Among natural hazards, mud volcanoes can damage property and infrastructures and affect hillslope evolution at different spatial and temporal scales. The results of 10-year-long multidisciplinary investigations performed on a Roman-age archaeological site, La Rovina di Montegibbio, are presented, showing a peculiar example of mutual interplay between human settlement and geological forcing in the mud-volcanic environment. The site (350 m a.s.l.) lies at the termination of the upper Secchia River catchment, near the town of Sassuolo (Modena Province). Here, a 4-km long mud volcano belt borders the Apennines chain front, comprising one of the most prominent mud volcanoes of Italy (Salsa di Montegibbio), and the still-active chain hinge tectonics gives origin to gas and oil seeps. Based on geological, geoarchaeological, palaeobotanical, geochemical, geophysical records and analytical data, we unravel the onset, the evolution and the abandonment of the settlement in relation to the existence of a previously unknown mud volcano, belonging to the larger Montegibbio mud volcano system. The damages affecting the Roman-age buildings record the ground deformations in the context of mud volcano tectonics. In particular, the pattern of faults set buried under the archaeological site is shown and compared with that of the main mud volcano conduit. At least two Roman-age eruptive episodes have been recorded, whose ejected muds are geochemically characterized. The first recorded eruption must be regarded as the reason for the initial location and function of the sacred ancient settlement. The final site abandonment was because of subsequent severe ground deformations affecting the hillslope as a consequence of mud volcano activity.

Evidence of late-Holocene mud-volcanic eruptions in the Modena foothills (northern Italy).

Borgatti L.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Cremonini S.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Falsone G.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2019

Abstract

Among natural hazards, mud volcanoes can damage property and infrastructures and affect hillslope evolution at different spatial and temporal scales. The results of 10-year-long multidisciplinary investigations performed on a Roman-age archaeological site, La Rovina di Montegibbio, are presented, showing a peculiar example of mutual interplay between human settlement and geological forcing in the mud-volcanic environment. The site (350 m a.s.l.) lies at the termination of the upper Secchia River catchment, near the town of Sassuolo (Modena Province). Here, a 4-km long mud volcano belt borders the Apennines chain front, comprising one of the most prominent mud volcanoes of Italy (Salsa di Montegibbio), and the still-active chain hinge tectonics gives origin to gas and oil seeps. Based on geological, geoarchaeological, palaeobotanical, geochemical, geophysical records and analytical data, we unravel the onset, the evolution and the abandonment of the settlement in relation to the existence of a previously unknown mud volcano, belonging to the larger Montegibbio mud volcano system. The damages affecting the Roman-age buildings record the ground deformations in the context of mud volcano tectonics. In particular, the pattern of faults set buried under the archaeological site is shown and compared with that of the main mud volcano conduit. At least two Roman-age eruptive episodes have been recorded, whose ejected muds are geochemically characterized. The first recorded eruption must be regarded as the reason for the initial location and function of the sacred ancient settlement. The final site abandonment was because of subsequent severe ground deformations affecting the hillslope as a consequence of mud volcano activity.
Borgatti L., Bosi G., Bracci A. E., Cremonini S., Falsone G., Guandalini F. , Labate D., Mainardi G., Martinelli G., Montecchi M.C., Pieraccini D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/707217
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