September/October 2020 | Rossano


Intensive Course on Geomorphology of Natural Hazards in Mediterranean Areas: from Field Survey to Risk Assessment
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Time & Location

September/October 2020
Rossano, 87067 Rossano CS, Italia

About The Event

Geomorphological concepts are at the basis of several geoscience-related disciplines and their challenges, such as natural hazard management. With this perspective in mind, the International Association of Geomorphologists (IAG) promotes the organization of the 3rd IAG-EGU Intensive Course on Geomorphology of Natural Hazards in Mediterranean Areas: from Field Survey to Risk Assessment. The Intensive Course is dedicated to Early Career Scientists (hereafter ECS) and will be held in September/October 2020 in Calabria Region (southern Italy).

Calabria is a region of Southern Europe that presents most of the typical geomorphological features that characterize the Mediterranean area, in response to active tectonics and climate, through coastal and river dynamics, as well as gravity-related processes. Such a geomorphological complexity implies multi-hazards scenarios that include frequent landslides and flash floods. Furthermore, due to the presence of numerous historical villages, the number of tourists and the wide variety of outdoor activities, the exposure of local population and infrastructure to natural hazards is generally high in the whole region.

The area selected for this School is located along the Ionian coast, in the surroundings of Rossano Calabro village, that was hit by an extreme weather event that triggered landslides and floods in August 2015.

The Intensive Course will first offer the possibility for ECS to train their skills in field recognition and survey of natural-hazard-related landforms as well as in geomorphological mapping. Students will work in group and will be asked to perform field activities of geomorphological survey and collection of geomorphological data from selected training areas, under the supervision of the organizers.

The present-day challenges associated to natural hazard management require young researchers in geomorphology to combine field activity with digital skills for data analysis and modelling, especially in statistics, computer programming and remote sensing. Accordingly, the Intensive Course will also provide the participants with practical exercises on some of the internationally used analyses of geomorphological data in the field of natural hazards. Computer activities and practical lessons on spatial predictive modelling through statistical methods, GIS computations and remote-sensing-based mapping processes will be given by an international team of teachers. Participants will learn how to translate the collected field data into useful information for a wide array of scientific applications and geo-spatial problems.

As the area of the Intensive Course offers tricky challenges for people operating in risk assessment, being a perfect spot to represent analogous threats across the Mediterranean sector, the participants will learn the key components required in the design of a regional and/or local Early Warning System (EWS). In particular, they will learn how the skills gained during the Course can be applied when forecasting natural hazards. Finally, participants will also gain knowledge of the responsibilities of the actors involved in disaster risk management through a role-playing game: real cases of natural hazards occurred in Calabria will be used to learn the roles of Civil Protection, scientists and policy makers.

As a result, at the end of the Intensive Course the young researchers will have explored a large portion of risk management pipeline, from fieldwork to modelling to technical activities for planning risk-remedial strategies. Furthermore, they will gain a better understanding of how to optimize scientific communication with authorities and local population in case of natural-hazard risk assessment.

This event is part of the IAG Training Programme and will be an extraordinary occasion for Early Career Scientists, and especially for those from less-favoured countries, to increase their knowledge in geomorphology and natural hazard and to do networking with experienced scientists and early career researchers in an informal and international context.

The event will be organized in collaboration with the EGU Geomorphology Division, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the aforementioned and the IAG. The IAGEOMHAZ Working Group and the EGU Natural Hazard Division will play an active role in the organization of the event.

The Intensive Course will be focused on specific topics of Geomorphology of Natural Hazards like:

- Basic concepts on Natural Hazards

- Geomorphological field survey and mapping of geomorphological features related to natural hazards

- Automatic mapping of Geomorphological features by the mean of Remote Sensing imagery and dedicated software

- GIS and statistical analysis

- Spatial predictive models for landslide susceptibility

- Organization of Early Warning Systems and emergency response (i.e. Civil Protection activities)

- Natural Hazards communication

- Multidisciplinary collaboration in managing the risks posed by natural hazards