habitat in the Algarve region, in a small distributed area, between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António. One of the main factors that puts this species in risk is the destruction of its habitat. The biggest threat to the habitats used by the Chameleon is the non-stoping urban and touristic pressure existing in all of the Algarve’s shore.
Plants : The Cork Oak (Quercus suber) is a mediterranean tree, widely spread through our country. This is the reason why we’re the world’s largest cork producers, which is extracted from the cork oak. The cork export is a great source of wealth in our country. The conditions offered by the cork oak allow a great biodiversity in the areas where they’re found.
The Cork Oak has been showing a very large mortalilty, being seriously endangered by the: Root infection by the fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi; Climate changes; Exotic species insertion into their habitat. The cork oak mortality can lead to: An impact in the ecosystems ; A decrease in the tradicional agricultural activities ; Economy problems.
Areas where the endangered species occur more often in our region:
Deforestation The portuguese forest has been suffering a great decrease of its area. This situation is mostly caused by: Man the Man The Man is the main responsible for the deforestation, due to: the great number of trees cut down every year; the introduction of invasive exotic species; climate changes (droughts); wildfires that are caused: ‒ by human distraction; ‒ intencionaly, because of economic interests.
Before the deforestation. After the deforestation.
Consequences of deforestation: Bigger soil erosion; Impact in the ecossistems; Global warming.
Territory ordination It’s formed by a group of instruments and laws, that normalize the occupation and uses of the natural resources. In the Algarve, this is a major concern, and it’s primarily focused on the coastline, which presents a very disorganized occupation.
Due to the human omnipresence in the planet, Nature’s conservation is, more than ever, dependent of Man’s direct intervention in the shape of environmental protection measures.
There are several measures that have already been taken to preserve the natural resources existent in Portugal: Creation of Protected Areas; Use of Renewable Energies; Recicling.
Through the creation of Protected Areas, it’s possible to controle the overexploitation of the natural resources, as well as to protect the fauna and flora and at the same time to preserve very characteristic landscapes in our country. Creation of Protected Areas There are three types of Protected Areas Natural Reserve Natural Park Nacional Park
Natural Reserves Natural Reserves currently existing in Portugal: Dunas de São Jacinto; Serra de Malcata; Paul de Arzila; Berlengas; Paul do Boquilobo; Estuário do Tejo; Estuário do Sado; Lagoas da Sancha e de Santo André; Sapal de Castro Marim e Vila Real de Santo António.
Natural Parks In Portugal there are currently 13 Natural Parks: Montesinho; Litoral Norte; Alvão; Douro Internacional; Serra da Estrela; Serras d’Aire e Candeeiros; Tejo Internacional; Serra de São Mamede; Sintra-Cascais; Arrábida; Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina; Vale do Guadiana; Ria Formosa.
Peneda-Gerês Nacional Park In the portuguese territory the only Protected Area that benefits from this status is the Peneda-Gerês Nacional Park.
Use of Renewable Energies Portugal is one of the european countries that presents the most favorable characteristics to employ the use of renewable energies at a large scale. The energies provenient from renewable sources are nowadays a perfectly credible option. As for the use of renewable energies in Portugal:
There are several types of renewable energies that can be used in Portugal. However, only some of them are rentable: The solar energy; The eolic energy; The hydric energy.
Solar Energy Despite all of the conditions that Portugal has to produce clean energies, perhaps it is the solar energy the most suitable for our country.
The Serpa Solar Plant Installed in an area equivalent more than 80 football fields covered with 52 thousand photovoltaic panels, the Serpa Photovoltaic Solar Plant is already the biggest in the world; It has a very high energy production capacity, enough to supply 8 thousand houses with electricity and to reduce in over 30 thousand tons the emission of greenhouse-effect gases.
Wave Energy Already functioning in Aguçadoura is the first wave park to be installed in Portugal and also one of the first at a global scale. Aguçadoura is just a starting point to a series of projects, which intend to benefit from the high potential from the portuguese shore.
Eolic Energy Wind is, nowadays, a great primary source of energy to produce electricity, being even estimated, that in a short term, until 2010, it will be able to compete against the electricity produced from fossil fuels. The eolic energy also has a great potential to produce energy for our nation. Currently, there are about 30 eolic parks in Portugal with a relatively high installed power, which have enough potential to produce something like 13 times more, according to some studies.
Recicling The Municipal Water and Residue Company of Portimão (EMARP) has moved forward to a waste management destined to promote recicling. The citizans are supplied with a domestic mini- trashcan, where the trash is separated in different sacks.
The ‘ecological islands’ are being a real success in Portimão. When needed to, the citizan simply goes to these disposal bins, where he himself can sort his garbage into different types; The numbers of separated and recicled trash have increased in a spectacular way, making the Algarve a model for the country to look up to.
Consequences from the lack of territory ordination
Genetic Material Conservation Due to the threat of the extinction of species, in Portugal, we are starting to store genetic material, which can be used with the purpose of fighting de species extinction. It is possible to preserve genetic material through: Criopreservation, for long periods; In vitro, for short periods.
Currently in Portugal the conservation of genetic resources is still taking its first steps, through various projects. However, there are already oficial groups in charge of this area of investigation and genetic material storing. Genetic Material Conservation