A Pilot Project Using Seawater to Uplift Venice Anthropogenically

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Abstract

Recent field measurements based on satellite technology provide evidence that pumping fluid underground may cause land to rise by 20–30 centimeters over a few months to a few years, depending on a number of factors. For example, an anthropogenic uplift of 29 centimeters due to steam injection was recorded at Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, over approximately 3 months [Stancliffe and van der Kooij, 2001].

Such evidence supports the results of new modeling studies that rely on updated information from the northern Adriatic basin, which suggests that injecting seawater into a 600- to 800-meter-deep brackish aquifer underlying the Venice Lagoon might induce a city upheaval of 25–30 centimeters over 10 years [Comerlati et al., 2003, 2004]. This could provide Venice with an important innovative defense from the “acqua alta,” the flood that periodically plagues Venice, and it could also provide a substantial mitigation of the floods occurrence.

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