The DORIS downstream service is being tested in eight study areas in Europe. To the original six study areasincluding two study areas in Italy, Hungary and Switzerland, and one study area in Poland and Spain, two additional study areas were added during the second year of the project: the GuadalentĂn River basin and the Valencia area, Spain.
The selected study areas represent a wide range of physiographical and environmental settings, and include the majority of the types of ground deformations for which the service is designed. Successful application of the service in the selected study areas guarantees that the service will work in Europe, and in most of the surrounding territories. Selection of the study areas was based on: (i) the relevance and variability of the phenomena present (known) in each study area, with emphasis on phenomena with known or potential Civil Protection problems, (ii) the availability of relevant thematic and environmental data, including information that can be used for the validation of the downstream service, and (iii) a specific interest of individual Civil Protection agencies or National Focal Points.
The study areas are located in Umbria, central Italy, where climate is Mediterranean and rainfall occurs mostly from October to December and from March to May. In the region crop out sedimentary rocks, pertaining to the Umbria-Marche stratigraphic sequence, Lias to Eocene in age, overlaid by lake deposits, lower Pliocene to Quaternary in age, and by fluvial deposits of Recent age. The lake and fluvial deposits host deep-seated and shallow aquifers exploited for human and agricultural uses.
The study area (Monti Nebrodi e Giampilieri) is located along the north eastern part of Sicily (south Italy). In the period from October 2009 to February 2010, the area was highly affected by several landslide events that caused intense damages and casualties. The landslide events continue till today as testified by the event occurred during March 2011 in San Fratello where 12 peoples were evacuated.
The Hungarian lowland is located to the south and to west of the Carpathian mountain range and bounded to the south-east by the Transylvanian Alps. Landscape is characterized by plains, rolling hills and low mountains. The area is drained by tributaries of the Tisza River, which drains into the Danube. Climate is continental to sub-continental, with a mean annual precipitation less than 1000 mm. In the area crop out sedimentary rocks (sandstone and conglomerates), crystalline schist with limestone, and volcanic material.
The study area is located to the north of the Carpathian mountain range, in the central part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB), in southern Poland. The USCB basin forms the western part of the Silesia-Cracow Upland and peripherial part of the Silesian Beskids. It is bounded by line Ostrava-Tarnowskie GĂłry-Skawina-Ostrava. The south-west part of the Basin extends into Czech Republic, where it occupies the Ostrava and Karvina mining areas. It covers an area of about 5000 km2.
The island of Majorca (Spain), located in the western Mediterranean, has a variety of different geomorphological domains, most prominently the Tramuntana Range (1,100 km2) in the north-western part of the island. The steep topography of this chain, which is linked to its geological complexity and Mediterranean climate, determines intense slope dynamics with the consequent movements of all categories. The main income of the island of Majorca comes from tourism (83% of its GDP), as it welcomes 10 million visitors each year.
The study area comprises two zones both located in the Swiss Alps: (i) the Mattervalley, going up from Visp in the bottom of the Rhonevalley to Zermatt, and (ii) the St. Moritz - Engadine valley area. In the Mattervalley area mainly metamorphic rocks (schists and gniesses) crop out. In the valley there are numerous instable slopes, including some densely populated regions prone to landslides. Many landslides, rockslides, and rock falls are still active and there are high annually costs for the mitigation and countermeasures.
The city of Valencia is the third city of Spain in terms of population with 1 Million habitants. It is located over the largest alluvial flood plain of the mediterranean basin and corresponds to Jucar and Turia rivers. The area is mainly settled over young unconsolidated fluvial sediments provided by the activity of the rivers and even man-made desiccated areas. The Valencia Plain is filled mostly by Plioquaternary deposits of various origins. Almost all the deposits infilling the plain are of continental origin, although mixed and even marine deposits also exist.
The GuadalentĂn River is located in southeast Spain and is a major tributary of the Segura River, one of the largest Mediterranean basins in Spain. Semiarid climatic conditions are characterized average annual precipitation of 250 mm/yr and 17Âş C of average temperatures. The GuadalentĂn Basin is characterized by a nearly flat valley bottom with series of well-developed alluvial fans. It is occupied by the Alto GuadalentĂn aquifer, which is bounded on the northeast and on the south-east by fault systems.