Natural Hazards

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 471–488 | Cite as

A historical geomorphological approach to flood hazard management along the shore of an alpine lake (northern Italy)

  • F. LuinoEmail author
  • A. Belloni
  • L. Turconi
  • F. Faccini
  • A. Mantovani
  • P. Fassi
  • F. Marincioni
  • G. Caldiroli
Original Paper


A project to develop a flood hazard management plan along the east shore of Lago Maggiore was carried out. Several municipal territories along a coastal stretch have been analysed, identifying the rate of water rise and the limits of the submerged areas. This study discusses the overall methodological approach and presents the results for Porto Valtravaglia, as a significant case study. The first step was a detailed analysis of historical events to locate the most frequently damaged sites. Thousands of historical documents on past floods were collected, selected and validated, to map the most vulnerable sites. The second step was a morphological analysis of the studied coastal stretch. Multi-temporal aerial snap-shots were used and field surveys were conducted to verify the reliability of the historical data and to identify the critical hydraulic conditions along the shore. The third step was a review of the general urban development plans of the 17 studied municipalities. Aerophotogrammetric and cadastral maps were used to evidence and define the eight classes of land use destinations. In addition, the floodable areas were divided into three vulnerability and exposure categories considering different peculiarities of social and working life. Finally, using GIS spatial analysis tools, these data were compiled into risk maps and wielded as the municipal emergency plans’ baseline scenarios. For each studied municipality was hypothesised the alarm thresholds upon which were activated the flood emergency procedures.


Lacustrine floods Historical geomorphology Emergency plans Lago Maggiore Northern Italy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018
corrected publication July 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica (CNR-IRPI)TurinItaly
  2. 2.Regione Lombardia, Direzione Generale, Sicurezza, Protezione Civile e ImmigrazioneMilanItaly
  3. 3.DISTAV – Universita′ di GenovaGenoaItaly
  4. 4.Regione Lombardia, Protezione Civile, Coordinamento Service Tecnico H24MilanItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell’AmbienteUniversita’ Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly

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