The new Section of Geophysics was formed in 2021 from a merger of the former geophysics and Research Infrastructures section. It currently hosts 75 staff, including researchers, technologists, technicians, post-Docs, PhD students and administrative staff.
The section performs geological and geophysical research mainly in Italy and the adjacent Mediterranean Sea regions. It has a long-standing interest in the polar regions, in particular in Antarctica, and with the acquisition of the Laura Bassi vessel it is further exploiting new opportunities to consolidate collaborative national and international polar geosciences research.
The section includes two groups: Geology and Marine Geophysics and Applied and Exploration Geophysics.
The main research activities of the geology and marine geophysics group are:
- paleoclimate research (including modelling) and paleoclimate effects on ice sheet evolution, and ice sheet dynamics and stability;
- the assessment of selected marine geohazards;
- sustainable use of georesources;
- geological and geophysical investigations into geological storage of CO2 and hydrogen.
Geological and geophysical mapping activities help underpin basic research efforts focused on basin research, including tectonic, stratigraphic and seismostratigraphic aspects.
The applied and exploration geophysics group is involved in research but also significant amounts of external service activities.
- The group acquires geophysical datasets in the field, and processes seismic, swath bathymetry, georadar, geoelectrical, magnetic and gravity data and remote sensing data and performs modelling.
- It undertakes environmental geophysical studies and exploration studies, and investigates georesources, including water resources, and performs geophysical surveys for major infrastructure management and safety (such as dams, pipelines, ports and nuclear power stations). The group also has significant experience in gas hydrate studies.
- It has developed integrated 3D geophysical and petrophysical modelling capabilities.
The section manages terrestrial and marine geology labs and coring facilities, exploration geophysics equipment, airborne remote sensing, borehole geophysics, geophysical data processing and data management and distribution, and a seismic software virtual laboratory.
It contributes geological and geophysical dimensions and facilities to the national node of ECCSEL- European Research Infrastructure for CO2 Capture, Utilisation, Transport and Storage (CCUS).