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Miss Costanza Morino

Costanza Morino  Postgraduate Research Student  School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics The Open University  Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA  Tel.: +44 1908652157  Email:

Profile summary

  • Research Student
  • Research Student
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences

Professional biography

I am a PhD student fully funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council through the Central England NERC Training Alliance Doctoral Training Partnership.

My research focusses on the possible connections between degradation of permafrost and rapid mass movements occurring in mountain regions in northern Iceland. In the last few years, a number of landslides occurred in Iceland, where the trend of increasing atmospheric temperatures over the last decade has caused degradation of permafrost, a phenomenon that can affect slope stability. However, the possible role of thawing ground-ice in the behaviour and mobility of rapid mass movements in Iceland is still poorly understood.

Using geomorphological and remote sensing analyses (high resolution aerial photography, hyperspectral data, digital elevation data from airborne LiDAR, Structure from Motion ground-based photogrammetry), and field-applied geophysics (differential GPS, Ground Penetrating Radar), my research aims to understand the role of thawing ground-ice in triggering rapid mass-wasting phenomena. This work will aid in assessing the natural hazard constituted by degradation of permafrost in inhabited mountain areas in Iceland and determining the risk to local population.

Supervisors: Susan J. Conway ( Université de Nantes), Matt R. Balme (The Open University), Colm Jordan (British Geological Survey), John Hillier (Loughborough University), Þorsteinn Sæmundsson (University of Iceland), Tom Argles (The Open University).

Research interests

  • Mountain geomorphology
  • Mountain permafrost and periglacial geomorphology
  • Applied remote sensing, GIS and spatial data analysis
  • Application of geophysics in mountain environment
  • Natural hazard and risk analysis

External collaborations

My PhD project benefits from collaborations with the British Geological Survey,  the University of Iceland and Loughborough University. I also collaborate with the Icelandic Meteorological Office.