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Alpine Integrated GPS Network: Real-Time Monitoring and Master Model for Continental Deformation and Earthquake Hazard



Lead Partner

Universita' degli Studi di Trieste - Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra

Lead Partner Country


Project Website


01/2004 - 03/2007

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

2.424.638 €

ERDF in €

1.210.119 €

Project Summary

The use of modern space based techniques gives us new potential to monitor and prevent natural risk, reduce economic losses, and save lives.The aim of the ALPS-GPSQUAKENET is to build up a high-performance transnational space geodetic network of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers in the Alpine Space. This GPS array, within the millimeter-per-year precision, will represent the first ever installed transnational space geodetic network involving Italy, Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland and Slovenia. This will support the use of space based techniques since it will satisfy the performance required by all the GPS applications (crustal deformation for earthquake potential, meteorology, landslide monitoring, agriculture, navigation, transportation, mapping, surveying, recreation & sports…).The transnational structure comprising both the geoscientists and end-users will provide an excellent means for the cross-training and interaction of regional employees and young scientists.

Project Objectives

Advances in natural disasters prevention are driven by the availability of higher-resolution space geodetic data that were previously available. This is achieved with a GPS network observing the entire area of interest with a homogenous distribution and identical station characteristics. The Alps represent a single geological entity, therefore the geometry of the observing network should be built without any cross-border relevance and the characteristics of the single observing GPS station should be identical for the whole network. The existing GPS networks are either national or regional, heterogeneously distributed, with different characteristics and precisions. The ALPS-GPSQUAKENET unprecedented precision, millimeter-per-year objective, will satisfy the performance required by all the GPS applications and further increase the precision of existing stations. The primary goals of ALPS-GPSQUAKENET are: earthquake hazard reduction, landslides monitoring, meteorology.
Solutions as overall objectives:
- install the first transnational GPS network (~29 stations) for the entire Alps;
- test innovative continental deformation models for earthquake risk reduction;
- provide an excellent means for cross-training & interaction of regional employees in GPS applications and public policy, and young research scientists;
- catalyze multidisciplinary applications (meteorology, landslide monitoring, agriculture, navigation, transportation, mapping, surveying, recreation - sports).

Project Achievements

The project partnership ensures innovative methodologies and a direct transfer of knowledge to the local and regional authorities through annual meetings and workshops.
Four main activities:
1- Set-up of the transnational GPS network and quality check of its performance. By the end of the project it will provide: real-time broadcasting GPS network, covering the Alps, real-time data collection and monitoring of the transnational natural disasters. It results in knowledge transfer to the regional operators and their change of behaviour. It improves public services with a policy of transnational commitment and sustains environmental management and planning.
2- Continental deformation and time-variable earthquake hazard assessment of the Alps. By the end of the project, the time series of the ALPS-GPSQUAKENET are converted in strain to build a master model of continental deformation and recognise zones of high seismogenic potential and earthquake deficit in the Alps, to help changes in earthquake risk policy by informing the decision makers and reduction of natural disasters.
3- Pilot projects in test sites: active to establish procedures and methodologies for day by day monitoring of: meteo; landslide and active faults. It will lead to know-how transfer to regional authorities and help reduction of natural risks.
4- Databases, website, networking, information and publicity. Information, database archiving-handling and results distribution takes place via the project web-site. Database of real-time data collection will be available to regional authorities.

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Agenzia Regionale Per la Protezione Ambientale del Piemonte (Italy)
Agenzia Regionale Per la Protezione Ambientale del Veneto (Italy)
Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften / Bayerische Kommission für die Internationale Erdmessung (Germany)
Centre National la recherché scientifique- Institut Physique du Globe de Strasbourg (France)
Deutsches Geodaetisches Forschungsinstitut (Germany)
Environmental Agency of the Republic of Sloveni (Slovenia)
Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Italy)
Geological Survey of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol (Italy)
Regione Liguria – Direzione Centrale Affari Organizativi – Servizio Sistemi Informatici (Italy)
Regione Lombardia, Direzione Terriotrio Urbanistica, Sistema Informativo Territoriale (Italy)
Servizio Geologico, Provincia Autonoma di Trento (Italy)
Université Joseph Fourier, Laboratoire de Géophysique Interne et Tectonophysique, UMR 5559 du CNRS (France)

Non-EU Project Partners

Contact Person

Princivalle, Francesco

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© 2001-2006 INTERREG IIIB Alpine Space Programme
Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund