In this paper, a multidisciplinary geological and geophysical approach has been applied in the complex area of Molinaccio spring (Spello, Umbria, Central Italy) to: 1) understand the large-scale geologic and tectonic structure of the area; 2) define the hydrogeological behavior of the various formations in relationship with the identified structural elements; 3) highlight at small-scale the tectonic structures and their relationships with the water caption tunnel, which is the draining structure of a still working, ancient Roman aqueduct giving water to the village of Spello and to the surrounding plain. Our approach includes different techniques like Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), direct geological investigations, archaeological studies, GIS data collection and integration. The GPR data revealed, in the area of the water-caption tunnel, two main tectonic structures, both also confirmed by ERT data: the presence of a zone (maximum 2 m wide), interpreted as a normal fault area and an overthrust that puts in contact the permeable Scaglia Rossa limestone (Early Turonian–Middle Eocene), and the Scaglia Variegata–Cinerea marly limestones (Middle Eocene–Upper Oligocene) on the footwall, characterized by lower hydraulic permeability. Using some rough information available on the sub-surface path of the tunnel, that shows a sharp bend after a long straight course, together with the geophysical images, was possible to describe how Romans built the tunnel: they probably followed the wet outcropping rock during the excavation, and changed abruptly the dig direction when they intercepted the normal fault area, aligning then the excavation along its strike. This latter result is important also because recently a multidisciplinary project has been developed to restore and exploit the entire water supply structure, which is not only a well-preserved example of Roman remains with high archaeological value, but also a vital infrastructure for a zone with great tourist potential.

A multidisciplinary geological and geophysical approach to define structural and hydrogeological implications of the Molinaccio spring (Spello, Italy)

ERCOLI, MAURIZIO;PAUSELLI, Cristina;DI MATTEO, Lucio;FRIGERI, ALESSANDRO;FEDERICO, Costanzo
2012

Abstract

In this paper, a multidisciplinary geological and geophysical approach has been applied in the complex area of Molinaccio spring (Spello, Umbria, Central Italy) to: 1) understand the large-scale geologic and tectonic structure of the area; 2) define the hydrogeological behavior of the various formations in relationship with the identified structural elements; 3) highlight at small-scale the tectonic structures and their relationships with the water caption tunnel, which is the draining structure of a still working, ancient Roman aqueduct giving water to the village of Spello and to the surrounding plain. Our approach includes different techniques like Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT), direct geological investigations, archaeological studies, GIS data collection and integration. The GPR data revealed, in the area of the water-caption tunnel, two main tectonic structures, both also confirmed by ERT data: the presence of a zone (maximum 2 m wide), interpreted as a normal fault area and an overthrust that puts in contact the permeable Scaglia Rossa limestone (Early Turonian–Middle Eocene), and the Scaglia Variegata–Cinerea marly limestones (Middle Eocene–Upper Oligocene) on the footwall, characterized by lower hydraulic permeability. Using some rough information available on the sub-surface path of the tunnel, that shows a sharp bend after a long straight course, together with the geophysical images, was possible to describe how Romans built the tunnel: they probably followed the wet outcropping rock during the excavation, and changed abruptly the dig direction when they intercepted the normal fault area, aligning then the excavation along its strike. This latter result is important also because recently a multidisciplinary project has been developed to restore and exploit the entire water supply structure, which is not only a well-preserved example of Roman remains with high archaeological value, but also a vital infrastructure for a zone with great tourist potential.
2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/533297
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