Applied Geomorphology

A.Y. 2021/2022
6
Max ECTS
48
Overall hours
SSD
GEO/04
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims at preparing the student to perform territorial analyses in relation to the geomorphological hazards and to define the most adequate solutions addressed to the geomorphological risk mitigation, natural or human-induces, that affect the territory, in different morphogenetic and morphoclimatic contexts, affecting different kinds of vulnerable elements and inducing geomorphological risk scenarios.
The course aims at providing to the student the useful tools for: i) individuating the main criticisms in relation to the geomorphological context; ii) defining the most adequate solutions addressed to the geomorphological risk mitigation; iii) collecting information useful to prepare technical reports; iv) elaborating geomorphological maps addressed to communicate with the local authorities.
Expected learning outcomes
1) Ability to recognize landforms and related geomorphic processes that are responsible for the physical landscape modelling;
2) Ability to identify the predisposing-preparing-triggering factors for the geomorphological processes and the relation with the geological bedrock features;
3) Ability to detect the activity degree of geomorphological processes and the related geomorphological hazards, the different typologies of vulnerable elements and the geomorphological risk scenarios;
4) Ability to individuate the most adequate solutions for the geomorphological risk mitigation in relation to local conditions, types of geomorphological processes and the expected environmental responses;
5) Ability to identify the human impact on geomorphological processes and the relation between geomorphological processes and the resources of the territory;
6) Ability to deal with a practice problem related to a specific area demonstrating to be able to use the tools at disposal for the analysis (examination of the scientific literature and historical archives, aerial photos interpretation and thematic maps interpretation) and for the communication of the results (geomorphological maps realization).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
More information on the delivery modes on training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
The programme is structured with an introductory section and several sections devoted to the analysis of the geomorphological hazards characterizing different morphogenetic and morphoclimatic contexts. In the framework of each context, basic concepts of geomorphology will be refreshed, with a view to the analysis of the mitigation practices towards geomorphological risks and the related monitoring and investigation techniques most commonly used.
For each context, theory and/or exercises (please, see didactic methodologies) are planned on geomorphological and pedological mapping, thematic mapping (geomorphological hazards) and on the methodologies of investigations and dating of geomorphological processes.

The temporal distribution of the topics is not strict and it could vary according to the availability of the classrooms for the exercises, also in relation to the Covid-19 emergency.

A. GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Applied geomorphology and fields of application; geomorphological hazards, vulnerability, risk and impact concepts; impact of geomorphological processes on human activities and influence of human activities on geomorphological processes.
Optional fieldtrip aimed at detecting the knowledge and the approach of each student respect to the physical landscape reading and mapping.

B. GEOMORPHOLOGICAL PROCESSES: HAZARDS, RISKS AND IMPACTS

ELEMENTS OF MORPHONEOTECTONIC: definition and use of morphoneotectonic indicators for tectonic analyses

SURFACE PROCESSES AND SOIL DYNAMIC
i) Chemical weathering and physical disgregation, water runoff and hydrological erosion;
ii) Mapping applications: soils mapping and integration with geomorphological mapping;
iii) Soil as a resource.

KARST DYNAMICS
i) Hazards related to karst: subsidence and hydrological issues;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards, risks and human impact in karst environments.

HYDROGEOMORPHOLOGY
i) Water course dynamics (erosion, transport and deposition): parameters and classification according to the morphometric configuration of the water course;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards and risks according to the typologies of water course dynamics;
iii) Morphological Quality Index for rivers.

GRAVITY-RELATED DYNAMICS
i) Slope instabilities (definitions and causes) and classification of slope instability typologies;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards and risks according to the typologies of slope instabilities.

GEOMORPHOLOGICAL DYNAMICS OF COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS
i) Water- and wind-related dynamics along coasts;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards and risks in coastal environments.

GEOMORPHOLOGICAL DYNAMICS RELATED TO GLACIAL AND DEGLACIATED ENVIRONMENTS
i) Dynamics of glacial, proglacial and marginoglacial contexts. Focus on the transformation from glacial to deglaciated environments, and paraglacial-type dynamics;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards and risks related to glacial and paraglacial dynamics;

GEOMORPHOLOGICAL DYNAMICS IN PERIGLACIAL ENVIRONMENTS
i) Dynamics related to permafrost;
ii) Mitigation strategies of geomorphological hazards and risks in periglacial environments.

C. GEOMORPHOLOGICAL MAPPING AND THEMATIC-APPLIED MAPS
i) Introduction to geomorphological mapping: methods, tools and symbols;
ii) Introduction to thematic mapping: geomorphological hazard maps, vulnerability and geomorphological risk maps;
iii) Practical exercises on study case related to different morphogenetic and morphoclimatic environmetns:
iv) Use of digital sources for geomorphological mapping;
v) Sediment connectivity: definition, indexing and mapping.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of Physical geography, Geomorphology, Geology.
Ability of reading topographic maps.
Basic knowledge of Geographical Information Systems.
Teaching methods
The course consists of frontal lessons, individual or working-groups activities, including paper maps or digital maps elaboration, and test of specific apps used in the applied geomorphology.
Lectures by experts could be planned from remote using the Microsoft Teams app.
An optional one-day field trip could be planned during the very first part of the course, outside the normal hours, whose date will be decided close to event. In this framework all the safety measures related to the field activities, also in relation with the Covid-19 emergency, will be adopted.
Teaching Resources
Slides uploaded on the Ariel website
Scientific papers indicated and examined during lessons
Geomorphological maps retrievable through the web or through the librarian services
Students annotations

FUNDAMENTAL TEXTBOOKS (THEORY & MAPPING)
Alcantara, I., & Goudie, A. S. (Eds.) (2010) Geomorphological hazards and disaster prevention. Cambridge University Press.
Panizza M. (2015) Manuale di geomorfologia applicata. Franco Angeli Ed.
Ciccacci S. (2019) Atlante delle forme del rilievo. Mondadori Ed.
D'Orefice M., Graciotti R. (2015) Rilevamento geomorfologico e cartografia: realizzazione, lettura, interpretazione. Flaccovio Dario Ed.
Sauro et al. (2019) - Dalla carta topografica al paesaggio - Atlante ragionato. Global map ed.
Pavlopoulos, K., Evelpidou, N., Vassilopoulos, A. (2019) Mapping geomorphological environments, Springer Ed.

TEXTBOOKS ON GEOMORPHOLOGY (to strenghten concepts on basic geomorphology)
Gutierrez M. (2012) Geomorphology. Cambridge Ed.

ADVANCED TEXTBOOKS
Bell Fred G. (2001) Geologia ambientale Teoria e pratica. Zanichelli Ed.
Marchetti M. (2000) Geomorfologia fluviale. Pitagora Ed. Bologna
Pranzini E. (2004) La forma delle coste. Zanichelli Ed.
Davidson-Arnott/Bauer/Houser (2020) Introduction to Coastal Processes and Geomorphology. Cambridge University Press
Cremaschi M. & Rodolfi G. (1991) Il Suolo. Pedologia nelle Scienze della Terra e nella valutazione del Territorio. NIS Ed.
Morgan R.P.C. (2005) Soil erosion and conservation. Blackwell Ed.
Goudie A. (2006) The human impact on the natural environment: past, present, and future. Blackwell Ed.
Costantini E.A.C. (2009) Manual of methods for soil and land evaluation. Taylor & Francis Ed.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of a mandatory oral discussion starting from an original report written by the candidate, including: a geomorphological map of an area chosen by the candidate, a descriptive text including an analysis of scientific literature regarding the area, the geomorphological features of the area as landforms and processes, their activity degree, geomorphological hazard insisting in the area, vulnerable elements and geomorphological risk scenarios. Additional questions will be asked to the candidate on the program of the course.
From these aspects it will be possible to verify, regarding the candidate, the ability in applying knowledge and understanding, the re-elaboration of concepts, the ability of making judgements regarding also the scientific literature at disposal, and the communication skills.

In relation to the Covid-19 emergency, more precise information on the exam modality will be provided in the coming months.

Assessment score: 18 to 30/30
GEO/04 - PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY AND GEOMORPHOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
Upon appointment arranged through e-mail
Room 54 or 59, First Floor