23 February 2018

CTTC leads a European Project on Prevention and Impact Assessment of Geological Hazards in Urban Areas and Infrastructure

On January 30-31, 2018, a group of geo-hazard experts, coming from different European countries, have come together at the CTTC (Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain) for the kick-of meeting of the European Project U-Geohaz.

U-Geohaz (UCPM-2017-PP-AG: UCPM-783169) is a two-year project financed by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), which is coordinated by the Remote Sensing Department of CTTC (Geomatics Division). The project will develop a procedure and tools for near-real time mapping and monitoring of geohazard activity (volcanic, subsidence, landslide) and its potential impact in urban areas and infrastructures. The maps will provide innovative inputs to support early warning (EW) systems for landslides and rock-falls, and an EW system for the volcanic geohazard. The applicability of the developed methodology will be tested over two test sites located in Canary Islands (Spain) and Valle d’Aosta (Italy).

The outcomes of the project will be useful for the civil protections authorities (CPAs), the geological surveys and all the institutions involved in the geological risks management. Actually, the project is a follow-on of the previous ECHO project Safety (safety.cttc.cat). The methodologies and tools developed in Safety are nowadays being used by the IGN Volcano Monitoring System (VMS) and by the Canary Island Civil Protection, for the volcanic and rock-fall risks in the Canary Island. In addition, the University of Florence, which is a competence centre of the Italian Civil Protection, is also using the methodology developed in Safety for the landslide risk monitoring in Tuscany and Valle d’Aosta regions (Italy). The U-Geohaz general objective answers to a specific requirement detected during the SAFETY project: the necessity to shift the SAFETY products from mid-term mapping to near-real time mapping of geohazard activity. The achievement of this objective will have a direct impact in the Spanish, Italian and Canary Islands Civil Protection Authorities, which will improve their capabilities to monitor the geohazards activities and assess their impact. In addition, the replicability of the U-Geohaz approach to other countries will be facilitated by the fact that all the products will be based on free tools and data.

The project consortium is composed by 18 partners. It includes 3 Civil Protections and 12 Geological Surveys of different European Countries. The Geological Surveys will ensure the communication with the respective CPAs. This strong consortium will allow the effective and long-term use of the final products.

In a European context, the U-Geohaz products and procedures will be relevant for different EU strategies like (i) the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, exploiting ESA Sentinel-1 to support CPAs; (ii) the Europe 2020 strategy, focusing on adaption to climate change and risk reduction for CP purposes, providing operational tools and products to different actors in charge of natural risk management. U-Geohaz promotes innovative approaches to increase the resilience of urban infrastructures.

The Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (CTTC) is a non-profit R&D center established by the Government of Catalonia. Fundamental and applied research, as well as technology transfer activities mainly focus on communication technologies, service and communication infrastructure, and geomatics. The CTTC offers an extensive portfolio of (i) research and innovation services (incl. R&D&i contracts, technology alliances, standards support, feasibility studies, license agreements, field trials, training); (ii) experimental platforms; and (iii) products and solutions. The Center has an outstanding record track of participation in publicly-funded R&D programs (H2020, European Space Agency) and contracts with the industry (e.g., vendors, operators, utilities).

For further information, please, contact Ms. Laura Casaus (laura.casaus@cttc.es, +34.93.645.29.00)