Geomaterials, subsurface resources and geological heritage

IGAG Research Topic

This research topic has the objective to improve the knowledge on natural resources, including:

(1) raw materials, like metal ores, primary and secondary industrial minerals, synthetic minerals, natural stones and synthetic materials characterized by chemical-physical behaviors similar to the natural ones;

(2) energy resources, such as hydrocarbons and geothermal reservoirs;

(3) groundwater;

(4) the geological heritage.

Achieving this goal requires in-depth geological studies, supported by the application of geophysical and geochemical analyses, essential for implementing a sustainable management of subsurface resources, search for non-renewable and renewable resources (raw materials, hydrocarbons, groundwater and geothermal reservoirs) and for the sustainable use and preservation of the geological and archaeological heritage.

The effects of growing anthropogenic pressure on the natural environment, the need to combine industrial development, access to competitive raw materials and energy sources, and the reduction of the impact on ecosystems that these activities generate, require a deep understanding of the geological processes which have determined the formation of natural resources. Furthermore, the study of geomaterials and the geological processes that created them can bring significant knowledge about new possibilities for sustainable exploitation and conservation of natural resources, such as the finding of strategic materials for the industry and the enhancement of the landscape heritage.

For this reason, geological, geochemical and geophysical studies applied to geomaterials, subsurface resources and the geological heritage constitute a key research topic to increase competitiveness, contributing to the search and characterization of raw materials and a better knowledge base for the industry, construction and sustainable development.


  • Gianluca Norini (
  • Cristina Di Salvo (

2. Earth observation

4. Natural Resources and Ecosystems

9. Chemical sciences and materials technology

22. Industrial and civil engineering

24. Historical and cultural heritage sciences

PE4_18 Environment Chemistry
PE5_1 Structural properties of materials;
PE8_3 Civil engineering, maritime/hydraulic engineering, geotechnics, waste treatment;
PE8_6 Energy systems (production, distribution, application)
PE8_9 Materials engineering (biomaterials, metals, ceramics, polymers, composites…)
PE10_5 Geology, tectonics, volcanology
PE10_7 Physics of earth’s interior, seismology, volcanology.
PE10_9 Biogeochemistry, biogeochemical cycles, environmental chemistry
PE10_10 Mineralogy, petrology, igneous petrology, metamorphic petrology
PE10_13 Sedimentology, soil science, palaeontology, Earth evolution
PE10_18 Hydrology, water and soil pollution
SH3_1 Environment, resources and sustainability
SH6_1 Archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology
LS9_9 Applied biotechnology (non-medical), bioreactors, applied microbiology

CHIM/12 Chimica dell'ambiente e dei Beni Culturali
GEO/02 Geologia Stratigrafica e Sedimentologica
GEO/03 Geologia Strutturale
GEO/05 Geologia Applicata
GEO/06 Mineralogia
GEO/07 Petrologia e Petrografia
GEO/08 Geochimica e Vulcanologia
GEO/09 Georisorse Minerarie e Applicazioni Mineralogico- Petrografiche per l'ambiente ed i beni culturali
GEO/11 Geofisica Applicata
ICAR/02 Costruzioni Idrauliche e Marittime e Idrologia
ICAR/03 Ingegneria Sanitaria Ambientale
ICAR/04 Strade, Ferrovie ed Aeroporti
ICAR/07 Geotecnica
ICAR/13 Restauro
ING-IND/22 Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali
ING-IND/28 Ingegneria e Sicurezza degli Scavi
ING-IND/29 Ingegneria delle Materie Prime



Geological, geophysical and geochemical analysis for the search and exploitation of underground water, minerals and geological materials, as well as for the exploration, characterization, modeling, monitoring and management of geothermal systems, hydrocarbon reservoirs and geological storage of CO2 and CH4.

Development and application of innovative methods, advanced technologies and processes for the recovery and enhancement of critical raw materials from mineral resources, including rare and precious metal resources.

Studies in crystallochemistry, minero-chemistry and petrology of strategic minerals and industrial materials, including accessory minerals in pegmatites as sources of strategic elements, industrial materials such as gemological raw materials, industrial quartz and ceramic minerals, and mineralogical localities and species for a better knowledge of the local resources.

Archaeometric characterization (mineralogical, chemical, crystallographic, geochemical and geological) of materials from sites of historical-archaeological interest in order to study their provenance and to support conservation.

Valorisation of territorial resources, geomorphological conservation and restoration interventions of natural sites (geosites), protected areas and river areas.

Determinazione delle caratteristiche fisiche-meccaniche-idrauliche e chimico-minero-petrografiche dei geo-materiali, con particolare attenzione alla ricerca delle relazioni tra le prime e le seconde. Sono interessati i materiali impiegati nell’ingegneria civile: murature in pietra, pavimentazioni e rivestimenti murari; materiali per cementi, inerti e malte; materiali per costruzioni idrauliche (armourstone), stradali (ad es. sottofondo, strato di usura) e ferroviarie (ballast).

Caratterizzazione geotecnica e petrografica di materiali interagenti con l’attività ingegneristica, quali i materiali oggetto di scavo in sotterraneo e a cielo aperto o quelli di fondazione, sia nei riguardi della stabilità dello scavo che delle proprietà tecnologiche (ad es. cuttability, drillability, usura).

Training and preparation for researchers within the CNR, other Italian and foreign research institutions and universities, including training seminars, academic-university study courses and doctoral and post-doctoral courses.

Dissemination and opening to the socio-economic context through the enhancement and transfer of knowledge through: outreach activities in schools of all levels; public information (eg journalistic services and technical or cultural insights on TV, press and web); dissemination of the importance of the protection of the natural landscape (Geoheritage) also for economic / applicative purposes, such as sustainable tourism; public engagement with institutions (eg hearings in the Senate and Chamber).