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Instrumentation and control networks

Monitoring services with control networks as indispensable tools that allow to locate, predict and measure the activity of natural phenomena

The monitoring services with control networks are indispensable tools that allow locating, predicting and measuring the activity of natural phenomena that affect the infrastructure and society in general. The instrumentation can be done both on the surface as well as in the subsoil inside the boreholes and can reach considerable depths depending on the type of geological phenomenon that you want to study.
The instrumentation can be of different types of seismic sensors (accelerometers, seismometers, etc.), hydrogeological instruments (piezometers, sampling, etc.) and geotechnical instruments (extensometers, inclinometers, etc.). This instrumentation includes the phases of acquisition, processing and transmission of data.

Seismic and accelerometric network

Deployment of instrumental networks and transmission systems, data reception center, implementation of automatic communication systems and alerts in real time, simulation of damage scenarios.

The seismic stations have VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) antennas that send the seismic information via satellite and continuously to the data reception center. In this center there is a powerful set of computerized analysis applications for the data processing that allows the automatic localization of regional earthquakes, the storage of data and the rapid dissemination of the basic information of the recorded seismicity (telephone service of megafax of shipment to Civil Protection and administrations and tools of Internet of web page and data of public access to the mailbox FTP).
To measure the acceleration of strong ground movements, accelerograph equipment is installed in different geological conditions (sediment or soil and rock).
The studies of the characterization of soil movement and the possible effects of soil amplification due to the sediment column on which the infrastructures are supported are the basis of seismic microzonation work in urban areas

Nivometeorological network

The high mountain meteorological stations collect data on the quantity and intensity of both liquid and solid precipitation, the speed and direction of the wind, the temperature and humidity of the air, the incident solar radiation, the accumulated snow thickness and the data of the interior of the snowy tablecloth (eg temperature, stratigraphy and resistance). The automatic networks suppose a quantitative and qualitative improvement of the data corresponding to the conditions of the snow and the meteorological evolution above the 2000m of altitude.
The set of recorded data are sent continuously and in real time to the data reception center via mobile telephony (GSM, Iridium) and radio links.
With all the information processed and validated, the avalanche prediction bulletin is made for the new meteorological conditions for each of the different regions included within the network.

Geotechnical control network

The auscultation of movement and other terrain variables is an essential element in the risk mitigation strategy caused by active geological phenomena. The control of land movements allows to increase the knowledge of risk-inducing phenomena, make short-term forecasts, inform interested parties and help decision-making.

The auscultation networks consist essentially of 3 elements:

  • the sensors
  • data loggers and transmission elements
  • software that allows the analysis

The current trend is to automate the auscultation data so that the 3 elements mentioned are integrated.

In the field of sensors or recording devices we distinguish those that allow point auscultation with respect to those that encompass wider ranges and between those devices that provide continuous records over time with respect to those that provide discontinuous data. The following table shows a summary of the main elements.

Temporal domain



Spatial domain


Synthetic aperture radar (GB-Insar)

Laser scanner (TLS)

Punctual or scattered

Automatic piezometers

Automatic crackmeter

Total station robotic meteorological parameters



Manual crackmeter

Conventional topographical methods