Department of Earth Sciences

Laboratory of Sedimentary Geology and Fossil Record

The Laboratory of Sedimentary Geology and Fossil Record results from the conversion of the Laboratory of Paleontology, formally established in 2005 in the Department of Earth Sciences of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra. Encompasses researchers from multiple national and international institutions, that develop research and development activities, in the sedimentary geology and fossil record group of the Center of Geosciences, with the following purposes:

  • Deepen the paleontological and biostratigraphic knowledge of the Lower Paleozoic of Portugal, through the interpretation of the fossil record of Trilobite, Graptolithina and Conodonta, and to develop paleogeographic and paleoenvironmental models for the Paleozoic of the Iberian Peninsula;
  • Deepen the knowledge of the stratigraphic limits of the most relevant episodes that characterize the geological history of the Lusitanian Basin during the Mesozoic, with emphasis on high resolution studies based on the interpretation of the registered associations of macrofossils (Ammonoidea, Brachiopoda) and microfossils (Foraminifera, Nanofossil Limestones);
  • Deepen the historical knowledge of the Lusitanian Basin, through the interpretation of its geometry and provenance of its sedimentary filling, applying it to the evaluation of the potential in hydrocarbons;
  • Develop academic research activity in the field of Geoconservation and Education towards the Sustainable Development.

Ammonites of the Toarciano-Aaleniano pass of the profile of São Gião (in HENRIQUES, M. H. & CANALES, M. L. (2013)


Coordenator: Maria Helena Henriques
Emailhhenriq@dct.uc.ptTelefone(+251) 239 860 511


Academic strand

The Laboratory of Sedimentary Geology and Fossil Registry assembles human resources and laboratory infrastructures to support activities from the Center for Geosciences of the University of Coimbra, capable of responding to the industry needs and the environmental concerns of society, namely at the level of the formation of professionals. It has critical mass in the domain of paleontology and biostratigraphy that allows to develop the following types of approaches:

  • Paleontological and biostratigraphical studies to substantiate and develop paleogeographical and paleoenvironmental models;

  • Establish biostratigraphical scales for the Jurassic of Atlantic basins based in the fossil record of Brachiopoda, Foraminiferida e calcareous Nanoplâncton, with good calibration and biozonal scales already recognized with Ammonoidea;

  • Establishment of biostratigraphical scales for the Amazon’s Cenozoic, based on the palynological fossil record;

  • Integrated approach of multiple tools (biostratigraphy, sedimentology, sequential stratigraphy, logging, gravimetry, etc.), with intent of knowing the principal controls of accumulation of sedimentary volumes;

  • Development of integrated stratigraphical models (elements, processes and events of known petrol systems), that validate the understanding of hydrocarbon potential on Atlantic basins;

  • Inventory, evaluation and classification constituents of geoconservation, with emphasis on territories in the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries).


Foraminíferos from the Aaleniano-Bajociano pass of the profile of Serra da Boa Viagem (in SILVA, S., HENRIQUES, M. H. & CANALES, M. L. 2014)

The installation of the necessary equipment for the processing and analysis of microfossils benefited from the financial support of the Galp-Partex-Petrobras Consortium. The research activities are financially supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology, through the Geosciences Center of the University of Coimbra.Cabo Mondego

The Cabo Mondego Natural Monument: geosite of the auxiliary stratotype point (ASP) of the Bathonian.

Teaching and training strand

Space of development of teaching/learning activities in the scope of the practical work of the topics of the Geology and Biology degrees of FCTUC (Stratigraphy, Paleontology, Seminar, Scientific Internship, Educational Internship). Space for the development of research activities within the Master's degree in Geosciences of FCTUC (curricular studies, elaboration of theses) and in the scope of doctoral projects at the University of Coimbra and in foreign universities.

Inter-institutional cooperation

Reception of Portuguese and foreign researchers for investigation activities and advanced training in paleontology, micropaleontology and biostratigraphy.



The Laboratory hosts and manages collections of Ammonoidea, Brachiopoda, Foraminifera and Limestone Nanoplankton from the Jurassic of the Lusitanian Basin, which result from scientific work carried out on referenced profiles and published in different magazines and books.

In addition to the cabinets where the reference collections are deposited, the laboratory has also the following equipments:

    • Mechanical equipment for preparation of fossils (macro-fossils);
    • Photographic equipment for the graphic reproduction of paleontological material (macro-fossils);
    • Laboratory equipment for processing microfossils samples (conodonts, foraminifera, limestone nanoplankton);
    • Equipment for microscopic analysis and binocular magnifier for microfossils;
    • Online and offline bibliographic resources for taxonomic determination of macro-fossils and micro-fossils;
    • Computer equipment for data processing;
    • Furniture for practical classes and/or seminars with a capacity of up to 10 people, with computer equipment for sound and image projection;
    • Didactic collections of fossils of various taxonomic groups.

      Services Provision


      Coordination of graduate programs in Hydrocarbons Exploitation in the Lusitanian Basin for technicians of international oil companies (Example: Petrobras - Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. and Hydro - Oil & Gás).

      Coordination of Training Programs in Petroleum Geology, within the framework of the Masters in Geosciences of the University of Coimbra, taught in Portugal and Angola.

      Consultancy in the domain of Hydrocarbon Exploitation in the Lusitanian Basin, within the scope of biostratigraphy and analysis of sedimentary basins.

      Consultancy in the area of Geoconservation, in articulation with several municipalities (Example: Cantanhede, Arouca).

      Taxonomic determinations and high resolution biostratigraphic information.