Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-82
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
13 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Sea-level rise along the Emilia-Romagna coast (Northern Italy) at 2100: scenarios and impacts
Luisa Perini1, Lorenzo Calabrese1, Paolo Luciani1, Marco Olivieri2, Gaia Galassi3, and Giorgio Spada3 1Servizio Geologico, Sismico e dei Suoli, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Bologna, Italy
2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
3Dipartimento di Scienze Pure e Applicate (DiSPeA), Università di Urbino, Urbino, Italy
Abstract. As a consequence of climate change and human-induced land subsidence, coastal zones are directly impacted by sea-level rise. In some particular areas, the effects on the ecosystem and the urbanisation are particularly enhanced. We focus on the Emilia-Romagna coastal plain in Northern Italy, bounded by the Po river mouth to the north and by the Apennines to the south. The plain is ~ 130 km long and is characterised by wide areas below sea level, in part reclaimed wetlands. In this context, several morphodynamic factors make the shore and back-shore unstable. During next decades, the combined effects of land subsidence and of the sea-level rise in consequence of climate change are expected to enhance the shoreline instability, leading to a further retreat. The consequent loss of beaches would impact the economy of the region, tightly connected with tourism infrastructures. Furthermore, the loss of wetlands and dunes would threaten the ecosystem, crucial for the preservation of life and environment. These specific conditions show the importance of a precise definition of the possible local impacts of the ongoing and future climate variations. The aim of this work is the characterisation of vulnerability in different sectors of the coastal plain and the recognition of the areas in which human intervention is urgently required. The IPCC AR5 sea-level scenarios are merged with new high resolution terrain models, current data for local subsidence and predictions of a flooding model (in_CoastFlood) to develop different scenarios for the impact of sea-level rise to year 2100. First, the potential land loss due to the combined effect of subsidence and sea-level rise is extrapolated. Second, the increase of floodable areas in consequence of storm surges is quantitatively determined. The results are expected to support the regional mitigation and adaptation strategies designed in response to climate change.

Citation: Perini, L., Calabrese, L., Luciani, P., Olivieri, M., Galassi, G., and Spada, G.: Sea-level rise along the Emilia-Romagna coast (Northern Italy) at 2100: scenarios and impacts, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-82, in review, 2017.
Luisa Perini et al.
Luisa Perini et al.
Luisa Perini et al.

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Short summary
The Emilia-Romagna coastal plain is a low-land, highly urbanised area that will be significantly impacted by climate change. To plan adequate mitigation measures, reliable sea level scenarios are needed. Here we suggests a method for evaluating the combined effects of sea-level rise and land subsidence to year 2100, in terms of the increase of floodable areas during sea-storms. The results allow for a regional assessment and indicate a significant local variability of the factors acting.
The Emilia-Romagna coastal plain is a low-land, highly urbanised area that will be significantly...
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