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Stability And Numerical Modelling Of The \“King Tiberius” Cave At Riolo Terme (Ravenna-IT)


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273 - 282




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N. Sciarra, M. Mangifesta, A. Fanti1 & R. Margutti


This paper deals with the geo-mechanical characterization and the numerical modelling of the \“King Tiberius” natural cave. The so named \“Grotta di Re Tiberio”, located near the gypsum quarry of \“Monte Tondo”, in Borgo Rivola in the village of Riolo Terme (Ravenna Province – north-east Italy) is the most famous and celebrated natural cavity of the Regional Park of the Vena del Gesso, because of archaeological evidence attesting to the presence of man over several millennia (Age of Copper). The cavity, which is due to karsts phenomena occurring in the Gypsum formation, is more than 4 km long and is easily explored only for a stretch of about 60 m up to the astonishing \“Gothic Chamber”. The underground mining of gypsum, which happens within the \“Monte Tondo” for more than 20 km, has caused, below the natural cavity, the collapse of a portion of pavement affected by archaeological remains. This has involved the structural analysis of the rock and the stability of the system (natural and anthropic cavities) in correspondence of the \“Re Tiberius” cave. The conducted tests have involved the difficult reconstruction of the underground physical model and a numerical modelling of a significant portion of rock mass in order to propose some remedial works to safeguard and preserve the area. The modelling was implemented using a numerical code (FLAC_3D) at finite differences. The importance of the research was the analysis of the hazard relative to an interesting archaeological site in which we must operate to safeguard both the ancient human remains and the anthropic activities. Keywords: rock stability, numerical modelling, anthropogenic activity, archaeology.


rock stability, numerical modelling, anthropogenic activity, archaeology