Articles | Volume 12, issue 4
Research article
11 Apr 2012
Research article |  | 11 Apr 2012

Geomorphic hazards and intense rainfall: the case study of the Recco Stream catchment (Eastern Liguria, Italy)

F. Faccini, A. Robbiano, and A. Sacchini

Abstract. A critical pluviometric event occurred in the central-eastern Ligurian Riviera, 15 km from Genoa, on 1 June 2007. This event caused landslides and hydraulic problems between Sori and Camogli and in the inland area of the Recco Valley.

An analysis of the heavy rainfall was conducted. Hourly precipitation data revealed a critical event between 04:00 a.m. and 07:00 a.m. local time, with more than 220 mm of precipitation over three hours.

Slope movements were mainly debris flows that detached from the lateral valleys of the Recco Stream catchment and from well-maintained, wooded slopes that were also characterised by cultivated terraces.

Numerous slide planes corresponded to the interface between the surface cover and the underlying bedrock, which presents an unfavourable geologic structure in terms of stability assessment.

In most cases, the displaced material had a limited thickness. Debris cover was rapidly channelled along small valleys, which controlled the critical hydraulic conditions in the secondary drainage network.

Man-made drainage systems were partially or totally blocked in a very short time and, like the natural watercourses, accumulated thick and extensive alluvial fans.

Most of the instability phenomena occurred in areas that had been designated medium or low-risk areas during land planning, and in sectors that were defined as stable, because they lacked geomorphic indicators connected to landslide risks.

The above considerations highlight some gaps of the Recco Stream Master Plan. Therefore, to update this land planning tool, it is necessary to extensively investigate local geomorphological characteristics and to adopt a different method for assigning weights to the geohazard maps.