Coda, Silvio (2021) Rising groundwater levels in the Neapolitan area and its impacts on civil engineering structures, agricultural soils and archaeological sites. [Tesi di dottorato]


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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Resource language: English
Title: Rising groundwater levels in the Neapolitan area and its impacts on civil engineering structures, agricultural soils and archaeological sites
Date: May 2021
Number of Pages: 233
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Scienze della Terra, dell'Ambiente e delle Risorse
Dottorato: Scienze della Terra, dell'ambiente e delle risorse
Ciclo di dottorato: 33
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Allocca, VincenzoUNSPECIFIED
Date: May 2021
Number of Pages: 233
Keywords: hydrogeology; groundwater levels rising
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 04 - Scienze della terra > GEO/05 - Geologia applicata
Date Deposited: 23 May 2021 10:57
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2023 10:37

Collection description

The rise of groundwater levels (GWLr) is a worldwide phenomenon with several consequences for urban and rural environment, cultural heritage and human health. In this thesis the phenomenon and its effects are analysed in two sectors of the Metropolitan City of Naples (southern Italy). These areas are the central sector of the eastern plain of Naples and the Cumae archaeological site in the western coastal sector of Phlegraean Fields. The triggering mechanism of GWLr is attributed to anthropogenic and natural causes, as the groundwater rebound (GR) process and the relative sea level rise due to volcano-tectonic subsidence of coastal areas. In the eastern plain of Naples, the interruption of pumping for public and private purposes occurred in 1990, leading to a progressive increase of piezometric levels with values up to 16.54 m. Since the end of 2000s, episodes of groundwater flooding (GF) have been registered on underground structures and agricultural soils. The historical piezometric levels and a comprehensive conceptual model of the aquifer have been reconstructed, as well as a first inventory of GF episodes and the hydrogeological controlling factors of GF occurrence have been detected. The economic consequences of GF have been analysed for an experimental building of study area, in which a sharp increment of expenditures has been registered. These costs include technical and legal support, construction and maintenance of GF mitigation measures and electricity consumption. Others GWLr-induced phenomena have been recognised, as ground vertical deformation and variations of the groundwater contamination. A relationship between GWLr and ground uplift emerges from the coupled analysis of piezometric and interferometric data, referred to the 1989-2013 period. The ground deformation occurs in response to the recovery of pore-pressure in the aquifer system, reaching an uplift magnitude up to 40-50 mm. In the 1989-2017 period, the piezometric levels and the concentrations of some natural contaminants in groundwater (Fe, Mn, fluorides) show opposite trends, conversely the same rising trend has been observed with nitrates. These different responses to piezometric rise are related to the lack of mobilization of deep fluids due to the interruption of pumping and to the reduction of the surficial contaminants' time travel caused by a shorter thickness of the vadose zone. In the western sector of Phlegraean Fields, the naturally triggered GWLr has caused GF in the Cumae archaeological site for the last decade, threatening safeguard and conservation of the archaeological heritage. From an integrated hydrogeological, hydrochemical and isotopic survey, a considerable contamination of groundwater resulted, due to the presence of rising highly mineralized fluids, mobilized during pumping periods, and others anthropogenic sources of contamination. Lastly, a novel methodology for groundwater flooding susceptibility (GFS) assessment has been developed by using machine learning techniques and tested in the eastern plain of Naples. Points of GF occurrence have been connected to environmental predisposing factors through Spatial Distribution Models' algorithms to estimate the most prone areas' distribution. Ensemble Models have been carried out to reduce the uncertainty associated with each algorithm and increase its reliability. Mapping of GFS has been realized by dividing occurrence probability values into five classes of susceptibility. Results show an optimal correspondence between GF points' location and the highest classes (93% of GF points falls into high and very high classes). The results of this research provide new knowledge on the GWLr phenomenon that has impacted a large territory of the Metropolitan City of Naples. The methodological approach used can be exported in others hydrogeological contexts to characterize GWLr and its impacts. In addition, the implemented GFS methodology represents a new tool to assist local government authorities, planners and water decision-makers in addressing the problems deriving from GF, and a first step for the evaluation of GF risk as required by Italian and European legislation.


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