Updating the list of Apulian municipalities with presence of man-made cavities



The widespread occurrence of sinkholes related to man-made cavities in Apulia highlights the need to perform a careful reconnaissance of the artificial caves over the whole region, and of their stability conditions. Knowledge of the presence and typology of artificial cavity, and of its main features, is a mandatory step for the mitigation of the sinkhole risk.


The project dealt with the updating of the Apulian municipalities with presence of artificial cavities, aimed at the recognition of the sectors in the region that are likely to be involved in sinkhole problems. The phases of work were carried out to identify the areas most susceptible to sinkholes, and to perform the preliminary studies for risk mitigation strategies.


From the data of the Regional Inventory of Artificial Cavities in Apulia (including 564 entries at the time of the project), the stability conditions of each cavity have been preliminary evaluated, by means of direct surveys and the production of a specific datasheet.


Updating the Regional Register of Artificial Cavities of Apulia allowed to verify the real distribution of man-made cavities in the region, and to add new data to the existing list. Further, the preliminary assessment of instability provided the Basin Authority of Apulia with fundamental information for establishing the priority areas where to start with sinkhole mitigation measures.


Updated inventory of artificial cavities in Apulia. Preliminary assessment of the related stability conditions. GIS with detailed location of the cavities, in relation to the built-up areas.


The researches carried out in the project highlighted the high risk existing in Apulia, as regards the occurrence of sinkholes related to man-made cavities, and the possibility that urban areas and infrastructures might be involved in instability events. The topic is therefore of high interest for civil protection issues.