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Supplements of Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria
Volume VII - 2005


Proceedings of the Conferences “Mountains and Plains”


The natural and man-induced subsidence of the Ravenna area (Po plain) – Subsidenza naturale e artificiale nel Ravennate

Pages 137-143


The Ravenna area (south-east rim of the Po Plain, Italy) is subject to a high regional natural subsidence, near to the maximum values of all the Po Plain , active from at least the Lower Pliocene and during all the Quaternary. In the last dec ades Ravenna and its sur roundings have been affected by a man -induced subsidence of up to fifty times the natural rate, mainly due to water pumping and to the extr action of methane. Since the 1960′s the pro gressively widening of the land sinking has influenced the whole historical centre and the new industrial zones, as well as the coast – line, few kilometers from the city centre. Th e subsidence reached peaks of high risk and the related effects became critical. Th e progressive reduction in the last two decades of underground water use brought the subsidence close to natural rates, but the negative consequences of elevation loss in the near future due to coastal erosion, higher storm surges and the risk of river floods, still remain.

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