Saltwater has invaded the coastal aquifer along the southern Adriatic coast of the Po Plain in Italy. The topography, morphology and land use of the region is complex: rivers, canals, wetlands, lagoons, urban, industrial and agricultural areas and tourist establishments all coexist in a small area. Water table and iso-salinity maps show that in four study areas (Ancona-Bellocchio, Marina Romea, San Vitale Forest, Cervia) out of five, the water tables are below sea level and saltwater has replaced freshwater in the aquifer. The fifth area (Classe Forest) has a relatively pristine freshwater aquifer thanks to an average water-table height of 2m above sea level, a lower hydraulic conductivity (< 7.7m/day) and a continuous dune system along the coast. Only in this area is the topography high enough to maintain freshwater heads that can counteract saltwater intrusion according to the Ghyben-Herzberg principle. Furthermore, the climate, with an average yearly precipitation of 606mm and an average temperature of 14.4°C, allows for little recharge of the aquifer. Ongoing subsidence, encroachment of sea water along rivers and canals, as well as drainage from agricultural land also enhance the salinization process.

Salt water intrusion in the coastal aquifer of the southern Po Plain, Italy

ANTONELLINI, MARCO;GIAMBASTIANI, BEATRICE MARIA SOLE;CARUSO, LAURA;MINCHIO, ANDREA;ULAZZI, ELISA;GABBIANELLI, GIOVANNI
2008

Abstract

Saltwater has invaded the coastal aquifer along the southern Adriatic coast of the Po Plain in Italy. The topography, morphology and land use of the region is complex: rivers, canals, wetlands, lagoons, urban, industrial and agricultural areas and tourist establishments all coexist in a small area. Water table and iso-salinity maps show that in four study areas (Ancona-Bellocchio, Marina Romea, San Vitale Forest, Cervia) out of five, the water tables are below sea level and saltwater has replaced freshwater in the aquifer. The fifth area (Classe Forest) has a relatively pristine freshwater aquifer thanks to an average water-table height of 2m above sea level, a lower hydraulic conductivity (< 7.7m/day) and a continuous dune system along the coast. Only in this area is the topography high enough to maintain freshwater heads that can counteract saltwater intrusion according to the Ghyben-Herzberg principle. Furthermore, the climate, with an average yearly precipitation of 606mm and an average temperature of 14.4°C, allows for little recharge of the aquifer. Ongoing subsidence, encroachment of sea water along rivers and canals, as well as drainage from agricultural land also enhance the salinization process.
2008
Antonellini M.; Mollema P.; Giambastiani B.; Bishop K.; Caruso L.; Minchio A.; Pellegrini L.; Sabia M.; Ulazzi E.; Gabbianelli G.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/84614
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