Historical analysis of rainfall-triggered rockfalls: the case study of the disaster of the ancient hydrothermal Sclafani Spa (Madonie Mts, northern-central Sicily, Italy) in 1851

Salvatore Monteleone, Antonio Contino, Antonio Contino, Ignazio Giuffré, Patrizia Bova, Giuseppe Esposito

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Abstract

In 1851, the region of Sicily experienced many rainstorm-induced landslides. On 13 March 1851, a rainstorm brought about a severe rockfall disaster near the small town of Sclafani (Madonie Mountains, northern-central Sicily, Italy). Rocks detached from the carbonate crest of Mt Sclafani (813m above sea level) and fell downslope, causing the collapse of the ancient hydrothermal spa (about 430m above sea level) and burying it. Fortunately, there were no injuries or victims. Given its geological, geomorphological and tectonic features, the calcareous–dolomitic and carbonate–siliciclastic relief of Mt Sclafani is extremely prone to landsliding. This study combines the findings of detailed geological and geomorphological field surveys and of a critical review of documentary data. A thorough analysis of documentary sources and historical maps made it possible to identify the location (previously unknown) of the ancient spa. The rockfall dynamics was reconstructed by comparing field reconnaissance data and documentary sources. The 1851 event reconstruction is an example of the application of an integrated methodological approach, which can yield a propaedeutic, yet meaningful picture of a natural disaster, paving the way for further research (e.g. slope failure susceptibility, future land-use planning, protection of thermal springs and mitigation of the impact of similar disasters in this area). Indeed, the intensification of extreme weather events, caused by global warming induced by climate change, has increased the risk of recurrence of a catastrophic event, like that of the ancient Sclafani spa, which is always a potential threat.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)2229-2243
Numero di pagine15
RivistaNATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES
Volume17
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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documentary source
rockfall
rainstorm
disaster
sea level
geomorphological feature
rainfall
catastrophic event
tectonic feature
small town
geological feature
slope failure
natural disaster
thermal spring
land use planning
integrated approach
field survey
global warming
landslide
relief

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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title = "Historical analysis of rainfall-triggered rockfalls: the case study of the disaster of the ancient hydrothermal Sclafani Spa (Madonie Mts, northern-central Sicily, Italy) in 1851",
abstract = "In 1851, the region of Sicily experienced many rainstorm-induced landslides. On 13 March 1851, a rainstorm brought about a severe rockfall disaster near the small town of Sclafani (Madonie Mountains, northern-central Sicily, Italy). Rocks detached from the carbonate crest of Mt Sclafani (813m above sea level) and fell downslope, causing the collapse of the ancient hydrothermal spa (about 430m above sea level) and burying it. Fortunately, there were no injuries or victims. Given its geological, geomorphological and tectonic features, the calcareous–dolomitic and carbonate–siliciclastic relief of Mt Sclafani is extremely prone to landsliding. This study combines the findings of detailed geological and geomorphological field surveys and of a critical review of documentary data. A thorough analysis of documentary sources and historical maps made it possible to identify the location (previously unknown) of the ancient spa. The rockfall dynamics was reconstructed by comparing field reconnaissance data and documentary sources. The 1851 event reconstruction is an example of the application of an integrated methodological approach, which can yield a propaedeutic, yet meaningful picture of a natural disaster, paving the way for further research (e.g. slope failure susceptibility, future land-use planning, protection of thermal springs and mitigation of the impact of similar disasters in this area). Indeed, the intensification of extreme weather events, caused by global warming induced by climate change, has increased the risk of recurrence of a catastrophic event, like that of the ancient Sclafani spa, which is always a potential threat.",
author = "Salvatore Monteleone and Antonio Contino and Antonio Contino and Ignazio Giuffr{\'e} and Patrizia Bova and Giuseppe Esposito",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
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journal = "NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES",
issn = "1561-8633",

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T1 - Historical analysis of rainfall-triggered rockfalls: the case study of the disaster of the ancient hydrothermal Sclafani Spa (Madonie Mts, northern-central Sicily, Italy) in 1851

AU - Monteleone, Salvatore

AU - Contino, Antonio

AU - Contino, Antonio

AU - Giuffré, Ignazio

AU - Bova, Patrizia

AU - Esposito, Giuseppe

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - In 1851, the region of Sicily experienced many rainstorm-induced landslides. On 13 March 1851, a rainstorm brought about a severe rockfall disaster near the small town of Sclafani (Madonie Mountains, northern-central Sicily, Italy). Rocks detached from the carbonate crest of Mt Sclafani (813m above sea level) and fell downslope, causing the collapse of the ancient hydrothermal spa (about 430m above sea level) and burying it. Fortunately, there were no injuries or victims. Given its geological, geomorphological and tectonic features, the calcareous–dolomitic and carbonate–siliciclastic relief of Mt Sclafani is extremely prone to landsliding. This study combines the findings of detailed geological and geomorphological field surveys and of a critical review of documentary data. A thorough analysis of documentary sources and historical maps made it possible to identify the location (previously unknown) of the ancient spa. The rockfall dynamics was reconstructed by comparing field reconnaissance data and documentary sources. The 1851 event reconstruction is an example of the application of an integrated methodological approach, which can yield a propaedeutic, yet meaningful picture of a natural disaster, paving the way for further research (e.g. slope failure susceptibility, future land-use planning, protection of thermal springs and mitigation of the impact of similar disasters in this area). Indeed, the intensification of extreme weather events, caused by global warming induced by climate change, has increased the risk of recurrence of a catastrophic event, like that of the ancient Sclafani spa, which is always a potential threat.

AB - In 1851, the region of Sicily experienced many rainstorm-induced landslides. On 13 March 1851, a rainstorm brought about a severe rockfall disaster near the small town of Sclafani (Madonie Mountains, northern-central Sicily, Italy). Rocks detached from the carbonate crest of Mt Sclafani (813m above sea level) and fell downslope, causing the collapse of the ancient hydrothermal spa (about 430m above sea level) and burying it. Fortunately, there were no injuries or victims. Given its geological, geomorphological and tectonic features, the calcareous–dolomitic and carbonate–siliciclastic relief of Mt Sclafani is extremely prone to landsliding. This study combines the findings of detailed geological and geomorphological field surveys and of a critical review of documentary data. A thorough analysis of documentary sources and historical maps made it possible to identify the location (previously unknown) of the ancient spa. The rockfall dynamics was reconstructed by comparing field reconnaissance data and documentary sources. The 1851 event reconstruction is an example of the application of an integrated methodological approach, which can yield a propaedeutic, yet meaningful picture of a natural disaster, paving the way for further research (e.g. slope failure susceptibility, future land-use planning, protection of thermal springs and mitigation of the impact of similar disasters in this area). Indeed, the intensification of extreme weather events, caused by global warming induced by climate change, has increased the risk of recurrence of a catastrophic event, like that of the ancient Sclafani spa, which is always a potential threat.

UR - http://hdl.handle.net/10447/249919

UR - https://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/17/2229/2017/

M3 - Article

VL - 17

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EP - 2243

JO - NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES

JF - NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES

SN - 1561-8633

ER -