Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sessions
Disciplinary sessions AS–GM
Disciplinary sessions GMPV–TS

Session programme


GI – Geosciences Instrumentation & Data Systems

GI5 – Earth surface investigation methods


Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a safe, advanced, non-destructive and non-invasive imaging technique that can be effectively used for inspecting the subsurface as well as natural and man-made structures. During GPR surveys, a source is used to send high-frequency electromagnetic waves into the ground or structure under test; at the boundaries where the electromagnetic properties of media change, the electromagnetic waves may undergo transmission, reflection, refraction and diffraction; the radar sensors measure the amplitudes and travel times of signals returning to the surface.

This session aims at bringing together scientists, engineers, industrial delegates and end-users working in all GPR areas, ranging from fundamental electromagnetics to the numerous fields of applications. With this session, we wish to provide a supportive framework for (1) the delivery of critical updates on the ongoing research activities, (2) fruitful discussions and development of new ideas, (3) community-building through the identification of skill sets and collaboration opportunities, (4) vital exposure of early-career scientists to the GPR research community.

We have identified a series of topics of interest for this session, listed below.

1. Ground Penetrating Radar instrumentation
- Innovative GPR systems and antennas
- Equipment testing and calibration procedures

2. Ground Penetrating Radar methodology
- Survey planning and data acquisition strategies
- Methods and tools for data analysis, interpretation and visualization
- Data processing, electromagnetic modelling, imaging and inversion techniques
- Studying the relationship between GPR sensed quantities and physical properties of inspected subsurface/structures useful for application needs

3. Ground Penetrating Radar applications and case studies
- Earth sciences
- Civil and environmental engineering
- Archaeology and cultural heritage
- Management of water resources
- Humanitarian mine clearance
- Vital signs detection of trapped people in natural and manmade disasters
- Planetary exploration

4. Combined use of Ground Penetrating Radar and other geoscience instrumentation, in all applications fields

5. Communication and education initiatives and methods

-- Notes --
This session is organized by Members of TU1208 GPR Association (www.gpradar.eu/tu1208), a follow-up initiative of COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action TU1208 “Civil engineering applications of Ground Penetrating Radar”.

Co-organized by EMRP2/GM2/NH6
Convener: Aleksandar Ristic | Co-conveners: Alessandro FedeliECSECS, Lara Pajewski, Luis Rees-HughesECSECS, Milan VrtunskiECSECS
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 10:45–12:30 (CEST)

The new scenario related to the global urbanization process and its impact on environmental sustainability and resilience to natural disasters, especially the ones related to the Climate Change, strongly challenges holistic multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial approaches for the management of urban areas and Cultural heritages. These approach aim at providing solutions based on the integration of technologies, methodologies and best practices (remote and local monitoring, simulating and forecasting, characterizing, maintaining, restoring, etc.), with the purpose to increase the resilience of the assets, also thanks to the exploitation of dedicated ICT architectures and
innovative eco-solutions and also by accounting the social and economic value of the investigated areas, especially in CH frame. In this framework, progressively stricter requirements in geophysical
prospecting, in urban and inter-urban monitoring make it important to look continuously for new solutions to new and old complex problems. In particular, investigation and monitoring of pollution, hydrological resources, energy efficiency, cultural heritage, cities and transport infrastructures, nowadays require technological and methodological innovations of geophysical and sensing techniques in order to properly understand the limits of the current state of art and identify where
possible the most convenient strategies to overcome the limits of the current approaches. This goal can be achieved either with more advanced solutions in a general sense or with dedicated solutions, particularly suitable for the specific problem at hand. The session “Innovative instrumentations, techniques, geophysical and remote sensing methods and models and ICT tools for the smart and resilient cities of the future” aims to propose a moment for this, where multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary competences can interact with each other, possibly finding possible new ways to cooperate and exchange ideas and experiences reciprocally.

Convener: Raffaele Persico | Co-conveners: Ilaria Catapano, Iman FarhatECSECS, Melda KucukdemirciECSECS, Salvatore Piro, Vincenzo Lapenna, Giuseppina Padeletti, Filippos Vallianatos
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 14:00–15:45 (CEST)

In the field of geosciences, digital 3D reconstruction of the real environment has rapidly increased driven by advancements in ever higher-resolution equipment, by the several applications of those types of data (modelling, analysis and representation) and by the need to explore, map and study the complexity of the Earth’s surface. The intensive use of advanced instruments and techniques such as Radar, LiDAR, Terrestrial Laser Scanner, photogrammetry (conventional and Structure-from-Motion) and Multibeam Echosounder Systems provide new scientific opportunities to create high-resolution 3D point clouds and 3D models (elevation and bathymetry) across multiple scales (nanoscale to landscape-scale). In particular, with the development of both manned and unmanned vehicles (ever smaller and portable), performed on terrestrial and subaqueous environments, it has been made possible to collect data in problematic areas (related to extreme conditions, accessibility, danger to standard equipment, etc.). Compared to traditional monitoring techniques in the field, these new technologies capture topological and spatial distribution information in 3D, providing unprecedented insight into Earth surface processes and ecosystem functioning over time.

This session will focus on studies, approaches and technologies for high-resolution 3D environment reconstructions, data analysis and scientific visualization. Particular attention will be paid to contributions on new techniques for 3D data collection and visualization such as: i) cutting-edge methods and tools for 3D environment reconstruction; ii) innovative techniques for data collection and analysis of dense cloud, mesh, terrain/bathymetric dataset; iii) modern approaches for 3D scientific visualization (e.g. immersive virtual reality) for reconstructed offshore and onshore environment; and iv) other innovative methods related to 3D environmental studies. The session also greatly welcomes studies focused on integration between different instruments and data gathering techniques, datasets and time-windows within the same studied area.

We expect contributions from several disciplines and across scale in Earth Science, where 3D reconstruction is a key issue for research activity, including terrestrial and marine geology, geomorphology, environmental engineering, structural geology, volcanology, geobiology and ecology, applied geology, glaciology, remote sensing, computer sciences and others.

Convener: Fabio MarcheseECSECS | Co-conveners: Clementine ChirolECSECS, Varvara Antoniou, Fabio Luca BonaliECSECS, Peter LawrenceECSECS
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)

The functionality of underground laboratories (ULs) is widening from a single scientific field to multidisciplinary research infrastructures and research instruments themselves. The transition has not only been limited to science, but also businesses are more and more aware of the possibilities of ULs.
Underground laboratories can be found almost from every continent, providing a wide variety of geological and tectonic settings. They come in many shapes and sizes ranging from a few cubic meters to extensive underground tunnel networks.
In this thematic session, we concentrate on the underground laboratories themselves, what makes them tick, including characterisation of the facilities, administration and operations, services, risk analysis and management, and economic feasibility. Even though every underground laboratory has a unique infrastructure and set of activities, common operators, challenges and possibilities can also be identified, e.g. the lack of awareness of the underground laboratories within the scientific and business communities.
We invite all the underground laboratory networks, operators, managers, researchers and stakeholders, to contribute and introduce their research, infrastructures, characterisations, management and business models as well as future visions and exemplary user cases.

Public information:
Underground laboratories and test-sites come in many shapes and sizes. In this thematic session, some of the world´s underground laboratories and test-sites are presented by their representatives. Displays will also cover some of background information of the sites including characterisation practices, business models and service portfolios to better serve the current and future users of underground laboratories and test-sites.

Convener: Jari JoutsenvaaraECSECS | Co-conveners: Ossi Kotavaara, Vera LayECSECS, Andrus PaatECSECS, Vitali Shekov
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

Characterizing and monitoring Earth surface processes often requires the development of challenging scientific approaches leading to the rise of innovative techniques. From the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, passive to active monitoring techniques are in constant progress and push further terra incognita boundaries. In particular, seismic techniques are becoming widely used to detect and quantitatively characterise a wide variety of natural processes occurring at the Earth’s surface. These processes include mass movements such as landslides, rock falls, debris flows and lahars; glacial phenomena such as icequakes, glacier calving/serac falls, glacier melt and supra- to sub-glacial hydrology; snow avalanches; water storage and water dynamics phenomena such as water table changes, river flow turbulence and fluvial sediment transport. Where other methods often provide limited spatial and temporal coverage, seismic observations allow recovering sequences of events with high temporal resolution and over large areas. In addition to seismic techniques, recent advances in other in-situ geophysical instrumentation (e.g. Doppler radar, sub bottom profilers, etc.) or remote sensing techniques (e.g. inSAR, unmanned aerial systems, unmanned maritime systems, etc.) have made remote monitoring and data acquisition a reality. These novel techniques represent more affordable, practical solutions for the collection of spatial and temporal data sets in challenging environments.
These observational capabilities allow establishing connections with meteorological drivers, and give unprecedented insights on the underlying physics of the various Earth’s surface processes as well as on their interactions (chains of events). These capabilities are also of first interest for real time hazards monitoring and early warning purposes.
This session aims to bring together research on seismic methods as well as holistic, novel and/or in-development monitoring solutions to study Earth surface dynamics, particularly in challenging and hostile areas. We welcome contributions from a broad range of disciplines (including geomorphology, cryospheric sciences, seismology, natural hazards, volcanology, soil system sciences and hydrology) and applications (from landslides, snow avalanches, glaciers, cave systems, marine/lake and submarine systems, to volcano and permafrost monitoring).

Solicited presenter: Zack Spica - University of Michigan (USA)

Co-organized by GI5/NH4/SM1
Convener: Anne SchöpaECSECS | Co-conveners: Wei-An ChaoECSECS, Velio CovielloECSECS, Andrea Manconi, Arnaud WatletECSECS, Zakaria GhazouiECSECS
| Attendance Wed, 06 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)