The 240-km-long River Arno winds its way seaward through the tranquil countryside of Umbria and Tuscany, but this tranquillity masks potential danger. There are more than 300 areas within Italys Arno Basin at high risk of landslides, and over 20 000 individual landslides have been recorded.
Italys combination of geography, geology and climate makes it one of Europes most landslide-prone territories, with an average of 54 lives lost for each year of the last half century. However a new service based on satellite imagery can provide early warning of areas susceptible to landslides, by highlighting tiny millimetre-scale slope motion that occurs ahead of larger-scale movement.
The ESA-funded Service for Landslide Monitoring (SLAM) is being applied to the densely populated Arno Basin. More than 350 satellite images of the region, taken by ESA’s ERS satellites, have been combined with ground-gathered data to generate detailed products, in order to identify and assess slope instability and risk across 8 830 square kilometres of territory.
Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
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A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
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