Seawater Intrusion Proneness and Geophysical Investigations in the Metaponto Coastal Plain (Basilicata, Italy)

Muzzillo Rosalba, Zuffianò Livia Emanuela, Rizzo Enzo, Canora Filomena, Capozzoli Luigi, Giampaolo Valeria, De Giorgio Giorgio, Sdao Francesco and Polemio Maurizio, 2021, Seawater Intrusion Proneness and Geophysical Investigations in the Metaponto Coastal Plain (Basilicata, Italy), Water (Basel) 13(1), 53 (2021): 1–14. doi_10.3390/w13010053,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/441220

The Metaponto coastal plain extends about 40 km along the Ionian coast, between the Sinni and Bradano Rivers (southern Italy). During the 20th century, the increases in modern irrigation systems, land reclamation works, the overexploitation of wells, and agricultural and industrial activities have deeply modified land use and groundwater availability and quality along the plain. These modifications negatively impacted the natural systems in terms of groundwater and soil salinization, magnifying the risks due to seawater intrusion. In this study, we explored the proneness to seawater intrusion, testing a multidisciplinary approach based on hydrochemical and geophysical investigations. A significant portion of the coastal plain was selected for this purpose. A set of 49 groundwater samples was analyzed to define the chemical characteristics of the water and geoelectrical measurements were recorded along three long profiles. The geoelectrical surveys showed in detail the aquifer bottom pattern where it is deeply incised by paleovalleys, defining the main hydrostratigraphic features, as it is necessary to prevent seawater intrusion worsening. The hydrochemical data highlighted areas with higher seawater intrusion proneness. The acquired measurements show the high proneness to seawater intrusion, especially where the aquifer bottom is very deep below the sea level, also far from the coast, and the relevance of the detailed knowledge of the aquifer bottom in supporting any kind of management.

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