Analysis of geological risks interfering with large dams through the integrated use of remote sensing data and virtual reality

Large dams are complex systems that, in addition to the engineering works of the dam, also include the reservoir and the surrounding slopes. Different types of risks are therefore related to the presence of artificial reservoirs, among which the most frequent are represented by the instability of the dam or of the banks of the reservoir. Moreover, in some cases, it is the very alteration of the hydrological/hydrogeological balances and pressures caused by the construction of a large dam to determine conditions of geological risk (e.g. activation of landslides along the banks and, even, seismic activity). For these reasons, large dams need, more than other infrastructural works, a pervasive monitoring of the entire dam/reservoir system for a complete risk assessment and management.

This project aims to increase the level of knowledge on the evolutionary dynamics of the entire “system” large dam, through a methodological approach based on the following fundamental methods:

  1. monitoring by remote sensing techniques capable of collecting information over large areas, such as Advanced Satellite SAR Interferometry (A-DInSAR), multi-temporal analysis of multi-spectral satellite images and images acquired by SAPR (Aeromedical Remotely Piloted Systems) platform;
  2. the implementation of a visualization system of spatial and temporal data through virtual reality, that is a new type of geo-scientific and technological environment, multidimensional, interactive and immersive.
Through the application of this approach to two large dams it will be verified the increase of knowledge on geological risks resulting from the use of remote sensing data, nowadays more and more widespread, combined with holographic (or virtual) visualization methods.


Paolo Mazzanti

Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences of "Sapienza" University of Rome and CEO of NHAZCA S.r.l. Expert of innovative monitoring solutions in the field of remote sensing, promoter of the international IcGSM course on geotechnical and structural monitoring.

Benedetta Antonielli

Research Fellow at the Department of Earth Sciences, "Sapienza" University of Rome.

Saverio Romeo

Researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences of "Sapienza" University of Rome and National President of LARES Italy - Italian Union of Experts in Civil Protection, Association of Social Promotion active in the field of Civil Protection.

Francesca Bozzano

Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences of "Sapienza" University of Rome, president and founding partner of NHAZCA S.r.l., member of the National Commission for forecasting and prevention of major hazards and of the Board of Directors of INGV.


large dams