Titan Chamber, Xiniu Cave (Guanxi) - China China Caves 2013 3D Project Expedition Team - 12.09.2013

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The expeditions of the geoscientist from University of Cagliari. Cutting-edge devices to understand how to avoid collapses in mines

Daniela Pani (translation from Stefano Ambu article)

A cave chamber about 1 km long, 400 m wide and another 400 m high: perhaps the largest classroom in the world. The prof is Sardinian; her name is Daniela Pani. Yet, the students are Chinese, and the lessons take place right in China. One single subject: scanning caves. And the teacher too is unique in the world. Not just because she’s a good teacher, but because she’s the only one teaching this subject. Students do not use pen and notebook, but laser scanners. And to reach the scanning stations, it is often necessary climbing up and down using ropes, sometimes down to 200-300 meters of wells.

Carrying ultra-technological equipment with her. Pani has already done it in 2015 and now she is packing again for a new expedition next month. It is her life mission. What do they hunt in the Far East bowels of the earth? "They look for water ways - says Pani - the karstic areas are reservoirs. The water we will drink. This also applies to Sardinia. For China this is important: they allow us to realise geographic exploration and we gather information about caves ". The PhDs and Masters students belong to Chinese research institutes: the youngest can speak English, otherwise there is the interpreter. 

Technology taught to those who wallow in technology? How comes? “True, they produce the technology - explains Pani - but in some application fields don’t have knowledge”. So they must call the Sardinian teacher, one of the few who knows how to make these surveys. Not only study and research, but also amazement for the natural wonders. Pani collaborates and takes part in expeditions with National Geographic. Wonders and dilemmas: "we still cannot explain why and how huge cave chambers can hold on top thousands of meters of rock. Still, they are the safest places in the world, even in case of earthquake". 

In Sardinia Pani does “usual” activities. She is a geoscientist, and works for the General Directorate of Civil Protection. This is institutional work. Then the figure of the scientist comes into play. In particular, a scientific speleologist. It is her passion; she has been speleologist for the last thirty years. Exploration and measurements. “we think that planet Earth is entirely explored. In part it is true, partly not. There are still areas totally unexplored, the bottom of the oceans and underground voids”. Underground void means caves. There are also artificial underground voids, mines. 

Studying rocks in China could also be important to better understand what can happen here in Sardinia. “By scanning these natural underground voids - explains the scientist-speleologist - you learn a lot about the rock mechanic principle: you can understand, for example, how far you can dare digging mines". Many mines in Sardinia have been abandoned, and deserve attention. “There are over 350 kilometres of these underground mine voids only in the Iglesiente region: they are shallow and continually affect the stability of the surface. It is important to know and size the risk, this is a matter of civil protection. Every day in Sardinia sinkholes collapse". The "therapy", who knows, may come from China.

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Year of Weather 2015

This visualisation, comprised of imagery from the geostationary satellites of EUMETSAT, NOAA and the JMA, shows an entire year of weather across the globe during 2015, with audio commentary from Mark Higgins, Training Manager at EUMETSAT.

The visualisation has been produced by EUMETSAT's data visualisation team and is composed of a satellite infrared data layer superimposed over NASA's 'Blue Marble Next Generation' ground maps, which change with the seasons.

Published on 29 Jan 2016
For more information about EUMETSAT, visit http://www.eumetsat.int

Thursday, November 3, 2016

From Africa to Sardinia in 70 thousand years: a journey written in my DNA

This is Me, some 70 thousand years ago
Photographer: Valentino Congia - Makeup artist: Magda Pintus
Traditional dress from Quartucciu (IT): Rina Daga 

My African Grannies 
"I made the DNA test and I've drawn my family tree from roots. All began 70 thousand years ago in the region where the Blue Nile begins"
A journey 70 thousands years long. Credits Carol Rollo
A journey of 70 thousand years from East Africa to Sardinia. The extraordinary reportage that opens the new issue of SardiniaPost Magazine
The author, Daniela Pani, joining the Genographic Project, through her DNA test has rebuilt her "remote family tree" starting from the African "paleo-grandmother" who lived at the foot of the Semien Mountains, the birthplace of the legendary Blue Nile. A journey that tells us about the human colonisation of the World, and explains the story of all of us.
We all started from Africa and we lived there for tens of thousands of years up to when the climatic effects of the several Ice Ages opened green corridors in the desert - what we now call the Sahara desert - that allowed us to move to the North, reaching Asia and then continue our journey to every corner of planet Earth.
Daniela Pani tells us that her "paleo-grandmother", a niece of the African one, 40 thousand years ago lived in the Middle East and there she met the Neanderthals. She explains that the meeting was very intense, to the point that in her DNA a certain percentage of the Neanderthal DNA is still detectable. 
Sardinia Post Magazine
Many years later (about 20 thousands) the granddaughters of the Asian "paleo-grandmother" reached the South of France, the current French Riviera and finally, about 6 thousand years B.C., they decided to reach that Island some day later named Sardinia.
A scientific report likewise a novel. A complex yet very simple story that tells us about our common belonging to one race, the human race. To make a humorous tribute to her African grandmothers, with the help of a little 'make-up and wearing a typical traditional Sardinian costume on dark skin, the author has symbolically taken the shape of her ancient Granny
Some other millennium later we learned how to organise life. We began to put huge stones one above the other, and we built the nuraghi. This is, however, almost nowaday history, as compared as to the journey we narrate. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sentinel-1 provides new insight into Italy’s earthquake

Sentinel-1 provides new insight into Italy’s earthquake: On 24 August, an earthquake struck central Italy, claiming at least 290 lives and causing widespread damage. Satellite images are being used to help emergency aid organisations, while scientists have begun to analyse ground movement.

Scientists from Italy’s Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment combined Sentinel-1 radar acquisitions over central Italy from before and after the 24 August 2016 earthquake: 15 August, 21 August and 27 August 2016. The result shows vertical ground subsidence, reaching about 20 cm in correspondence to the Accumoli area, and lateral movement of up to 16 cm. The blue line indicates the location of the fault trace.

Scientists from Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanism combined Sentinel-1 radar acquisitions over central Italy from before and after the 24 August earthquake to calculate the location, geometry and amount of slip on the source fault.  The slip is distributed mainly in two patches of about 1 m. The aftershock seismicity (black dots) is clearly surrounding these patches, releasing the remaining stress along the fault. The red star is the main shock. Green stars indicate the highest aftershocks of the sequence (M > 4.3).


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

La prossima puntata di Lineablu sarà un viaggio a Carloforte, sull’isola di San Pietro, una piccola isola della Sardegna dal mare incontaminato e dal carattere unico, una delle poche tonnare ancora attive nel Mediterraneo celebrata in occasione del“Girotonno”, nota manifestazione enogastronomica dal carattere internazionale.
La tonnara come laboratorio: con un biologo dell’università di Cagliari e con i produttori di tonno locali, le operazioni di marcatura dei tonni per seguirne gli spostamenti e comprenderne le rotte migratorie.
Sott’acqua: in località le Colonne, tra coloratissimi nudibranchi, astici ed aragoste, un’immersione alla scoperta dei ricchissimi fondali dell’isola di San Pietro.classe 2005, giovanissima campionessa e futura promessa del windsurf in Italia.
Pagaiando con il SUP: con la geologa Daniela Pani, le prepotente bellezza di Cala Mezza Luna, una delle insenature più spettacolari del versante sud-occidentale dell’isola.
Un’oasi felice tra mare e terra: a Cala Fico, con un rappresentante della LIPU,  per seguire gli spostamenti del falco della Regina che nidifica sulle impervie scogliere di Carloforte. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Earth from Space is presented by Malì Cecere from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios. The one hundred eightieth edition features a Sentinel-3A image of the River Nile and surroundings.