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Groundwater monitoring at a building site of the tidal flood protection system “MOSE” in the Lagoon of Venice, Italy

Abstract

To protect Venice against tidal flooding, the MOSE system (Experimental Electro-mechanic Module) has been under construction since 2003. This safeguarding system is composed of four batteries of mobile barriers at the Lagoon’s inlets (Lido, Malamocco, Chioggia), which will be lifted before the occurrence of exceptional high tides (>1.10 m above the mean sea level), isolating the Venetian Lagoon from the sea. The end of the construction work is foreseen by 2016. In this paper, the results of the groundwater monitoring at the building site of Punta Sabbioni at the Lido inlet are described. A large dewatered basin (tura), formerly occupied by the sea and close to the shoreline, was used for the precasting of the mobile barriers, and the impact of groundwater control was therefore monitored in the phreatic and shallow confined aquifers. Although a slurry wall barrier was excavated to isolate the tura, a drawdown cone in the confined aquifer was observed, extending to 1 km from the construction site. In contrast, the phreatic aquifer was only influenced by tides, rainfall and evapotranspiration, and the slurry wall of the tura had a positive effect of decreasing the groundwater salinity by limiting the seawater intrusion, as confirmed by the electrical conductivity profiles measured inside the piezometers. The monitoring activity was successful in assessing the impacts of the construction work on the aquifer system and in distinguishing them from the effects of natural driving forces.

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Notes

  1. Consortium for coordination of research activities concerning the Venice lagoon system.

  2. Tura is the ancient Venetian word to designate the bounded basins used for the wooden pole foundations of the palaces of Venice.

  3. ICPSM (Istituto Centro di Previsione e Segnalazione Maree) is the agency for the measurement and forecast of tides in the Venice Lagoon.

  4. ARPA Veneto is the regional environmental protection agency.

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Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Dr. Pierpaolo Campostrini and Dr. Caterina Dabalà of CORILA (Consortium for coordination of research activities concerning the Venice lagoon system), the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti-Magistrato alle Acque di Venezia (Ministry of Infrastructures and Transports-Venice Water Authority) for the permission to use the data of the monitoring program B.6.72 B/1–8 (Survey and monitoring activities of the effects of the construction works at the Lagoon inlets).

The authors gratefully acknowledge Silvia Delforno, Chiara Santi and Tommaso Baldarelli, who collaborated on this project at the early stages.

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Correspondence to Rajandrea Sethi.

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Casasso, A., Di Molfetta, A. & Sethi, R. Groundwater monitoring at a building site of the tidal flood protection system “MOSE” in the Lagoon of Venice, Italy. Environ Earth Sci 73, 2397–2408 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-014-3588-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-014-3588-8

Keywords

  • Groundwater monitoring
  • MOSE
  • Dewatering
  • Groundwater control
  • Coastal aquifer
  • Venice