Research groups

IRPI scientists organize themselves in thematic, multi-disciplinary research groups, including: Geoclimalp, Geo-monitoring, GeomorphologyGroundwater, Hydrogeomorphology, Hydrology, Karst, Geo-Risks ManagementImpact and TypificationApplied Geomorphology and Territorial Data (GEADAT) and Geomatics groups.

Geoclimalp group

The geoclimalp group (GEOmorphological impacts of CLIMate change in the ALPs) is a research group of the CNR-IRPI established with the intent to deepen and improve the knowledge on the role of climate change in the morphogenesis of the alpine environment in general and of high-altitude environments in particular. The geological-morphological and climatic-hydrologic research fields are the main ones to be integrated in the scientific activities of the research group.
General objective: Carry out organic and integrated researches on the interaction between climate change and geomorphological dynamics in the alpine environment, with specific reference to natural instability resulting therefrom.
HeadquartersTorino office

Geo-monitoring group

The geo-monitoring group includes engineers, geologists and technicians engaged in the development, testing and the application of tools, technologies and methods for monitoring landslides, and slope and fluvial processes. The unit is equipped with state-of the-art instruments for topographic monitoring, including an airborne Lidar.
HeadquartersTorino office

Geomorphology group

The geomorphology group consists of geologists, engineers and physicists who develop and test methods and tools for the identification and mapping of landslides, for the landslide susceptibility and hazard assessment, and for the definition of landslide and flood risk to the population of Italy. The group operates SANF, a prototype early warning system for the operational forecasting of rainfall-induced landslides in Italy. The system is being tested the Italian National Department of Civil Protection. The group also maintains POLARIS, a web portal on landslide and flood risk to the population of Italy.
Headquarters: Perugia office

Groundwater group

The groundwater group consists of experts, civil and chemical engineers, geologists, and statisticians, which execute study and R&D activities, on-site surveys and laboratories measurements, numerical modelling, geostatistical analyses on groundwater. Topics include: groundwater discharge works; groundwater protection from quality and quantity degradation risks; groundwater resources management, considering climate change and saltwater intrusion, in the case of coastal aquifer; aquifer vulnerability, groundwater pollution and remediation; interaction between groundwater and underground or shallow engineering works, for any purpose, including tunnels and waste management, and effects on land stability.
Headquarters: Bari office

Hydrogeomorphology group

The hydrogeomorphology group studies landforms and geomorphic processes related to hydrology in mountainous basins. Research topics include debris-flow monitoring in instrumented catchments, geomorphometric analysis on high-resolution digital terrain models for hydrologic and sediment dynamics characterization, sediment sources identification and characterization, post-event documentation and analysis of geomorphic effects of flash floods, and development of GIS and open source applications for computing geomorphometric indices.
Headquarters: Padova office

Hydrology group

The hydrology group consists of engineers and technicians that investigate meteo-hydrological processes at all geographical scales, from the local to the global scale. The group studies the processes of the formation of the floods, develops and tests tools and models for hydro-meteorological monitoring, the estimation of the soil water content, and for flood hazard assessment and risk evaluation. Operational models developed by the hydrology group operate in civil protection centres.
Headquarters: Perugia office

Karst group

The Karst group consists of geologists, engineers and technicians who develop and test methods and tools for the identification and analysis of natural and anthropogenic hazards in karst, and their monitoring, aimed at mitigation of the related risks. The Karst group evaluates sinkhole susceptibility and hazard, manages emergency situations due to sinkhole occurrence, performs geotechnical modelling of instability processes in underground settings, the degradation of the surface and subsurface karst landscape, the pollution of karst aquifers, and the analysis of floods in karst environment.
Headquarters: Bari office

Geo-Risks Management group

The group offers a multidisciplinary expertise in the fields of geotechnics, geomorphology, geoinformatics, environmental engineering and monitoring. The processing of satellite images, implementation of numerical models and the development of innovative sensors based on fiber optics are just some of the many examples on which the group is active in the monitoring of slopes and unstable structures. Among the services that the group provides there are the monitoring of geological risk phenomena, with the purpose of early warning and alarm, the implementation of numerical models to describe their evolution, in both short and long term, and the design of countermeasure-works for mitigation.
Headquarters: Padova office

Impact and Typification group

The research activities of the “Impact and Typification” Group (IT-RG) aim to advance knowledge on sustainable management of geo-hydrological risk in the long- and medium-time scale, both in social and economic terms and under climate change, following a circular, multi-scalar and multidisciplinary approach. The main objectives of the IT-RG are the understanding and the modelling of the processes driving geo-hydrological phenomena; the typification (from geological-geomorphological, hydrological, and geotechnical point of view), at various spatial scales, of landslides characterising selected geo-environmental contexts, progressively validated throughout both ground and remote monitoring systems; the knowledge of past events and damage; the evaluation of climate trends and their impact scenarios.
Headquarters: Rende (CS) office

Applied Geomorphology and Territorial Data group (GEADAT)

In 2021 a new research Group called “Applied Geomorphology and Territorial Data” (GEADAT) was established, recently formalized but existing since the birth of IRPI.
The Group is transversal to the various research activities carried out by the Institute and operates in synergy with the researchers, technologists and technicians of the five branches of the IRPI Institute.
The main objective is to organize and promote research activities in the topics related to: (i) fluvio-torrential and slope geomorphology applied to the different conditions of instability; (ii) the collection and cataloging of territorial data aimed at acquiring greater knowledge of the territory of the Po Basin; (iii) the research and archiving of historical data in order to have a homogeneous picture of the geo-hydrological conditions of the studied areas; (iv) the communication and dissemination of acquired knowledge aimed at facilitating the understanding of common geo-hydrological processes and consequently at improving the behavior of citizens in case of risk, (v) training in its many didactic typologies, aimed at a wide range of people (school teaching staff, university students and upper secondary schools, municipal administrations, professional associations, civil protection groups) and implemented in different ways.
HeadquartersTorino office

Geomatics group

The research group deals with “Numerical modelling, geostatistical processing and GIS for the mapping and mitigation of natural risks” – in other terms, of mitigation of natural risks (above all, geo-hydrological risk) through the quantitative analysis of geo-data (obtained through specialized field surveys, interpretation of remote images, and on-site and remote monitoring), and the use of geostatistical and numerical modelling approaches. The subject of the analyses are the potentially-destructive natural processes, and their possible interactions with the elements at risk, in a multidisciplinary perspective.
The group, also in collaboration with modelling experts external to IRPI, has developed and tested in the past – in different territorial contexts – numerical models for the prediction of the triggering of either superficial or deep landslides (SAKe), and for the simulation of the evolution of landslide phenomena such as soil slip-debris flows (SCIDDICA). These models will be subject to further refinements and applications for methodological purposes. Furthermore, the SSAP2010 software will be used to evaluate the degree of stability of the slopes under different risk scenarios. SSAP2010 is a complete freeware software for verifying the stability of natural or artificial slopes, even in the presence of reinforcement elements. This tool, developed in over 30 years of research, is available on the website www.ssap.eu, and has already been applied to a variety of cases, even of extreme complexity. In this regard, the data collected through a remote monitoring environment, recently developed as part of the group’s activities, may also be of great use and allow to keep under constant observation some sites threatened by serious geo-hydrological problems along the railway.
Overall, the group’s activities are therefore aimed at the production of thematic and predictive maps (susceptibility, danger, risk), and at implementation of decision support systems for early warning for civil protection purposes.
Headquarters: Rende (CS) office