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Geological risks research center

The study of the territory and its developing

The Geological Risks Research Center was founded due to the existence, within the Cinque Terre Park's territory, of many criticalities related to the hydrogeological instability. Such criticalities reached their acme during the floods on the 25th October 2005 and the landslides which in the following years involved the Via dell'Amore and the path between Manarola and Corniglia.

The high vulnerability and exposure of the Park, deriving from the number of inhabitants, the high tourist flow and the intense fruition of the paths cause risk conditions which are very high at a local level. In such a context it is clearly necessary to organize and plan the actions and the interventions to limit the geological risk, in order to guarantee its highest effectiveness.

The operational working group of the Geological Risks Research Center is composed by freelance professionals (ORGL, CNG) and university teachers (DISTAV-UNIGE) who have been carrying out research and study activities within the Park's territory for years. In fact, they believe that only by putting together the technical and scientific skills it is possible to find the best actions to limit the geological risk.

The Geological Risks Research Center's main goal lies in the activities to support the Park in the coordination of the actions and interventions to limit the geological risk within the Park's territory and in the promotion of initiatives aimed at obtaining funds for projects that have to be carried out according to the priorities decided with the Park.

Another goal of the GRRC consists in the information, education and awareness activity  (Park's municipalities and schools) to make people know the geological risks and their limitation. For such activities the GRRC works along with the Environmental Education Center of the Park, which has been working for several years in the field of the environmental information and education.

The actions of the working group of the GRRC of the Cinque Terre National Park are structured according to three operation lines: knowledge of the territory; geo-environmental monitoring and finding the intervention criteria to limit the hydro-geomorphological risk: education/training/information.

As regards the first aspect the purpose is to create an up-to-date thematic cartography (geological and geomorphological map, landslide inventory) of the Cinque Terre Park as exploratory basis for a possible future step towards the assessment of the landslide danger, which has to be carried out over the Park's territory through a uniform methodology, whose results could be compared with those achieved by the Basin Authorities in charge.

As far as the second point is concerned, starting from a series of meetings with the Park's municipalities, it will be realized an archive of the interventions carried out on the territory and, after having analyzed and assessed them, the guidelines for the future interventions will be proposed. Another as much significant action will be that of implementing an integrated monitoring system based on what is already underway (e.g.: Vernazzola experimental basin, already functioning "traditional" monitoring systems) and on new actions (territorial protection, satellite monitoring).

As far as the third point is concerned, the aim is to extend the activity to the population living in the Park by adding the issues related to the hydro-geomorphological risk (danger and risk, Basin Plans and their restrictions, what to do in case of an emergency, etc.) to the themes which are already tackled by the Environmental Education Center.

Last July the members of the GRRC visited the Nebrodi Park (ME) to start an exchange of experiences and best practices with the Geological Risks Research Center recently established in Sicily with quite similar goals to those of the GRRC of the Cinque Terre, in order to systematize the indications to find the interventions aimed at limiting the risks.

Other initiatives carried out:

  • creation of a supporting group composed by young professional technicians (geologist, engineer, agronomist) for the collection of data regarding projects and researches already carried out in the Municipalities of the Protected Area, monitoring and realization of the up-to-date thematic cartography;
  • surveys in the territory by sea and by land to directly check the most serious risk conditions;
  • writing a list of freelance geologists available to carry out surveys in the Park's territory when the weather "red" alert is over.

Members of the Geological Risks Research Center

  • National board of Geologist: Mr. Giuliano Antonielli and Domenico Calcaterra
  • Liguria's Regional Association of Geologists: Iunior geologist Ms. Valentina Casolini - Mr. Luca Raimondi
  • University of Genoa, department of Earth and Life Science: Mr. Andrea Cevasco - Prof. Marco Firpo
  • Cinque Terre National Park: Engineer Patrizio Scarpellini and Surveyor Giorgia Olivieri

PDF Final list of the geologists available to carry out surveys in the Park's territory when the weather alert level 2 is over.
 
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