Monitoring of the Castellana Caves

Monitoring of a sample site in the Castellana Caves, Apulia, southern Italy, aimed at the assessment of the stability conditions.

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Background

Evolution of cave and karst system occurs also by means of successive detachments of blocks from both the vault and the walls of the underground spaces. In show caves, this poses problems for the safety of visitors, and the issue must be carefully evaluated.

Purpose

Detailed study, and monitoring, of a sample area in the karst system of the Castellana Caves.

Methods

Starting from the rsults of the project carried out in 2004, selection of a sample areas, and implementation of a monitoring system to control the evolution of the cracks.

Results

The final part of the Corridoio del Deserto was selected as sample area, and detailed studied as concerns the geological-structural features. After the design of the monitoring system, the necessary instruments have not been acquired by Grotte di Castellana srl, which made impossible the monitoring activity.

Products

Structural characterization of the sample area (final part of the Corridoio del Deserto).

Conclusions

The project, that represented the natural continuation of that carried out in 2004, aimed at the assessment of the rockfall hazard along the tourist path of the Castellana Caves, remained incomplete due to not acquisition of the necessary monitoring instrumentation.