Climate changes and sea-level rise are important issues, especially for deltas such as the Po Delta, Italy. The evolution of the Po Delta shows a succession in space and a superposition in time of complex environmental natural processes. During the last few centuries, anthropogenic action has played a major role. The formation of the Po Delta began about 2000 years ago and has undergone many phases of development. Between 1500 AD and 1600 AD, the Venetian technicians diverted the Po river course. With these interventions, the “Renaissance delta” was cut off from the hydraulic network and the “modern delta” began to form. Until the middle of the 20th century, progradation of the delta was noticeable due to the abundant sediment supply. In the following decades coastal erosion occurred, this was caused by the reduction of the solid supply of the Po, due to dam and barrier construction and to river bed excavation. These and other interventions (e.g. reclamation, methane extractions from superficial ground water table) have deeply modified the physical and ecological characteristics of the Po Delta. The morphological characteristics of the Po Delta make the largest Italian wetland particularly unstable and very fragile when subjected to human pressure. Furthermore, the delta evidences multiple threats that will probably be exacerbated in the following decades by the effects of expected climatic changes. Only the application of careful policies concerning coastal defence, flood mitigation, anthropogenic subsidence reduction and salt wedge intrusion control will allow reduction of the present or predicted negative effects. This paper reviews how natural and human factors have controlled the Po Delta through time and discusses management strategies taking into account the importance of the human factor and the potential effects of climatic changes.

A review of the Delta Po evolution (Italy) related to climatic changes and human impacts

SIMEONI, Umberto;CORBAU, Corinne Sabine
2009

Abstract

Climate changes and sea-level rise are important issues, especially for deltas such as the Po Delta, Italy. The evolution of the Po Delta shows a succession in space and a superposition in time of complex environmental natural processes. During the last few centuries, anthropogenic action has played a major role. The formation of the Po Delta began about 2000 years ago and has undergone many phases of development. Between 1500 AD and 1600 AD, the Venetian technicians diverted the Po river course. With these interventions, the “Renaissance delta” was cut off from the hydraulic network and the “modern delta” began to form. Until the middle of the 20th century, progradation of the delta was noticeable due to the abundant sediment supply. In the following decades coastal erosion occurred, this was caused by the reduction of the solid supply of the Po, due to dam and barrier construction and to river bed excavation. These and other interventions (e.g. reclamation, methane extractions from superficial ground water table) have deeply modified the physical and ecological characteristics of the Po Delta. The morphological characteristics of the Po Delta make the largest Italian wetland particularly unstable and very fragile when subjected to human pressure. Furthermore, the delta evidences multiple threats that will probably be exacerbated in the following decades by the effects of expected climatic changes. Only the application of careful policies concerning coastal defence, flood mitigation, anthropogenic subsidence reduction and salt wedge intrusion control will allow reduction of the present or predicted negative effects. This paper reviews how natural and human factors have controlled the Po Delta through time and discusses management strategies taking into account the importance of the human factor and the potential effects of climatic changes.
Simeoni, Umberto; Corbau, Corinne Sabine
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/532212
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