WP1 - Natural hazard and geo-resources

The definition of natural hazards in the deep sea (landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes, spills, evolving retrogressive of submarine canyons heads, tidal waves, etc..) is now extensively carried out mainly through high resolution mapping of hazard features.

However, to get to the real assessment of hazard and risk (with the definition of mode of occurrence of the event, time of occurrence, effects on exposed properties, etc..) it is mandatory to study in detail some representative cases, with all the available techniques and instruments. This requires the development of innovative methods and instruments for measuring geotechnical, geochemical and physical parameters in situ. The recognition of features on the continental slope caused by gravitational flows generated by landslides and swollen rivers (especially at rivers mouths/fiumare), and the estimate of the occurrence in time and space of submarine landslides at the head of canyon and in areas without continental shelf is extremely interesting for a country like Italy. At the same time, monitoring of underwater volcanoes is necessary for Italy, not only because it is exposed to volcanic risk, but also because some areas might lend volcanic geothermal exploitation and / or mining. The integration of digital modeling techniques, both relative to the surface of the seabed geological formation is related to volume, will also provide a new and valuable tool for monitoring and simulation of risk situations

The WP will provide a feed capacity in providing security and the future design of coastal and deep-sea infrastructure (cables and pipelines, oil platforms, wind and geothermal power) will give an indication of groundwater resources of fluids and possible sites for mineral exploration. These surveys will be complemented by biodiversity studies in the areas affected by instability or landslide, to assess the effects of these phenomena in the configuration of deep biodiversity patterns. It will be also evaluated the contribution of these phenomena to the creation of spatial heterogeneity and the consequences for the provision of deep sea ecosystem goods and services.

The WP is divided into the following activities:

  • AZ1 - Atlas of hazardous geological and geo-resources in Italian deep seas

  • AZ2 - Methodological progress in the definition of natural hazards and prevention in the deep sea

  • AZ3 - Geo-resources and problems linked with their exploitation

WP Leader Michael Marani - ISMAR