DESCRIPTION OF THE CONSORTIUM
The success of a transnational project is proportionally
related to the capacity of co-ordination of its leaders. Due to this,
the consortium decided to separate the co-ordination activities in:
The Regione Piemonte, now as ARPA Piemonte (ARPA), is the financial/administrative
co-ordinator of the project due to its structure, which is suitable
for the management of the administrative part. Besides, RP has already
gained a relevant experience in several important projects. Dr. Coccolo
in particular represents RP in several national and international projects,
both as participant organisation and as co-ordinator (i.e. INTERREG,
The Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), and namely the Department of Structural
and Geotechnical Engineering, takes the responsibility for the scientific
co-ordination of the project, due to the scientific and technical competence
on slope stability studies. In particular, Prof. Scavia is scientific
responsable for POLITO of several research project funded by EU (INTERREG,
ARPA and POLITO are both located in Torino (Italy) and usually collaborate
in national and European projects (i.e. INTERREG); they will strictly
co-operate for activity programming, supervision, and evaluation as
well as for the submission of the interim and annual reports and for
the administrative and financial aspects related to the project.
The consortium is composed by seven organisations and five countries
are represented, four of them belonging to the European Union:
Settore Studi e Ricerche Geologiche-Sistema Informativo Prevenzione Rischi
di Torino Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e
Istituto di Geoscienze e Georisorse
Central des Ponts et Chaussées Division for Soil Mechanics,
Rock Mechanics, Engineering Geology
Politècnica de Catalunya Departamento de Ingeniería
Universität Wien Institute for Engineering Geology
Polytechnique de Lausanne Département de Génie Civil-Laboratoire
de Mécanique des Sols
The project focuses on aspects of risk management in
the case of landslides, in its scientific, technical and land planning
aspects. Within the consortium a research organisation (CNR-IGG)
and some universities (POLITO, UPC, TUW, EPFL) are therefore placed
beside two end-users (ARPA, LCPC), who have to face every day with practical
land management problems. The end-users guided the choice of many research
multidisciplinary topics of the project, in relation to their needs.
The countries involved in the project allowed to select, for the development
and exemplification of risk assessment and management methodologies,
sites of large landslides located in various mountain environment, from
Pyrenées (Spain, France) to the west, to Austrian Alps to the East,
passing through western (France, Italy) and central Alps (Switzerland),
so as to give a good degree of generality to the methodologies and to
give a European dimension to the project. In this way, the results can
also be diffused and applied outside the countries directly involved
in the project.
The multidisciplinary character of the project calls for the participation
of different and complementary expertises; the following specific teams
have been selected with the criteria of assuring all the needed competence.
The principal institutional goal of the Geological Survey of RP,
(represented by the Direzione Servizi Tecnici di Prevenzione) now ARPA Piemonte is to
develop methodologies and tools to assess, manage and minimise the geological
The institution has been working since 1978, increasing its experience
in engineering geology, geomechanics and data treatment with GIS techniques.
It is therefore intended to put at partners disposal the work
done in this field, exploiting the experience achieved in the improvement
of Geological Informative System of the ARPA Piemonte, during 1999
Furthermore, as a logical consequence and as a relevant project feature,
the RP will include an action related to results dissemination by CD
media and web (WP9).
Finally, ARPA can give a contribution for extensive application of statistical
techniques to assess landslide hazard within a GIS environment (WP5)
CNR-IGG is involved in basic geological, structural, petrographical
and mineralogical researches (WP2). A relevant activity is the fieldwork
for the survey of the National Geological Map of Italy at the 1:50000
scale. In this context, applied research for the analysis and mitigation
of the geologic risk have been worked out in the last years in co-operations
with some Italian Institutions (i.e. Regione Piemonte, Regione Valle
dAosta and Politecnico di Torino).
POLITO (Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering)
is carrying out some research in the field of soil mechanics, rock mechanics
and slope stability. It has experience in the geomechanical modelling
of rock masses, on the basis of the site geology and in the application
of numerical methods to the definition of hazard scenarios. To this
end a 2D Boundary Element Method (BEMCOM) for the analysis of slope
stability has been developed. Due to its competences, POLITO can assure
a link between the workpackages in phase II (development of risk assessment
methodologies, WP2-WP5), giving an important contribution to the application
of the methodologies to the selected sites (WP7).
The problem of the scenarios obtained through numerical modelling (WP3)
focuses on 3D approaches. To this end, POLITO intends to extend the
use of Boundary Element Methods to 3D and to apply them to some
of the selected sites. The need to apply different methodologies on
the same sites is then fulfilled through its co-operation with two other
universities: UPC and TUW.
UPC is a specialist in the development of sophisticated Finite
Element Methods. The Geomechanics Group of the Department of Geotechnical
Engineering and Geosciences at UPC is a leading centre of research in
the field of Soil and Rock Mechanics, on landslide hazards and landslide
modelling, on the numerical analysis of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical
problems, on laboratory and fieldwork. The project will give the opportunity
of applying the finite element code DRAC, developed during recent years
in the Department, to large-scale three-dimensional slope stability
TUW has experience in the use of Finite Difference Methods.
They have experience in the stability analysis of large landslides by
using the commercial code FLAC3D (Itasca).
Additionally they focus their interest in modelling the run out mechanisms.
Therefore TUW intend to simulate the run out behaviour to estimate the
risk area using PFC. The idea is to use the initial failure data of
a FLAC3D calculation for a simulation of the run out mechanism
by PFC for a particular site (WP4).
EPFL, within its Research Centre on Landslides, has developed
some years ago several methodologies for the hazard mapping of large
zones affected by landslides (Karte Bodenbewegungsgefahren Adelboden,
1996; Carte de gestion de la Commune de Belmont; mapas de inestabilidad
y de riesgo de la región de Cusco, Perú, 1999). A general study of the
vulnerability of the Arveyes village, affected by a deep-seated landslide,
has also been done, as well as a risk study for a part of the nearby
village of Villars, with Prof. H.H. Einstein (1988). Several buildings
on landslides have also been monitored in order to assess their vulnerability
Furthermore, The Soil Mechanics Laboratory of EPFL has developed recently
a method for the prediction of landslide behaviour based on neural network
analysis (WP5) which is a significant contribution to quantify risk
assessment (Mayoraz et al., 1996).
Finally, several landslide sites in Switzerland and abroad have required
a risk analysis within expertise works considering direct and indirect
consequences. In particular, the team leader, Ch. Bonnard, has assessed
the level of residual risks induced by the catastrophic debris flows
and landslides in Venezuela following the disaster of December 1999,
on behalf of the Swiss Disaster Relief Unit.
LCPC has a great experience in working for the State and the
local authorities in connection with professionals involved in civil
engineering, transport, urban engineering and environment. One of the
original characteristics of LCPC resides in its role as technical network
co-ordinator for infrastructure, as far as natural hazards are concerned.
For this reason it will give a fundamental contribution to the application
of the projects results to actual risk management problems, in
the establishment of mitigation strategies and the evaluation of residual
risk (WP8). It will also assure a linkage among the consortium and the
end-users (administrative and politics).
In addition to the characteristics of multi-disciplinarity and complementarity
described above, the consortium presents a significative joining between
well-experienced and young staff (25% of the personnel involved is under
35), and a good female component (20% of women involved).