Anagrafe della ricerca

THEROCKLAB - THErmo- and hydro-mechanical monitoring and modeling of jointed ROCKs: a national Site LABoratory network

24 mesi (2025)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
Ricerca Nazionale - PRIN
Ente finanziatore:
MINISTERO (Ministero dell'Università della Ricerca)
Codice identificativo progetto:
Ruolo PoliTo:


THEROCKLAB focuses on the study of thermo- and hydro-mechanical processes affecting fractured rock masses, through multisensor monitoring and modeling approaches. A national network of small-scale potentially unstable rock compartments, monitored with a common integrated methodology, is established within the project. The selected rock masses are exploited as site laboratories to assess the predisposition to failure linked to the natural meteorological and climatic forcing. The five field labs are located along the Alps and the Apennines to maximize the variety of geo-structural settings potentially prone to instability and the possible environmental and climatic conditions. The four research units involved in the project (POLITO, UNIBO, UNIROMA1, UNIMIB) carry different expertise and methodological approaches to the monitoring and modeling of unstable rock masses. Their experience is integrated in THEROCKLAB for the design, instrumentation, long-term continuous monitoring of a new site lab located in the periglacial environment and likely affected by permafrost degradation. The integrated methodology mainly involves continuous passive seismic and geomechanical monitoring, coupled with remote Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca MUR - BANDO 2022 sensing techniques. Data collected at the different site labs are then integrated and interpreted as a function of the external meteorological and climatic conditions, with a special focus on air temperature and precipitation effects on site stability. The selection of a site lab located in an abandoned quarry makes experiments in forced thermal and vibrational conditions feasible within the project. These tests allow for exploring the evolution of mechanical properties until the final collapse in comparison with natural forcing conditions, for early warning perspectives. Similar tests, including freezing-thawing cycles, are carried out at the laboratory scale on intact and fractured rock blocks intrumented for the continuous monitoring of deformations and seismic parameters during the experiments. The lab scale is used as a proxy to improve the understanding of the correlation between rock mass quality and susceptibility to damage due to the thermal and hydrogeological drivers recorded at the field scale. The experiments are also designed to explore the sensitivity of seismic and mechanical parameters close to failure, in comparison with natural conditions. Both lab and field scales make extensive use of numerical modeling for a deeper understanding and quantification of the recorded thermo- and hydro-mechanical processes and to forecast possible field instabilities. THEROCKLAB final aim is to define standard procedures for a multi-scale characterization, monitoring and modeling of hydro- and thermo-mechanical effects on fractured rock masses, to promote the spread of diffuse monitoring and prevention of natural hazards.

Strutture coinvolte


  • POLITECNICO DI TORINO - Coordinatore

Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE10_7 - Physics of earth’s interior, seismology, volcanology
PE10_5 - Geology, tectonics, volcanology

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 13. Promuovere azioni, a tutti i livelli, per combattere il cambiamento climatico*


Costo totale progetto: € 268.704,00
Contributo totale progetto: € 189.541,00
Costo totale PoliTo: € 79.304,00
Contributo PoliTo: € 60.646,00