Summer School on Geohazards – monitoring and modelling


Fundamentals and Advanced Techniques

A joint event of the EU funded projects GEORAMP and HERCULES

17th-18th August 2018

Venue: Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, BOKU, Vienna, Austria

The Summer School provides a unique experience of two days of intensive learning and interaction with other researchers and practitioners. It should be of interest to researchers in the monitoring, modelling and prevention of geohazards.


17. August 2018

8:30 – 11:30 Huang, A.B.

Coffee break

12:00 – 13:00 Utili, S.

Lunch break

14:00 – 15:00 Utili, S.

Coffee break

15:30 – 17:30 Pasquali, P.

18. August 2018

8:30 – 11:30 Li, Z.H.


The summer school will be held at the university campus near our institute, which is close to the most beautiful park in Vienna, the Türkenschanzpark with a charm unique to Vienna. 


Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, BOKU, Vienna
Feistmantelstrasse 4, 1180 Vienna

The house is called "Guttenberghaus". The Seminar room 01 (GUTH-SR 01 (GUTH-EG/15)) is located at the ground floor.

You can reach the venue with bus 40A. From the station Dänenstrasse there is only a few minutes walk to the institute. Please have a look at the location map

Topics of summer school

Geohazard monitoring

• Guideline for field monitoring

• Key elements to be measured

• Electrical and optical sensors 

• Data acquisition 

• Case studies

Remote sensing

• Introduction to InSAR main principles

• Use of remote sensing for landslide monitoring

• Comparison of various remote sensing techniques

• Case studies

Numerical analysis for mass movement 

• Standard numerical methods

• Advanced numerical methods

• Recent developments in SPH

• Integration with field monitoring data

Lecturers & Lectures

Prof. Huang Anbin, National Ciao Tung University, Taiwan 

Prof. Huang is emeritus professor of the National Ciao Tung Univresity, Taiwan. He received his PhD at Purdue University, USA, and has more than 30 years’ experience in teaching and research. Professor Huang’s main research activities have focused on characterization of soil properties through laboratory and in situ tests, physical modeling, and development of fiber optic sensors for monitoring geotechnical engineering systems. Professor Huang is a core committee member of TC-102 of ISSMGE.

This lecture provides guidelines for setting up field monitoring programs for landslides with the following key elements: ground displacement, rainfall, soil moisture and groundwater conditions. The types of instrumentations involved and their field installations are presented. The options of using automated electrical or optical fiber sensor systems are described. A few cases of applying fully automated field monitoring schemes for slope stability monitoring are presented to demonstrate the capabilities of currently available techniques.

Prof. Stefano Utili, Newcastle University, UK

The bulk of Prof. Utili’s research is about reducing the impact of landslides and slope instabilities on engineering infrastructure and the built environment. The increasing threat of natural hazards due to the expanding size of cities, growing use of infrastructure, and the effect of increased climatic variations means that the economic losses induced by geohazards keep increasing so engineering solutions able to provide a step change in the way we tackle landslides are urgently needed.

In the first lecture an overview of standard and advanced numerical methods typical of geotechnical engineering to assess the probability of the onset landslides will be given. Concerning the standard methods, wedge analysis (stability charts), limit equilibrium methods and limit analysis will be illustrated while concerning advanced methods finite element analyses with strength reduction technique and discrete element methods will be treated. A good reference reading is Utili and Crosta (2014). 

The second lecture, will be about illustrating how these numerical methods can be integrated with monitoring data (especially geophysical remote sensing) to make more accurate prediction and produce second generation susceptibility maps at the catchment scale. 

Remote sensing

Prof. Zhenhong Li, Newcastle University, UK

Prof. Li received his PhD at University College of London, UK, and is professor of Imaging Geodesy, Newcastle University, UK. His research interests include the use of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for monitoring changes in the Earth’s surface for geophysical and engineering applications such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and city subsidence. He specializes in development of advanced space geodesy techniques for precise deformation mapping.

The lecture will provide an introduction to the main principles of satellite imagery (InSAR) techniques and their use for landslides monitoring. The lecture will cover the main mathematical principles underpinning InSAR image treatment, image correction to account for atmospheric inference and land movement. Examples of InSAR application in geotechnical engineering will be provided. 

A few case histories will be provided where InSAR is employed to monitor slow moving landslides in combination to other remote sensing techniques such as a network of GPS, ground based radar and laser scanners. 

Dr. Paolo Pasquali, sarmap SA, Switzerland

Dr. Paolo Pasquali has been enjoying the last 25 years investigating the many aspects of extracting useful and reliable information from Synthetic Aperture RADAR imagery, developing algorithms and exploring different applications.  After realizing in his years in the academia at Politecnico di Milano and University of Zurich that these goals are not just dreams, he co-founded sarmap to bring this experience into operation, leading the development of the SARscape operational software package.

SAR Interferometry: a relative measurement tool
While, finally, SAR Interferometry is becoming a well-accepted instrument to accurately measure small displacements of terrain and infrastructures, it is very important to understand the nature of the information that this measurement system is providing.
Any measure obtained with this, inherently differential, approach shall be considered as a relative measure, and it shall be brought into a operational context by relating it to an appropriate reference framework, and properly modelled to distil actionable information.
This lecture will go through a number of applicative examples, highlighting the measurements that can be obtained with this technology and how they can be related to the final application goals.


Please register for the summer school as soon as possible  by sending an email to: Course fees can be paid either in cash at the registration desk or by bank transfer to the following account: 

• Account owner: Dep. f. Bautechnik u. Naturgefahren

• IBAN: AT77 3200 0087 0050 0512


• Reference (important!): “H873 GEORAMP” or “H873 HERCULES”. 
(Please indicate the project you are associated with!) 



There are a number of quality hotels with fair price near our campus. We reserved contingents of rooms for our conference participants in these hotels. 

If our contingent is booked out, and you can't book according to the instructions given, please contact the hotel via email. Please mention that you are visiting the China-Europe Conference on Geotechnical Engineering at BOKU, and ask for the special BOKU price.

We warmly recommend the hotels Derag Livinghotel Kaiser Franz Joseph Vienna **** and Ibis Styles Wien City Hotel ***.

Course fees

Project partners: 250 Euro

Non-partners: 300 Euro

The fees cover course attendance, course notes, and tea/coffee breaks.