05 Dec '17, 11am

Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?

Rising Waters: Can a Massive Barrier Save Venice from Drowning?

The genesis of MOSE can be traced back to November 4, 1966, when gale-force winds in the Adriatic Sea pushed a wall of water into the Venice lagoon. Venetians awoke to find their city under 5 or 6 feet of water. From its founding in the 5th Century, flooding had been commonplace in Venice. But groundwater pumping had caused the ground under the city to subside, and dredging of the lagoon for container ships had changed the tidal dynamics, making Venice more vulnerable to storm surges. “It had always been a fragile place of exquisite beauty and slow death. It was now an emergency,” historian Thomas Madden wrote. “Venice was descending beneath the all-consuming waves, and something needed to be done — immediately.” A ban on groundwater pumping halted the city’s subsidence (or at least slowed it to its current rate, 1 millimeter or so a year). But that was just a first step. ...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/features/rising-waters-can-a-massive...

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