Lidia Loiotine : Geomechanical characterization of rock masses for stability analysis

Lidia Loiotine

Starting date : 2018 in Italy, moved to Lausanne in 2020

My first name is Lidia and I come from Bari (southern Italy).  I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Geological Sciences at University of Bari. In 2018 I started a PhD programme in Geosciences in the form of co-tutorship between University of Bari and University of Lausanne, and I moved in Lausanne in 2020.

My project focuses on the application of multidisciplinary approaches for the geomechanical characterization of rock masses which is fundamental for the stability analyses, the identification of potential failures and the evaluation of landslide susceptibility. Information on the geological, geostructural and geomechanical properties of rock masses is collected by means of time-consuming and sometimes dangerous field surveys, a problem that I faced during my previous educational background! At present, I am testing several remote sensing procedures (photogrammetry, Light Detection and Ranging, InfraRed Thermography) and processing methods in order to acquire data useful for the characterization of rock masses, thus overcoming the limits and the risks of the conventional surveys. My future activities will concern the combination of data obtained by means of conventional and remote sensing techniques, in order to create accurate 3D models of rock masses that could be used to perform advanced numerical stability analyses.

As case study, we selected a complex coastal area in Polignano a Mare (southern Italy), a famous rock cliff with a peculiar historical centre which attracts tourists from around the world. The geomechanical characterization of the cliff is fundamental for the estimation of potential failures or rockfalls and could help to plan prevention measures necessary for the protection of this geological and cultural heritage.

My PhD activity is being developed with the excellent collaboration of the team of Engineering Geology from University of Bari and the Risk Analysis Group from University of Lausanne. In detail, the first team deals with the conventional surveys and the study of the physical and mechanical properties of the rock materials in Polignano a Mare, while the second is supervising the application, processing and interpretation of the remote sensing techniques.