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Volume 29 (1) - 2006


Coastal changes and the environmental evolution of the archaeological site of Sybaris (Southern Italy)

Pages 51-59


In order to investigate the geological and geotechnical incidences in the disappearance of the archaeological site of Sybaris (Southern Italy) and to define the causes of the relative land subsidence affecting the area since ancient times a research project has been carried out in the past few years. An interdisciplinary approach which includes history, archaeology, geomorphology and soil mechanics, has been used to ascertain the nature of the morphological changes. In particular, this paper represents a portion and a work in progress of the whole research after new data concerning the regional uplift and the eustatic sea level rise. Previous papers showed that the land subsidence was the result of three main components: neotectonic, sea level changes and the compression of sediments comprising the plain, while the present paper infers that the major contribution to the settlements is due to the compression of sediments. The rates of both the tectonic uplift and the subsidence are of the same size. Furthermore, the characteristics of the sediments are described, reconstructing their depositional environments and the evolutionary history. Numerous boreholes with continuous coring allowed a detailed examination of the litho-stratigraphic profiles along with bio-stratigraphic and chrono-stratigraphic ones, contributing to the geomorphological reconstruction of the area. The results obtained from the different analyses are in agreement and confirm each other.

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