Wednesday, May 24, 2017


This video presents part of the so called “Hazard Map” of Trentino Province in Italy. This is a work started in 2004 that aimed to substitute and simplify previous hazard maps. these maps are used for a variety of scopes that goes from urban and regional planning to civil protection scopes.
As reported in the Province website relative to the Hazard map, the following hazards are mapped:

Hydrological and geological hazards about:
  •  rivers; 
  •  torrents; 
  •  hillslope; 
  •  snow avalanches. 
Other hazards:
  • sismicity; 
  • unexploded bombs (after second world war); 
  • forest fires
The seminar was part of a short course held by Ing. Claudio Bortolotti, a former director of Civil Protection in Trentino, entitled: Integrated Civil Protection Systems.

The speakers were: dott. Mauro Zambotto, directory of Trento province Geological Service (TPGS), dott. Franco Daminato, and dott. Riccardo Campana, geologists at TPGS

I think that the seminar was interesting and highlight the practical use of many tools that I try to popularize to my students.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

ARS-AGEs is finally public

That is a news that I was waiting since a long time. AGEs is one of the other models that is based on the Object Modelling System infrastructure, and therefore a possible source of available components in our modelling based on GEOframe and JGrass-NewAGE tools.  I always beg for they to do this step, in order to have a clear basis on which to start collaborations and convergences. Finally they did.
Please, click on the image above for accessing the Bitbucket public repository.  They write:

"The Agricultural Ecosystem Services (AgES) model is a modular, Java-based spatially distributed environmental model which implements hydrologic/water quality simulation components under the Java Connection Framework (JCF) environmental modeling framework."

Actually, I do not like the word "JCF" which I do not know what exactly means, but is, anyway, a step forward openess that I appreciate.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dolle's Water by Andrea Zanzotto

Now to console me 
with a long visit 
comes the water of Dolle 
that brought ten hills to the town 
fled among bees and their keen castles 
touched the sensitive shapes 
of an island of pure sand, 
now comes this water I long for 
because it shines through your 
twin limbs; 
because it lingered 
a long time in the shadowed coffer 
where the fig-tree stands guard 
and the sun no longer makes moss or fern, 
where the sky’s festive scenes 
are already open. 
Water ignorant of clay 
that already flows from its tangles, 
proud of the momentary red 
of flowers celebrated by this hour, 
you go lightly touching and probing 
the shyest solitudes: 
let it stay mine, 
for my snail’s lamp 
for the garden the dwarf sharecrops, 
water from the thickest alphabet 
water with its messages 
of noble invasion 
of stars returning from alps 
now heavy with silver, 
water promising 
a night cool as a tomorrow

(Translation form Italian from here)

Ora viene a consolarmi
con una lunga visita
l’acqua di Dolle
che portò dieci colline al paese
sfuggì tra le api e i lor castelli di acume
toccò le forme sensitive
di un’isola di pura sabbia,
ora viene quest’acqua ch’io sospiro
perché traspare dalle tue
membra gemelle;
perché a lungo
indugiò nello scrigno d’ombra
dove il fico s’affaccia guardiano
e il sole non fa più musco né felce,
dove sono già aperte
le scene da festa del cielo.
Acqua ignara della creta
che già fuoriesce dai suoi viluppi,
fiera del rosso momentaneo
dei fiori celebrati da quest’ora,
tu vai dovunque lambendo e tentando
le più ritrose solitudini:
lasciatemela mia,
per la mia lampadina di chiocciola
per l’orto di che il nano è mezzadro,
lei dal fittissimo alfabeto
lei che ha i messaggi
di nobili invasioni
degli astri che ritornano dalle alpi
ormai pingui d’argento,
lei che va promettendo
una notte fresca come un domani.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Quantify biological complexity - by John Baez

Just verbatim form the Azimuth blog (here). I place it also here for not forgetting it. Maybe later I will also comment it.

"Here’s a video of the talk I gave at the Stanford Complexity Group:


You can see slides here:

Biology as information dynamics.

Abstract. If biology is the study of self-replicating entities, and we want to understand the role of information, it makes sense to see how information theory is connected to the ‘replicator equation’ — a simple model of population dynamics for self-replicating entities. The relevant concept of information turns out to be the information of one probability distribution relative to another, also known as the Kullback–Liebler divergence. Using this we can get a new outlook on free energy, see evolution as a learning process, and give a clearer, more general formulation of Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection.

I’d given a version of this talk earlier this year at a workshop on Quantifying biological complexity, but I’m glad this second try got videotaped and not the first, because I was a lot happier about my talk this time. And as you’ll see at the end, there were a lot of interesting questions. "

A new topic for a Ph.D. in Hydrology at University of Trento. Modelling water flows under phase transitions

This study starts from a pore scale view of flow in soil and aggregate it at the representative elementary volume, (REV), scale according to statistical assumptions, to obtain new forms of the Richards equation. Flows are assumed to happen under normal and/or freezing conditions and under evapotranspiration demand. Transitions from unsaturated to saturated conditions will be properly accounted in all types of flow. The theoretical work at the basis of this proposal is contained in Dall’Amico et al. 2011 and Tubini, 2017. At the beginning the system will be modeled by coupling the water budget equation and the energy budget equation, neglecting vapor mass budget, as usually done. The candidate should take care of integrating the equations with appropriate and sound numerical methods that guarantee mass and energy conservation, following the footsteps of the work by Casulli and Zanolli (2010) and work for possible extensions.

There are various possible further development of this research. One is to couple the water and energy budget with surface waters simultaneously solved, another is to deal with water vapor explicitly. Others developments could come ongoing.

The informatics behind the code will follow (and, in case co-develops) the developments pursued by dott. Serafin, Ph.D. work inside the Object Modelling System, version 3 or subsequent (OMS3, David et al., 2013), that will take care implicitly of execution of parallel processes and will provide various services to computation (e.g. Serafin, 2016).

All the code developed will be done in Github (or similar platform), inside the GEOframe community and will be Open Source according to the GPL v3 license.
The candidate will take care of implementing, besides the code, the appropriate procedures for continuous integration of the evolving source code, and s/he will be also asked to maintain a regular rate of commits to the common open platform. Despite these conditions, and being free and open source, the code will be intellectual property by the coder. This will be guaranteed also by the components-based infrastructure offered by OMS3, which allows to better define the contributions of anyone. (See also: For incoming students, The tales of open source codes).

The implementation part will be followed, accompanied by testing activities, either for mathematical consistency, than for physical consistency with experiments and field measurements. These will be made especially by Dr. Stephan Gruber (GS) group at Carleton University, where the candidate will be asked to spend some periods od his/her doctorate. Participation to experimental activities will not be intended to be purely passive, the candidate will be asked to actively participate as much as feasible and reasonable to any part of the research.

The Ph.D. student is intended to produce, besides working and tested codes, also at least three papers in major journals (VQR Class A), of which, at least one as first Author.  Duration of the doctoral studies could be three or four years.

This project can enter either the curriculum C (Environmental Engineering) or the curriculum A (Modelling and Simulation) of our doctoral school.

For information please refers to riccardo.rigon <at> unitn.it

Essential References

Casulli, V., & Zanolli (2010). A nested newton-type algorithm for finite volume methods solving Richards' equation in mixed form. SIAM J. SCI. Comput., 32(4), 2225–2273.

M. Dall’Amico, S. Endrizzi, S. Gruber, and R. Rigon, An energy-conserving model of freezing variably-saturated soil, The Cryosphere, 5, 469-484, 2011, doi:10.5194/tc-5-469-2011.

David, O., Ascough, J. C., II, Lloyd, W., Green, T. R., Rojas, K. W., Leavesley, G. H., & Ahuja, L. R. (2012). A software engineering perspective on environmental modeling framework design: The Object Modeling System. Environmental Modelling and Software, 39, 1–13. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2012.03.006

Serafin, F., About graphs, DSL and replicable research, 2016, http://abouthydrology.blogspot.co.at/2016/11/about-graphs-dsl-and-replicable.html

Tubini, N. (2017, March 31). Theoretical Progress in freezing-thawing process studies. (R. Rigon, F. Serafin, & S. Gruber, Advisors.).