Geological and hydrogeological hazards

The program is committed to the characterization and monitoring of surface and subsurface geological and hydrogeological processes of the Italian northern-eastern region that may be of danger to the inhabitants. Natural risks cannot be avoided; however, their consequences can be buffered by improving our knowledge on triggering and development mechanisms of natural phenomena and by implementing efficient strategies for constraining the inherent hazards.

Channel network in the San Felice salt marsh (Venice lagoon)
Therefore, maximum concern is devoted to the analysis of triggering mechanisms of geologic hazards and their potential effects on the territory, in order to develop physical models capable to forecast the spatial and temporal probabilities of hazard occurrences. Geologic hazards occur in response to diverse mechanisms and with vastly different effects.
Nevertheless, the backbone of our research usually involves all of the following steps: a) analysis of the mechanics of the event; b) evaluation of its occurrence probability; c) study of the event dynamics; d) evaluation of the hazard. Albeit this program is mainly focused on hydrogeologic hazards (i.e., landslide processes, snow avalanches, groundwater processes and aquifer vulnerability, assessment of soil contamination), a research line on the analysis and exploitation of geothermal resources is also active.

Artesian well

Therefore, Program 4 consists of the following research projects:

  • Dynamics of gravitational processes (contact: Rinaldo Genevois);
  • Characterization, evaluation and protection of groundwater resources (contact: Paolo Fabbri);
  • Near surface geophysics (contant: Giorgio Cassiani);
  • Geothermal energy and geoexchange (contact: Antonio Galgaro).