Residual land subsidence near abandoned gas fields raises concern over northern Adriatic coastland

Authors

  • Domenico Baú,

    1. Department of Mathematical Methods and Models for Scientific Applications (DMMMSA), University of Padova, Via Belzoni 7, 35131 Padova, Italy
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  • Giuseppe Gambolati,

    1. Department of Mathematical Methods and Models for Scientific Applications (DMMMSA), University of Padova, Via Belzoni 7, 35131 Padova, Italy
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  • Pietro Teatini

    1. Department of Mathematical Methods and Models for Scientific Applications (DMMMSA), University of Padova, Via Belzoni 7, 35131 Padova, Italy
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Abstract

Many gas fields have been detected in the Northern Adriatic basin in the last 50 years. Gas production began in the early 1950s, and today some of the reservoirs are depleted. Other fields are currently under production or awaiting development in the near future (Figure 1a). One major environmental consequence of withdrawing gas from the ground is land subsidence. This can be a matter of great concern if the field is located below or close to low-lying and densely urbanized coastal areas. A ground elevation loss of only a few centimeters in these areas can enhance the ingress of sea water inland and expose the shore to flooding during high tides and severe storm events (Figure 2a).

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