Urban geological modelling plays a crucial role in facilitating the sustainable utilization of the urban subsurface and the development of effective strategies for geohazard mitigation. Traditionally, geological models of urban areas rely on lithological correlations of boreholes and well data. However, in complex depositional settings such as alluvial environments, where the standard concepts of superposition and lateral continuity of strata are often violated, lithostratigraphic correlation can be challenging even over short distances, leading to considerable uncertainty in the final geological model. Therefore, in such cases, lithofacies analysis can provide a more robust categorisation of subsurface geological units as lithofacies mainly reflect the depositional process, while their associations provide a reliable picture of sedimentary bodies and their geometries. In this work, we used the lithofacies correlation approach to develop a 3D geological model of the urban area of Bologna (Italy) where a complex, thick alluvial succession makes lithological correlations very difficult. To minimize subjectivity, we reinterpreted 940 existing borehole logs in terms of depositional facies and combined stratigraphic data with geophysical HSVR (Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio) measurements and surface analysis (morphology and river network) based on a DTM (Digital Terrain Model). This led to the detailed reconstruction of the subsurface depositional architecture, forming the basis for the 3D geological model. The model revealed the presence of three distinct depositional domains with different stratigraphic architectures. From west to east: Domain A (Reno River) corresponds to the gravel-dominated fill of a river valley abruptly passing to Domain B (Bologna urban area) that represents a morphological and stratigraphical divide, topographically elevated with respect to the surrounding areas and characterised by fine-grained deposits with frequent paleosols. Lastly, Domain C (Savena River) exhibits the typical alluvial fan pattern, marked by a gentle convex-up surface morphology with gravellysandy deposits with a low degree of lateral amalgamation. The geological model effectively explains the distribution of ground subsidence in Bologna since the 1960s, which is attributable to significant groundwater pumping. This is evident from the comparison of the model with both the ground displacement contours resulting from the 1983-1987 topographic levelling campaign and the subsidence rate map derived from the 2006-2011 Radarsat interferometric survey. Subsidence shows strong variations at the domains' boundaries, especially at the limit between Domain A (Reno River) where high values prevail, and Domain B (Bologna city centre) characterised by the lowest values.

3D geological modelling of the Bologna urban area (Italy) / Giacomelli S.; Zuccarini A.; Amorosi A.; Bruno L.; Di Paola G.; Martini A.; Severi P.; Berti M.. - In: ENGINEERING GEOLOGY. - ISSN 0013-7952. - ELETTRONICO. - 324:(2023), pp. 107242.1-107242.19. [10.1016/j.enggeo.2023.107242]

3D geological modelling of the Bologna urban area (Italy)

Giacomelli S.;Zuccarini A.;Amorosi A.;Di Paola G.;Berti M.
2023

Abstract

Urban geological modelling plays a crucial role in facilitating the sustainable utilization of the urban subsurface and the development of effective strategies for geohazard mitigation. Traditionally, geological models of urban areas rely on lithological correlations of boreholes and well data. However, in complex depositional settings such as alluvial environments, where the standard concepts of superposition and lateral continuity of strata are often violated, lithostratigraphic correlation can be challenging even over short distances, leading to considerable uncertainty in the final geological model. Therefore, in such cases, lithofacies analysis can provide a more robust categorisation of subsurface geological units as lithofacies mainly reflect the depositional process, while their associations provide a reliable picture of sedimentary bodies and their geometries. In this work, we used the lithofacies correlation approach to develop a 3D geological model of the urban area of Bologna (Italy) where a complex, thick alluvial succession makes lithological correlations very difficult. To minimize subjectivity, we reinterpreted 940 existing borehole logs in terms of depositional facies and combined stratigraphic data with geophysical HSVR (Horizontal to Vertical Spectral Ratio) measurements and surface analysis (morphology and river network) based on a DTM (Digital Terrain Model). This led to the detailed reconstruction of the subsurface depositional architecture, forming the basis for the 3D geological model. The model revealed the presence of three distinct depositional domains with different stratigraphic architectures. From west to east: Domain A (Reno River) corresponds to the gravel-dominated fill of a river valley abruptly passing to Domain B (Bologna urban area) that represents a morphological and stratigraphical divide, topographically elevated with respect to the surrounding areas and characterised by fine-grained deposits with frequent paleosols. Lastly, Domain C (Savena River) exhibits the typical alluvial fan pattern, marked by a gentle convex-up surface morphology with gravellysandy deposits with a low degree of lateral amalgamation. The geological model effectively explains the distribution of ground subsidence in Bologna since the 1960s, which is attributable to significant groundwater pumping. This is evident from the comparison of the model with both the ground displacement contours resulting from the 1983-1987 topographic levelling campaign and the subsidence rate map derived from the 2006-2011 Radarsat interferometric survey. Subsidence shows strong variations at the domains' boundaries, especially at the limit between Domain A (Reno River) where high values prevail, and Domain B (Bologna city centre) characterised by the lowest values.
2023
3D geological modelling of the Bologna urban area (Italy) / Giacomelli S.; Zuccarini A.; Amorosi A.; Bruno L.; Di Paola G.; Martini A.; Severi P.; Berti M.. - In: ENGINEERING GEOLOGY. - ISSN 0013-7952. - ELETTRONICO. - 324:(2023), pp. 107242.1-107242.19. [10.1016/j.enggeo.2023.107242]
Giacomelli S.; Zuccarini A.; Amorosi A.; Bruno L.; Di Paola G.; Martini A.; Severi P.; Berti M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/962973
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