WP3 - Strategies for observation of events

Among the countries of the euro-Mediterranean, Italy is one of the most vulnerable to tsunamis, to landslides occurrence and coastal areas contamination. Mapping of the most relevant coastal infrastructures, with particular reference to contaminated sites, and those that may be affected by catastrophic natural processes is one of the major WP objective.

To achieve this goal and considering an integrated management approach of the coastal zone, advanced knowledge is required through an increase in capacity of acquisition, processing and interpretation of data. As part of the strategies for rapid response to catastrophic events, both natural and human, mathematical models are used, representing a valid investigation method since allow multiple scenario definition: in fact, based on system knowledge and on the interactions among its various characteristics, many scenarios can be simulated and the effects of man-made interventions or natural disasters on ecosystems can be predicted. Numerous tsunami events struck the Italian coasts in the past: Stromboli (2002), Messina (1908), Calabria (1783), Sicily (1693), Rimini (1672), Gargano (1627).

Even in historical times small landslides in Gioia Tauro (1977) and Stromboli (2002) have caused waves up to 10 m. About 70% of these events is generated by earthquakes (with epicenter in the sea or near the coast) and about 30% by gravitational coastal or submarines collapse (also caused by volcanic activity). WP3 proposes the development of a tsunami hazard map and the creation of an early warning system for tsunamis.

The WP is divided into the following actions:

  • AZ1 - Rapid environmental assessment

  • AZ2 - Probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment

  • AZ3 - Tsunami early warning system

WP leader Alessio Piatanesi - INGV