Skip navigation

2006 PGS Workshop and 4th G. A. Leonards Lecture

4th G. A. Leonards Lecture

(4:20p.m., Friday, March 31, 2006, Stewart Center Room 218, State Street, West Lafayette IN

Professor Michele (Mike) Jamiolkowski,
Technical University of Torino, Torino, Italy, and Chairman of the Engineering Company Studio Geotecnico Italiano

Title: Safeguarding the City of Venice from High Tides

The city of Venice, recognized world-wide as one of the most precious cultural heritages of humanity, since 1920 has been subject to flooding with frequency and intensity increasing with time. The phenomenon is caused by a combination of land subsidence and rise of the sea level, a difference reduction of roughly 240 mm. In early 1980 the Italian Government fostered studies and researches aimed at finding a solution to protect this unique city and its architectural treasures from the increasingly frequent floods. After twenty five years of technical and scientific examinations and debates "spiced" with recurrent objections raised by the Green Party's environmentalists, eventually the solution chosen consisted of a temporary closure, only for short periods and a few times a year (4 to 6), of the three inlets to the Venice Lagoon (Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia). The closure system consists in 78 mobile gates embedded in the sea bottom. Whenever a possible high tide is forecast, the barriers are raised and the inlets closed thus avoiding flooding in the city. These barriers are complemented with other measures such as new breakwaters, and raising the banks, the sidewalks and the streets in order to protect Venice during low/medium high tides without using the mobile gates. The described system for the safeguard of Venice and its Lagoon is presently in its final design stage and in an early construction phase, which was started two years ago. The presentation will offer a general description of the issue focusing on the geotechnical aspects of the defensive barriers.

Geotechnical Workshop - Workshop Theme: Coping with Disasters Large and Small
(8:00a.m.-3:30p.m. (includes lunch) Bowen Civil Engineering Laboratory, South River Road, West Lafayette, IN)

2006 Workshop Program with Highlighted Links to Presentations

Reception and Banquet
(Reception 6:30p.m., Banquet 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 31, 2006, Shively Media Center (5th floor of Ross Ade Stadium Suites), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Reservations Required.)