Geomorphological map of urban area of Palermo (Italy)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

The results of a geomorphological survey carried out in the urban area of Palermo are described. The studyarea is located in the northern margin of Western Sicily and is part of the SE-verging Alpine orogenic belt(Catalano et al., 2013). An E-W mountain range (Sicilian Apennines) is the topographical expression of thisbelt (Di Maggio et al., 2017). In the Palermo area, the physical continuity of the mountain range is brokenby a large topographically-depressed coastal area. This area is set on a half-graben and is characterized by aplain (Conca d’Oro plain), opened to sea and surrounded by wide scarps hundreds of meters tall to the inland.The wide and tall scarps are abandoned coastal cliffs derived from original fault scarps. Large talus slopesbound the scarps at their base. A very slight dipping wedge of Calabrian coastal and shallow water clasticdeposits from few to tens of meters thick crops out in the Conca d’Oro plain. These deposits (Marsala synthem,ISPRA 2013) lie on Meso-Cenozoic rocks with strong angular unconformities. Along the plain, a Middle-Upper Pleistocene succession of marine terraces develops from 0 m up to 150 m a.s.l. These terraces arecharacterized by large and well-preserved polycyclic wave-cut surfaces which in turn are down-cut by someriver valleys from few to ten meters deep. The city of Palermo rises along the marine terrace surfaces and theriver valleys of the Conca d’Oro plain. Over the last 2700 years, the urban area of Palermo has been affectedby remarkable man-made changes to the topographic surface and to the drainage network. The main changesconsist of: filling of river valleys; concreting, diversion and burial of riverbeds; excavation of aqueduct tunnel(qanat) and underground or open quarries; massive nourishment of the coast areas by means of demolitionmaterials of the Second World War. Geomorphological setting, man-made changes, and urban developmentup to the talus slope expose the city of Palermo a hydraulic, sinkhole, and landslide risks. To facilitate studyon urban planning and environmental risk assessment, a geomorphological map of the urban area of Palermohas been achieved through field surveys, multitemporal analysis of aerial photographs and topographic map,consultation of historical documents, and stratigraphic and topographic reconstructions from numerous wells.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Geomorphological map of urban area of Palermo (Italy)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this