Institute of methodologies for environmental analysis (IMAA)

Research activities

The research activities have been focused to better harmonise and integrate in-situ and remote observations and to develop innovative methods for environmental data analysis and modelling. This multi-disciplinary approach fits with the main strategic lines of the GMES/COPERNICUS (Global Monitoring of Environmental and Security) program and the GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) implementation plan.
This scientific strategy discloses the way for obtaining scientific advances in challenging environmental issues: atmospheric processes and climate change (e.g. cloud and aerosol physics, extreme weather events, land degradation); natural hazards (e.g. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, landslides, forest fires); environmental monitoring (e.g. air quality, soil/sea pollution); energy-environmental strategies for sustainability.
The most productive and significant research lines deal with:
o Atmospheric Studies. The research activity is mainly addressed to atmospheric studies (PBL, troposphere and stratosphere), aerosols and clouds physics and microphysics, air quality, long-term observations of climate interest, radiative transfer, satellite remote sensing for studying hydro-meteorological processes (convective clouds and precipitations), model evaluation and calibration/validation of satellite data (eg. Sentinel and the next Earth Explorer missions, ADM-AEOLUS and EarthCARE).
o Satellite Remote Sensing of Environment. Time-series satellite data analysis for the characterization and the modelling of surface processes and the phenomena linked to natural, environmental and anthropogenic hazards. Change detection and pattern analysis in satellite images for investigating the dynamics of anthropogenic environment, hyperspectral and multispectral airborne and satellite monitoring of the environmental processes and resources management (eg. COPERNICUS Programme).
o Surface and Subsurface characterization. Integration of biological, geochemical, mineralogical and geophysical methods for studying geoenvironmental processes at the atmosphere-soil-subsoil interface, the role of microminerals (including clay minerals) in environmental processes and their impact on human health, geochemical and geophysical methods for the study of geohazards and the environmental risks associated with georesources exploration (eg. UNEP Strategies).
o Integrated Modelling for Environmental Sustainability. Development of a multi-objective methodological framework for the definition of integrated policies for sustainable natural resource management, analysis of energy, environmental and climate scenarios (EU 2050 roadmap)