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Thursday: Poster Session 2
Time: 08/Jun/2017: 4:10pm-7:00pm · Location: Poster Session area

Assessing geohazards in areas of cultural heritage in Europe using satellite InSAR: the JPI-CH project PROTHEGO

Francesca Cigna1, Claudio Margottini2, Daniele Spizzichino2, Giovanni B. Crosta3, Paolo Frattini3, Kyriacos Themistocleous4, José Antonio Fernandez Merodo5

1British Geological Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, United Kingdom; 2Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Geological Survey of Italy, Italy; 3University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Italy; 4Cyprus University of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cyprus; 5Instituto Geologico y Minero de España, Departamento de Investigación y Prospectiva Geocientífica, Área de Riesgos Geológicos, Spain

Tangible cultural heritage includes various categories of monuments and sites, from cultural landscapes and sacred sites to archaeological complexes, individual architectural or artistic monuments and historic urban centres. Such places are continuously impacted and weathered by several internal and external factors, both natural and human-induced, with rapid and/or slow onset, including natural hazards, such as earthquakes or extreme meteorological events, cumulative processes as well as the effects of humans. The list of List of World Heritage in Danger encompasses sites threaten by armed conflicts, however, a comprehensive picture of endangered sites is not available as yet. New space technology based on radar interferometry (InSAR) is now capable to monitor, since 1992 and with mm precision, surface deformation for reflective targets named persistent scatterers, which consistently return stable signals to the radar sensor. The project PROTHEGO: PROTection of European Cultural HEritage from GeO-hazards ( will make an innovative contribution towards the analysis of geohazards in areas of cultural heritage in Europe. The project is led by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) in collaboration with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB) and the Geological Survey of Spain (IGME), and funded in the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPICH) Heritage Plus (2015-2018). PROTHEGO will apply novel InSAR techniques to monitor monuments and sites that are potentially unstable due to landslides, sinkholes, settlement, subsidence, active tectonics as well as structural deformation, all of which could be exacerbated by climate change and human interaction. To magnify the impact of the project, the approach will be implemented in more than 400 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List in geographical Europe. After the remote sensing investigation, detailed geological interpretation, hazard analysis, local-scale monitoring, advanced modelling and field surveying for the most critical sites will be carried out to discover cause and extent of the observed motions. The project will enhance cultural heritage management at national level, reinforcing institutional support and governance through knowledge and innovation, identifying, assessing and monitoring risks, strengthening disaster preparedness at heritage properties in the future.

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