Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Research article
27 Feb 2012
Research article |  | 27 Feb 2012

Considerations on geomorphological maps for territorial planning in the Modena Apennines (Northern Italy)

D. Castaldini, A. Ghinoi, and A. Maccaferri

Abstract. This contribution shows, through some examples, that the current instability processes sometimes do not completely correspond (concerning presence, location, state of activity and/or extent) with those mapped by PTCP Hydrogeological Hazard Maps, which is the document used by the Province Administration for its territorial planning.

The differences highlighted are due to different causes. One of them is the fact that the PTCP Hydrogeological Hazard Maps are practically derived from the Regional Geological maps in which superficial deposits have secondary importance, while bedrock and structural-tectonic aspects are given the highest relevance. Another cause is represented by the very active and intense geomorphological dynamics of the Apennines which may produce or reactivate instability conditions.

An important aspect to underline is that the PTCP Hydrogeological Hazard Maps identify areas with planning constraints, which have effects at a municipal scale; it does so by starting from a cartographical basis whose primary aim is not the definition of instability processes and whose updating is not homogeneous.

Taking into account this aspect, the PTCP Hydrogeological Hazard Maps should be updated not only on the base of traditional geological mapping, but also following the criteria of detailed geomorphological mapping which can precisely define the genesis, dynamics and morphometry of instability phenomena.

An important consideration, in relation to territorial planning, is that the PTCP Hydrogeological Hazard Maps should be used just as a "base document", which requires more necessary detailed deepening at the municipal scale, accomplished through accurate geomorphological mapping, at least for the areas that are going to be urbanized.

The geomorphological mapping should also update those elements of the landscape which could have changed from the official topographic base map.

Detailed geomorphological mapping, possibly undertaken with the methodology proposed in this paper, could be given in charge also to professional geologists in accordance with standard procedures set in collaboration with the Provincial Administration.