Friday, November 29, 2013


MeteoIO is a library that provides various interpolation methods for 1D and 2D data. It has been used for the SnowPack and Alpine3D models, and recently we started also to use it for GEOtop. GEOtop has its own interpolation routines but MeteoIO is supported by a larger community of developers, and therefore, why reinvent the well again and again ?

For this reason in  GEOtop 2.0 MeteoIo was added. Models uniforming to MeteoIO conventions can also use the INIShell Java program that provides a graphic user interface "for free".

On october 23th a small seminar was held in Eurac, Bolzano,  to illustrate the use of MeteoIO. The presentation by Mathias Bavey can be found here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mathematics for the Fluid Earth

"The fluid Earth is an excellent example of a forced, dissipative non-equilibrium system dominated by nonlinear processes and featuring multi-scale interactions, so that its understanding can be approached using the tools of dynamical systems theory and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. The understanding of the statistical properties of a system under consideration is crucial per se and in a variety of applications, especially when considering large fluctuations which may result into extreme events of relevant impact. The differential equations that describe mathematically the fluid components, in particular the Navier-Stokes equations and their many variants and reductions, are at the core of the work of any analyst working in nonlinear PDEs. The many fundamental questions still open are often precisely the questions at the heart of the link between analysts and geophysicists."

Hosted by the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences this is a series of video seminars of real interest for geoscientists. You can find it by clicking on Newton's image

A Java Implementation of R !

Since I am becoming a Java programmer, and an R evangelist,  I found very interesting the FastR project whose scope is to provide a Java implementation of the R language. This would be really interesting, especially thinking to a possible integration among OMS and R, which would be very helpful for data management and I/O for model components.

Jan Vitek, one of the authors of the code, gave a nice presentation about, that can be found below the image.

Any comment is left to the readings and to the trial of the software. Eventually,  other material and  code itself, can be found at github

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Process based models of landslides' triggering. My talk at Cosenza on November the 7th

Last November the 7th, I was invited to give a talk about process-based models of landslides triggering.  My talk (you can find it here) was mainly about the key elements for describing hillslope hydrology and stability, and inherits a lot on my previous talk at the Praia a Mare Summer School.
However there is some new material, and especially I mentioned the work made for embedding GEOtop into OMS, and the recent work we made for the IWL Round Robin.
At the seminar there were other three interesting topics by Giovanna Capparelli, Fausto Guzzetti (see also the website of his group) and Roberto Greco. The latter, one of the author of the IWL organisers and designer of the IWL3  "round robin". At the round robin (we did not arrive in time for presenting our work) some Spanish guys won (with the best predictions of the suctions of the experiment) by running a model that solves the coupled Richards and Stress equations.  As it will result for giving a look to the slides, our trial was not successful: but because we tried to reproduce contemporarily both suction and water content. We fail. This can only means that the soil water retention curves used were not appropriate. We do not know however if the case is that the vanGenuchten parameterisation is failing (and/or Mualem that gives hydraulic conductivity) or if the parameterisation is actually time-dependent, as the strategy used by the Spanish guys seems to suggest. 
In my opinion, it is reasonable that soil water retention curves vary after soil starts to move, but I  am not sure that a dynamical parameterisation would be required before the failure time. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Regional Risk Assessment methodologies for water related hazards and climate change by Paolo Ronco et al.

The above was the title of the seminar held today at CUDAM of University of Trento. The speaker was Paolo Ronco  of Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
The seminar was a positive meeting of a few but qualified and interested people. The entire seminar is now visible on-line by clicking on the image above.

Climate Change Adaptation strategies - Brescia Workshop on October 10 2013 presentations

Among the duties for the Alpine Convention's Water Platform there is the organisation of workshops with the scope to share experiences of best practices among the alpine countries. Best practices, in this case for the adaptation to Climate Change with respect to Flood Risk and Water Management.

In Brescia, last month, officers of Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia met and developed an interesting conversation on these topics.

Here you can access to all of the presentations:

The Austrian Strategy for adaptation to climate change (focus water ressources and water management) by: Mario Unterwainig, Division Water management in residential areas Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Bavarian Climate Programme 2020
by: Christian Wanger Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health

CC Adaptation Strategy in Italy: from national level to the Alpine region
by: Paolo Angelini, Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea and by Antonio Ballarin-Denti, Lombardy Foundation for the Environment

Flood event June 2013 in Bavaria Lessons learned in managing natural hazards
by: Bavarian Environment Agency

Management of water issues in the adaption plans
by: Rudolf Hornich Federal Government of Styria Watermanagement

Inland water ecosystems: critical issues in the management of water quantity and quality and monitoring priorities
by: Pierluigi Viaroli, Department of Life Sciences, University of Parma, Italy

Alpine Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Field of Natural Hazards Platform on Natural Hazards of the Alpine Convention PLANALP by: Andreas Pichler, Member of PLANALP Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Governing Disasters under a changing climate: Challenges, Limitations, Lessons learnt. An Austrian perspective
by: Andreas Pichler, BMLFUW, Austria

Conflicts and difficulties in the integration of WFD and Flood Directive: nature vs. protection?by:Tobias Hafner, Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Public Health

Climate Change and Risk Management in Switzerland Case study Grindelwald
by: Hugo Aschwanden, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment

Thoughts about the "best" planning instrument for climate change adaptation on local scale on the example of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano
by: Andreas Paul Zischg, PLANALP – Italian delegation

Floods on Drava River Basin November 2012 in Slovenia - Lessons learned
by: Milica Slokar, Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief (ACPDR) and by Jože Papež, HIDROTEHNIK Water management, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Activities on water and adaptation to climate change in the framework of the UNECE Water Convention
by: Sarah Tiefenauer-Linardon, UNECE Water Convention

The funding possibilities to build up adaptation capacities and take action
by: Federica Alcozer Studio GAP associati, planning consultant

Regional Adaptation Strategy: the case of Lombardy Region by: Antonio Ballarin-Denti. Dept. of Mathematics and Physics, Catholic University, Brescia Lombardy Foundation for the Environment

Other information about the adaptation strategies to Climate Changes (in the Alpine region) can be found in this previous post.