Annual TOPO-EUROPE workshop, Antibes (France), Oct 4-7, 2015:
TOPO-EUROPE promotes, coordinates and integrates national research programs on geological surface processes and their implications for continental topography and natural hazards in a coherent European network. TOPO-Europe 2020 has the goal to extend the activity to the whole Mediterranean margin, considering that the convergence between the African and Eurasian continents is the dominant factor that can explain the current topography in southern Europe. The aim of this annual meeting is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for sharing knowledge and information in the field of neotectonic and topographic evolution of Europe and to promote and encourage multidisciplinary research on a truly European scale.
This years's workshop puts special emphasis on hazards, and on the role of space science in interaction with geological and geophysical observations. The European Space Agency organizes a one-day training in data analysis on the day following the workshop (Oct 8), for interested young scientists.
The charming town of Antibes has a long history as a sea port. The Greeks who settled there in the 5th century BC named it Antipolis, for it was located opposite the town (polis) of Nice. The Romans, who constructed the Via Julia Augusta along this coastal region, replaced the Greeks and built it into the largest town, and the main port of the region. Though its Musee Archeologique exhibits findings as old as the 13th century BC, nothing is visible from that period when you stroll through the narrow streets full of flowers in the old town. Instead, you will be charmed by the shops, restaurants and galleries of today's Antibes, a popular and beautiful vacation resort. Today it is still the largest port for yachts - from the very simple to the extravagant - at the Cote d'Azur. In the morning, their owners do their shopping in the Marché Provençal (Place Masséna) where you can have a drink or eat a pizza at night).
Because of the clear light that renders all colours very bright, the Cote d'Azur has always attracted painters. Among them Picasso, Nicolas de Stael, Hans Hartung, and Gerald Murphy, who lived at some time of their life in Antibes - their works can be seen in the Picasso museum (Chateau Grimaldi) next to the town's modest cathedral. But the town has a particular attraction for novelists: Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Lawrence Durrell and Scott Fitgerald did some of their best writing in Antibes (though you may be disappointed to find out the the Plage de la Garoupe, the beach of the opening scene in Fitzgeralds "Tender is the Night", is now mostly occupied by two restaurants with a menu in Russian...). If you wish to relive some of that atmosphere: the Chateau de la Garoupe above the beach was once rented by Cole Porter and his wife Linda, who invited Gerald and Sarah Murphy. Gerald later bought Villa America on 112 Chemin des Mougins (now rebuilt). The Hotel du Cap hosted many of the characters that pop up from the past in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen subsequently used Antibes to film Magic in the Moonlight.
In fact, if you arrive early or leave late and have a few hours to spare, there is much more to do in Antibes. Walk along the ramparts, then in the old town and visit the shops. Artists replace the local farmers in the Marché Provençal in the afternoon. Or take bus 2 to the Plage de la Garoupe (all buses have fare 1 euro) and walk the Chemin des Contrebandiers, a hiking trail that guides you in 1.5 hour around the Cap d'Antibes with breathtaking views of the mountains and the sea. A small detour brings you to the Musee Naval and Napoleonic on the Boulevard J.F. Kennedy, which is currently being restaured but should reopen before the start of our conference. You can bring your swimming gear and go to the beach in Le Ponteil - a short walk in the direction of Cap d'Antibes. At the end of the beach starts the trail that brings you to the lighthouse at the highest point of the Cap. The Place National has a choice of places where you can have a glass of rosé de Provence while watching the crowd or - if you are there at the right time - listen to a jazz ensemble.
The TopoEurope 2015 workshop is held in the Espaces du Fort Carre, the (restored) former barracks for the soldiers who were stationed in the Fort Carré.
This fortress, together with the ramparts, was constructed in the 16th century to defend it against Savoie (which, at the time, was allied to the County of Nice, while Antibes was part of France).
In the 18th century, the fortress was reinforced by Vauban, who was responsible for much of the military architecture under Louis XIV.
When Nice became part of France with the Treaty of Turin (1860), the fortress lost its important role for the defence of the port of Antibes. Currently, it is owned by the town and since 1998 it is open to the public.
On Sunday afternoon before the workshop, there will be a guided visit in english for a small group of workshop participants (make sure you sign on if you wish to do this).
Geoazur, this year's workshop organizer, is a multidisciplinary joint research unit affiliated to the UNS, OCA, CNRS and IRD, and directed by Emmanuel Tric. The major supervising institution is the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis.
Created in 1996, Géoazur focuses on Geoscience research using combined analyses of the Earth, Ocean and Space. The central topics are Lithosphere Dynamics and the Metrology of the Earth and the Nearby Universe. The studies consider major societal stakes, including seismic, gravitational and tsunami hazards, and change in global mean sea level.
Géoazur is actively involved in training courses of Nice-Sophia Antipolis University’s Department of Earth Sciences, and in Villefranche-sur-mer Oceanology Observatory’s (OOV-UPMC) marine geoscience workshops.
Géoazur activities are part of the observation missions of the Côte d’Azur Observatory (OCA), serving the scientific community through dedicated centres for geodesy, seismology, gravitational movement and laser telemetry.
Since october 2012, the Géoazur staff have gathered on the CNRS campus at Sophia Antipolis. Géoazur settlements related to laser telemetry observation are located in Calern.