WIT Press

Landscape Dynamics Risk Management In Northern Appennines (Italy)


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WIT Press


F Bianchi & F Catani


The Riomaggiore catchment is a sub-watershed of the Reno river basin, located in the Northern Apennines between Florence and Bologna. The whole area shows complex interactions between the environment and human activities: hillslope processes, mainly soil erosion and landsliding, are very widespread and overlap in many cases with settlements and infrastructures. Under such conditions specialised instruments are needed for a correct management of the environmental sustainability. This paper presents the results of the application of an environmental accounting model for the choice of the optimal management strategy at a local government level. The accounting model is in turn made up of three different components, i) a, soil erosion prediction scheme based on a distributed version of the Universal Soil Loss Erosion USLE, ii) a landsliding assessment module in which the relative probability of movement depends on a series of physical parameters weighted by an artificial neural network and iii) a simple economic model taking into account value and production losses expected as a consequence of surface processes. The different output of the simulation phase, generated with varying parameters and conditions, represent in average the whole spectrum of the possible risk scenarios. These last constitute the input of the environmental accounting model that can be used to validate hypotheses, rank the different scenarios and guide the decision makers toward the best prevention measures in the territorial planning phase. The same approach can be used for the real-time management of emergency situations concerning natural hazards.