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Riccardo Brunetta, Paolo Ciavola, Guido Selvi
In period of the 1950s-60s, the Po river Delta (Northern Italy) was hit by several floods. Agricultural fields were covered by water and many of them remained submerged since. As a consequence of the massive sediment injection into the system, this event lead to the birth of new tidal flats around the tip of the Delta. The evolution of these environments over 50 years has been studied as they may be taken as an example for future reconstruction of intertidal areas. The sediment distribution and the morphological evolution of a young tidal flat of about 10 ha located in the Northern part of the Po della Pila branch was studied by fieldwork since October 2018, including detailed topographic surveys, sedimentological analyses and a study of sediment deposition rates. An extended crevasse splay covers the central part of the flat. The granulometry is predominately fine (Silty clay and Clayey silt), except for the central area, where the sand percentage increases (Loam and Silty sand). This surface distribution is uniform down to ~10 cm; instead, the sand percentage increases within the sediment column from ~10 to 25 cm next to the mouths. These observations suggest that the tidal channels are fed by sediment from the Po River branch. Orthophotos from the 1950s show that the tidal flat is about 15 years old and its formation was influenced by human interventions and river floods. The work finally aims at identifying the optimal elevation for vegetation to establish and flourish and would support future restoration of these environments.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program