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Ricercatore t.d. art. 24 c. 3 lett. B
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche - Sede Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e Geologiche

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2023 - Massive incision and outcropping of bedrock in a former braided river attributed to mining and training [Articolo su rivista]
Ferrer-Boix, Carles; Scorpio, Vittoria; Martín-Vide, Juan P.; Núñez-González, Francisco; Mora, Daniel

This research analyses multiple anthropogenic pressures in the Bernesga River, a gravel-bed river in Northwestern Iberian Peninsula. Among the causes of river incision in Bernesga River are extensive mining during the second half of the twentieth century, a 100 years-long history of channelization and river training starting around 1900, and to a lesser extent, land-use changes in the basin. As a result of these impacts, reach-averaged incision exceeds 8.5 m. Severe incision occurred simultaneously with a dramatic change in channel pattern: from 450 m-wide braided morphology around middle of the twentieth century to a narrow single-thread 40 m wide) channel in 2017. Quaternary alluvial deposits have been mostly depleted exposing the underlying bedrock. Unlike other rivers, bedrock outcrops have not stopped incision. Extremely narrow channels ( 12 m wide) have developed and incised at rates of 0.11 m/yr into bedrock materials, headcuts have formed on bedrock deposits and have rapidly retreated (at 33 m/yr) and the channel has incised forming adverse slopes under the presence of bed sills. Cause-effect relationships of cumulative impacts have been established between the recent evolutionary trajectory of the Bernesga River and multiple and simultaneous anthropogenic pressures.

2023 - Multitemporal Analysis of Slow-Moving Landslides and Channel Dynamics through Integrated Remote Sensing and In Situ Techniques [Articolo su rivista]
Parenti, Carlotta; Rossi, Paolo; Mancini, Francesco; Scorpio, Vittoria; Grassi, Francesca; Ciccarese, Giuseppe; Lugli, Francesca; Soldati, Mauro

The relationships between hillslope and fluvial processes were studied in a mountainous area of the Northern Apennines (Italy) where intermittent landslide activity has interacted for a long time with river morphodynamics. The aim of the study was to analyse such relationships in two study sites of the Scoltenna catchment. The sites were analysed in detail and monitored through time. A long-term analysis was carried out based on multitemporal photointerpretation of aerial photos. Slope morphological changes and land use modifications since 1954 were detected and compared with the evolution of the channel morphology. A short-term analysis was also performed based on two monitoring campaigns accomplished in 2021 and 2022 in order to detect possible slope displacements and channel-bed-level changes. The techniques used are global navigation satellite systems and drone photogrammetry accompanied by geomorphological surveys and mapping. The multitemporal data collected allowed us to characterise slope surface deformations and quantify morphological changes. The combination of various techniques of remote and proximal sensing proved to be a useful tool for the analysis of the surface deformations and for the investigation of the interaction between slope and fluvial dynamics, showing the important role of fluvial processes in the remobilisation of the landslide toe causing the displacement of a significant volume of sediment into the stream.

2023 - River widening in mountain and foothill areas during floods: Insights from a meta-analysis of 51 European Rivers [Articolo su rivista]
Ruiz-Villanueva, V; Piégay, H; Scorpio, Vittoria; Bachmann, Annette; Brousse, Guillaume; Cavalli, Marco; Comiti, Francesco; Crema, Stefano; Fernández, Elena; Furdada, Glòria; Hajdukiewicz, Hanna; Hunzinger, Lukas; Lucía, Ana; Marchi, Lorenzo; Moraru, Adina; Piton, Guillaume; Rickenmann, Dieter; Righini, Margherita; Surian, Nicola; Yassine, Rabab; Wyżga, Bartłomiej

River widening, defined as a lateral expansion of the channel, is a critical process that maintains fluvial ecosystems and is part of the regular functioning of rivers. However, in areas with high population density, channel widening can cause damage during floods. Therefore, for effective flood risk management it is essential to identify river reaches where abrupt channel widening may occur. Despite numerous efforts to predict channel widening, most studies have been limited to single rivers and single flood events, which may not be representative of other conditions. Moreover, a multi-catchment scale approach that covers various settings and flood magnitudes has been lacking. In this study, we fill this gap by compiling a large database comprising 1564 river reaches in several mountain regions in Europe affected by floods of varying magnitudes in the last six decades. By applying a meta-analysis, we aimed to identify the types of floods responsible for more extensive widening, the river reach types where intense widening is more likely to occur, and the hydraulic and morphological variables that explain widening and can aid in predicting widening. Our analysis revealed seven groups of reaches with significantly different responses to floods regarding width ratios (i.e., the ratio between channel width after and before a flood). Among these groups, the river reaches located in the Mediterranean region and affected by extreme floods triggered by short and intense precipitation events showed significantly larger widening than other river reaches in other regions. Additionally, the meta-analysis confirmed valley confinement as a critical morphological variable that controls channel widening but showed that it is not the only controlling factor. We proposed new statistical models to identify river reaches prone to widening, estimate potential channel width after a flood, and compute upper bound width ratios. These findings can inform flood hazard evaluations and the design of mitigation measures.

2022 - Data‐driven modelling of joint debris flow release susceptibility and connectivity [Articolo su rivista]
Steger, Stefan; Scorpio, Vittoria; Comiti, Francesco; Cavalli, Marco

2022 - Storm characteristics dictate sediment dynamics and geomorphic changes in mountain channels: A case study in the Italian Alps [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, Vittoria; Cavalli, Marco; Steger, Stefan; Crema, Stefano; Marra, Francesco; Zaramella, Mattia; Borga, Marco; Marchi, Lorenzo; Comiti, Francesco

2021 - Is afforestation a driver of change in italian rivers within the Anthropocene era? [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V.; Piegay, H.

For eight rivers situated from northern to southern Italy, the evolutionary trajectories since the middle 19th century and the key controlling factors of channel adjustments were reconstructed using a combined diachronous-synchronous approach, integrating data from catchment- to reach-scale. The analysis takes advantage of multi-temporal GIS analysis of maps, aerial photographs, and orthophotos, and data from literature, archives, and official surveys of population and agrarian censuses. The main aims were to link historical channel responses to human and climate disturbances evidencing regional scale similarities and dissimilarities and to explain the role of upland and floodplain land use changes in the interpretation of channel adjustments. From the middle 19th century to the 1950s, both channel widening and narrowing were observed. These processes were related to land use disturbances (e.g., afforestation versus deforestation) acting at both reach and catchment scales. From the 1950s to 1970s, channel narrowing in some rivers accelerated simultaneously with forests encroachment on fluvial corridors and human abandonment of intense floodplain uses, before the action of any other factors. In southern Italian rivers, channel adjustments were more intense and occurred later than in northern ones, but they remained more active once adjustment ended. Even though these rivers underwent a rural decline, their floodplains were little colonized by mature forests, probably because of drier climatic conditions exacerbated by dewatering due to channel incision. This also means that upland afforestation, with its effects on bedload delivery, was a more critical driver in controlling narrowing than floodplain afforestation, as in this southern context we do not observe floodplain afforestation but grazing expansion. When forest can establish along the channel, as seen on the Volturno River, narrowing is even more important. River widening in the early 2000s–2010s did not compensate for longer term narrowing, demonstrating a shift in river responsiveness that was partly due to upland and floodplain afforestation inducing higher channel resistance to bank erosion and bedload deficit. Such morphological evolution was also observed in Southeastern France, but occurred a bit earlier, with stronger similarities with northern Italy and the Apennines. These drivers of change must not be underestimated in geomorphic diagnosis, even if they are more difficult to assess.

2021 - Quaternary evolution of the lower calore and middle volturno valleys (Southern Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Filocamo, F.; Leone, N.; Rosskopf, C. M.; Scorpio, V.; Giralt, S.; Aucelli, P. P. C.

The lower Calore and middle Volturno valleys preserve stratigraphical and morphological evidence and tephrostratigraphic markers particularly suitable for reconstructing the long-term geomorphological evolution of the central-southern Apennines. Aim of our study is to identify the main steps of the Quaternary landscape evolution of these valley systems and to improve knowledge about the relationships between fluvial processes and tectonics, volcanic activity, climatic and human influences. To this purpose, we carried out an integrated geomorphological and chronostratigraphical analysis of identified fluvial landforms and related deposits, integrated by230Th/234U datings on travertines from the Telese Plain area. The study highlighted in particular: (1) fluvial sedimentation started in the Middle Pleistocene (~650 ka) within valleys that originated in the lower Pleistocene under the control of high-angle faults; (2) extensional tectonics acted during the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, driving the formation of the oldest fluvial terraces and alluvial fans, and persisted beyond the emplacement of the Campanian Ignimbrite pyroclastic deposits (~39 ka); and (3) from the late Upper Pleistocene onwards (<15 ka), the role of tectonics appears negligible, while climatic changes played a key role in the formation of three orders of valley floor terraces and the youngest alluvial fans.

2021 - The influence of the geological–geomorphological setting on human settlements and historical urban development: the case study of Isernia (southern Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Aucelli, P. P. C.; Valente, E.; Di Paola, G.; Amato, V.; Cesarano, M.; Cozzolino, M.; Pappone, G.; Scorpio, V.; Rosskopf, C. M.

The map is aimed at illustrating the relationships between landscape evolution and human occupation in the Isernia basin since the Middle Pleistocene. We carried out a detail scale geological–geomorphological investigation integrated with archaeological data. Overall data suggest enhanced landscape modification related to the long-term evolution of the Isernia basin. Moreover, during the Middle Pleistocene an alluvial plain environment was present, as testified also by the famous Lower Palaeolithic site of Isernia La Pineta dated to ca. 600 ky. From 600 ky onwards, extensional tectonics and related valley incision reshaped the Isernia basin, with the formation of terraced surfaces and the deposition of a travertine plateau. Archaeological findings from the Lower Palaeolithic up to the Chalcolithic Age testify to pre- and protohistoric settlements on these surfaces. In historical times, Romans settled on the Isernia terrace ridge taking advantage of the outcropping travertines to support wall foundations and to extract construction material.

2020 - Restoring a glacier-fed river: Past and present morphodynamics of a degraded channel in the Italian Alps [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V.; Andreoli, A.; Zaramella, M.; Moritsch, S.; Theule, J.; Dell'Agnese, A.; Muhar, S.; Borga, M.; Bertoldi, W.; Comiti, F.

The present study explores the evolutionary trajectory of the glacier-fed Mareit River (South Tyrol, Italian Alps), where a large restoration programme was implemented in 2008–2009. River corridor changes before and after the restoration works were assessed using historical maps, recent field observations, topographic surveys and topographic differencing. Trends of anthropic (forest cover, channel works, gravel mining) and natural (glacial cover, precipitation, flow regime) factors controlling channel morphology – at both catchment and reach scales – were reconstructed. From the mid-19th century, the evolutionary trajectory of the Mareit River followed a degradational trend, characterized by channel narrowing, bed incision and planform simplification. Direct, in-channel human alterations – mainly in the form of bank protections (in the late 19th century), gravel mining (mostly in the 1970s) and grade-control works (since the 1980s) – dominated the historical adjustments before the restoration. In 2008–2009, a segment of the Mareit was restored by widening the channel, partly removing the check-dams and shaping a braided pattern within a laterally constrained corridor. Post-work monitoring shows that the restoration improved both the morphological quality and the geomorphic diversity. At present, the channel is subject to narrowing and slight bed level incision, with islands and floodplains progressively expanding at the expenses of the active channel. This trend is likely to continue in the next decades based on the expected future flow regime, and indeed the Mareit River seems to be attaining a ‘miniaturized’ version of the anabranching pattern of the mid-19th century. Overall, this restoration approach and the associated evolutionary trajectory is considered positive, because it leads to a complex mosaic of geomorphic units, dynamically self-adjusting to the time-varying driving variables. The formation of a morphodynamically active corridor, while keeping artificially non-erodible boundaries, represents an optimal strategy to integrate ecological improvements with flood risk mitigation in the densely populated Alpine valleys. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

2019 - Vegetation development after river restoration in the Alps [Articolo su rivista]
Zerbe, S.; Scorpio, V.; Comiti, F.; Rohrmoser, O.

2018 - Basin-scale analysis of the geomorphic effectiveness of flash floods: A study in the northern Apennines (Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V.; Crema, Silvia; Marra, F.; Righini, M.; Ciccarese, G.; Borga, M.; Cavalli, M.; Corsini, A.; Marchi, L.; Surian, N.; Comiti, F.

Large floods may produce remarkable channel changes, which determine damages and casualties in inhabited areas. However, our knowledge of such processes remains poor, as is our capability to predict them. This study analyses the geomorphic response of the Nure River (northern Italy) and nine tributaries to a high-magnitude flood that occurred in September 2015. The adopted multi-disciplinary approach encompassed: (i) hydrological and hydraulic analysis; (ii) analysis of sediment delivery to the stream network by means of landslides mapping; (iii) assessment of morphological modifications of the channels, including both channel width and bed elevation changes. The spatial distribution of rainfall showed that the largest rainfall amounts occur in the upper portions of the catchment, with cumulative rainfall reaching 300 mm in 12 h, and recurrence intervals exceeding 100–150 years. The unit peak discharge ranged between 5.2 and 25 m3s−1km−2. Channel widening was the most evident effect. In the tributaries, the ratio between post-flood and pre-flood channel width averaged 3.3, with a maximum approaching 20. Widening was associated with channel aggradation up to 1.5 m and removal of riparian vegetation. New islands formed due to the fragmentation of the former floodplain. In the Nure River, the average width ratio was 1.7, and here widening occurred mainly at the expenses of islands. Bed level dynamics in the Nure were varied, including aggradation, incision, and overall stability. The flood geomorphic effectiveness was more pronounced in the middle-higher portions of the basin. Planimetric and elevation changes were well correlated. Regression analysis of the relationship between widening and morphological/ hydraulic controlling factors indicated that unit stream power and confinement index were the most relevant variables. The study provides useful insights for river management, especially with regard to the proportion of the valley floor subject to erosion and/or deposition during large events.

2018 - Channel changes of the Adige River (Eastern Italian Alps) over the last 1000 years and identification of the historical fluvial corridor [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Surian, N; Cucato, M; Dai Prá, E; Zolezzi, G; Comiti, F

A 1:50,000-scale geomorphological map of the Adige/Etsch River valley bottom (NE Italy) is presented. The study area is 115 km long, and it extends between the villages of Merano/ Meran and Calliano, including also the terminal segments of 9 major tributaries of the Adige River. Presently, the Adige shows a sinuous to straight morphology owing to massive channelization occurred during the nineteenth century. Fluvial geomorphological features have been mapped through a detailed-scale comparative multi-temporal analysis carried out on several historical maps dating since the eighteenth century, previous thematic maps, geological maps of the Italian ‘CARG’ project, orthophotos (2011) and high – resolution DEMs. The map shows the active river channel, dating to 1803–1805 (before channelization), to 1856-1861 (during channelization) and under present conditions, as well as several paleo-channels dating up to the thirteenth century. The analysis led to define the corridor of historical channel changes, a fundamental tool for river management purposes

2018 - Channelization of a large Alpine River: what it is left of its original morphodynamic? [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Zen, S; Bertoldi, W; Surian, N; Mastronunzio, M; Dai Prá, E; Zolezzi, G; Comiti, F

The Adige River drains 12 200km2 of the Eastern Alps and flows for 213km within this mountain range. Similar to other large rivers in Central Europe, the Adige River was subject to massive channelization works during the 19th century. Thanks to the availability of several historical maps, this river represents a very valuable case study to document the extent to which the morphology of the river changed due to channelization and to understand how much is left of its original morphodynamics. The study was based on the analysis of seven sets of historical maps dating from 1803–1805 to 1915–1927, on geomorphological analysis, on the application of mathematical morphodynamic theories and on the application of bar and channel pattern prediction models. The study concerns 115 km of the main stem and 29km of its tributaries. In the pre-channelization conditions, the Adige River presented a prevalence of single-thread channel planforms. Multi-thread patterns developed only immediately downstream of the main confluences. During the 19th century, the Adige underwent considerable channel adjustment, consisting of channel narrowing, straightening, and reduction of bars and islands. Multi-thread and single-thread reaches evolved through different evolutionary trajectories, considering both the channel width and the bar/vegetation interaction. Bar and channel pattern predictors showed good correspondence with the observed patterns, including the development of multi-thread morphologies downstream of the confluences. Application of the free-bar predictor helped to interpret the strong reduction – almost complete loss – of exposed sediment bars after the channelization works, quantifying the riverbed inclination to form alternate bars. This morphological evolution can be observed in other Alpine rivers of similar size and similar massive channelization, therefore, a simplified conceptual model for large rivers subjected to channelization is proposed, showing that a relatively small difference in the engineered channel width may have a strong impact on the river dynamics, specifically on bar formation.

2018 - First assessment of the local seismic amplification susceptibility of the Isernia Province (Molise Region, Southern Italy) by the integration of geological and geomorphological studies related to the first level seismic microzonation project [Articolo su rivista]
Aucelli, Pietro Patrizio Ciro; Di Paola, Gianluigi; Valente, Ettore; Amato, Vincenzo; Bracone, Vito; Cesarano, Massimo; Di Capua, Giuseppe; Scorpio, Vittoria; Capalbo, Andrea; Pappone, Gerardo; Ravera, Fabio; Rosskopf, Carmen Maria

2017 - Morphological changes in Alpine rivers following the end of the Little Ice Age [Articolo su rivista]
Marchese, E; Scorpio, V; Fuller, I; McColl, S; Comiti, F

This work investigates the channel changes of Alpine rivers from the end of the Little Ice Age (1850s) to the 1950s, with the aim to determine the possible role of climatic variations occurred in this period before the onset of anthropic pressures (i.e., dams, check-dams, bank protections, and gravel mining). The research was conducted on 17 river catchments of South Tyrol (northern Italy), glaciated and unglaciated. A multitemporal GIS analysis approach was adopted to assess the morphological changes (in terms of channel width and pattern) from three different sources: (i) Austrian cadastral map (1858), (ii) maps from the Italian Institute of Military Geography (1917–1925), and (iii) two aerial photo sets taken in 1945 and 1954. The analysed river network (a total of 480 km) was subdivided into 162 morphologically homogeneous reaches (76 confined, 81 partly confined, and 5 unconfined), with lengths ranging from 630 to 5500 m, slope from 0.3 to 24%, and drained area from 20 to ~4000 km2. The statistical relationships among morphological changes and reach- and basin-scale factors were analysed by univariate and multivariate methods, and the relationships between width changes and 36 controlling factors were explored using Principal Component Analysis. The variability in width and morphological pattern changes were very pronounced between and within single rivers, highlighting the value of such a large data set. Overall, the analysed rivers varied their morphological pattern, mostly exhibiting a shift from multithread/transitional to single-thread patterns, but unchanged planform types were also common. Variations in channel width varied substantially among the analysed rivers, which featured narrowing (slightly prevailing) and widening (the least common) as well as many cases of very limited changes. Channel width variations appear statistically, although weakly, related to some morphometric variables; and significant differences emerge comparing glaciated vs. unglaciated basins. Climate-related variations (glacier dynamics and channel disturbance frequency) are argued to be the dominant factors that affected channel variations.

2017 - Reservoir Rehabilitation: the new methodological approach of Economic Environmental Defence [Articolo su rivista]
De Vincenzo, A; Molino, Ja; Molino, B; Scorpio, V

This paper proposes a new methodological approach to silted reservoir management and defence, which combines the reservoir rehabilitation process and the utilization of the recovered water volumes and sediments. This approach, strategic from both the economical and environmental points of view, is here defined as Economic Environmental Defence (EED) of a reservoir. The EED approach is applied to the case study of Guardialfiera reservoir, where the available experimental data allowed the estimation of siltation uptodate, the analysis of the distribution of sediment particle size along the reservoir bottom and the possibility to propose a feasible utilization of water and sediments resulting from there servoir rehabilitation.

2016 - Channel adjustments in a Mediterranean river over the last 150 years in the context of anthropic and natural controls [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Rosskopf, Cm

volutionary trajectories and related control factors of the Fortore River (southern Italy) are analyzed over a 150- year period as to assess channel modifications. A multitemporal GIS analysis of topographic maps and aerial photographs together with topographic and geomorphological field surveys were performed. Attention was focused on the impact caused by human disturbance, above all the presence of the Occhito damat only 40 kmupstreamof the Fortore mouth (central Adriatic coast). Results show that channel adjustments occurred in three distinct phases and were primarily driven by human disturbance that diversely affected reaches located upstream and downstream of the dam. Fromthe last decades of the nineteenth century to the 1950s (phase 1), channel widening prevailed along upstream reaches whilst narrowing along downstream reaches. Major channel adjustments occurred from the 1950s until the end of the 1990s (phase 2), especially channel narrowing of up to 81% in upstream reaches and 98% in downstream reaches. Narrowingwas accompanied by channel-bed lowering of 1 to 5mand by pattern changes in prevalence from multithread to largely prevailing single-thread channel configurations. In-channel mining, channel works, and hydraulic interventions are considered key driving factors of observed channel adjustments. The closure of the Occhito dam in 1966 had significant and permanent effects on downstream reaches through overall discharge regulation and permanent sediment trapping as also proved by the progressive retreat of the Fortore river mouth area. From 2000 to 2015 (phase 3), a substantial trend inversion was observed with overall channel widening and partial aggradation of upstream reaches and total stabilization of downstream reaches. As highlighted by an integrated multitemporal analysis of recent channel changes and flood events, the latter have played an important role in channel recovery of upstream reaches. Comparison between the Fortore River and other rivers in southern Italy has allowed us to ascertain that the reconstructed evolutionary trajectories are quite similar and that control factors are essentially the same. In particular, it confirms the role of major hydraulic structures as to the amount of channel adjustments of downstream reaches and the ensuing scarce to nil potential to channel recovery of regulated reaches.

2016 - Flash flood hazard in Campania (Southern Apennines): the state of knowledge [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Santangelo, Nicoletta; Santo, Antonio; Scorpio, Vittoria; Forte, Giovanni; De Falco, Melania; Vennari, Carmela

2016 - Hydromorphology meets mammal ecology: morphological quality index, recent channel adjustments and otter resilience [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Loy, A; Di Febbraro, M; Rizzo, A; Aucelli, P

The need for a multidisciplinary approach for characterizing water bodies in terms of morphological, chemical and ecological quality has hastened the growth of hydromorphology as a cross-disciplinary topic at the interface of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology. Many authors have analysed how hydroecology may affect freshwater biodiversity, although little is known about how this biodiversity might be affected by river morphological quality. We examined how well the presence of the semi-aquatic Eurasian otter can be predicted by the rivers’ morphological quality and its adjustments over the last decades. We tested the morphological quality index (MQI) methodology in 38 reaches of five rivers in southern Italy, 23 of which were positive to otter presence. In each reach, we examined 28 indicators contributing to the MQI and its 11 sub-indices. The results showed a significant relationship between the probability of the presence of otters, MQI, and some sub-indices. The best performing sub-indices were related to channel adjustments and the continuity of river processes. A more detailed analysis of channel adjustments showed a detrimental effect of channel incision (>3m) and a positive effect of narrowing, particularly where it occurred simultaneously with the development of forest in the new floodplain. The continuity of river processes has driven the migration of river banks and the development of ponds and secondary channels, likely increasing the availability of dens and resting sites and the hunting capabilities of otters. Our results stressed the importance of fluvial dynamics and sustainable adaptive river management for the habitat quality of semi-aquatic species.

2016 - Multiscale map analysis in alluvial fan flood-prone areas [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, Vittoria; Santangelo, Nicoletta; Santo, Antonio

Several case studies of geomorphological mapping at various scales in order to identify areas prone to alluvial fan flooding are presented in this paper. The selected areas are located in southern Italy and are representative of a geomorphic unit (foothills consisting of coalescent alluvial fans) found throughout the southern Apennines. The medium-scale approach represents the best tool to identify areas susceptible to flooding, using detailed geomorphological mapping of fan systems. It can be considered a preliminary analysis, which provides important information for large areas and identifies zones which need further investigation. Large-scale map analysis may be applied to a single fan and used to distinguish fan portions prone to different degrees of hazard exposure, thus providing accurate information for decision-makers who are called upon to plan hazard management. In both cases, analysis based on detailed geological and geomorphological field surveys is often coupled with remotely sensed data.

2016 - Ongoing channel changes in some major rivers in southern Italy [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Rosskopf, C; Aucelli, Ppc; Pisano, L

Some major rivers in southern Italy (Trigno, Biferno, Fortore and Volturno), as most of Italy’s rivers, have suffered significant channel changes during the last 60 years. Channel adjustments mainly consisted in channel narrowing and bed lowering coupled with pattern changes. Over the last 10-15 years, these rivers have undergone some important modifications in their evolutionary trends. More specifically, the Trigno River and the reaches of the Fortore River located upstream the Occhito dam are interested by moderate channel recovery, while the Volturno and Biferno rivers and the Fortore reaches located downstream the dam are affected by slight channel recovery or no significant changes in morphology. Key driving factors of these recent evolutionary trends seem to be the occurrence of major flood events and the degree of channel mobility that is conditioned by channel works and riparian woody vegetation.

2015 - Flash flood occurrence and magnitude assessment in an alluvial fan context: the October 2011 event in the Southern Apennines [Articolo su rivista]
Santo, Antonio; Santangelo, Nicoletta; Di Crescenzo, Giuseppe; Scorpio, Vittoria; De Falco, Melania; Chirico, Giovanni Battista

This study presents the analysis of flash floods triggered by an extreme rainfall event that occurred on 7 October, 2011, over the Marzano carbonate massif (Southern Apennines). The rainfall event reactivated alluvial fans built up at the outlet of two mountain basins. Detailed geological surveys carried out immediately after the event allowed the reconstruction of the main erosion and depositional processes that occurred both in the drainage basin and in the fan areas. The volume of materials eroded in the basin and deposited in the fan was evaluated by means of accurate topographic surveying and GPS measurements. Morphological and morphometric properties of the basin/fan system as well as the presence of human interventions and structures along the main channel and in the fan area influenced flow propagation. The transported materials came mainly from debris and gravels previously accumulated along the stream beds and mobilised by the flow during the event. No significant evidence of landslide contribution to transported bed load was detected. Extensive damage was done to buildings, river bank structures and agricultural crops. Despite the existence of hundreds of similar alluvial/fan systems in the Southern Apennines, few studies have been conducted to support adequate risk mitigation action in these areas. Indeed, to our knowledge, this is the first study focusing on assessing the magnitude of alluvial fan flooding in the context of the Southern Apennines. Studies like the present one may help determine the volumes involved during flash floods whilst providing support for detailed flood hazard zoning and for risk mitigation planning.

2015 - Morphological changes in rivers of South Tyrol (Italian Alps) attributable to climate variations since the Little Ice Age [Poster]
Marchese, E; Scorpio, V; Comiti, F

2015 - River channel adjustment in Southern Italy over the past 150 years and implications for channel recovery [Articolo su rivista]
Scorpio, V; Aucelli, Ppc; Giano, I; Pisano, L; Robustelli, G; Rosskopf, Cm; Schiattarella, M

Multi-temporal GIS analysis of topographic maps and aerial photographs along with topographic and geomorphological surveys are used to assess evolutionary trends and key control factors of channel adjustments for five major rivers in southern Italy (the Trigno, Biferno, Volturno, Sinni and Crati rivers) to support assessment of channel recovery and river restoration. Three distinct phases of channel adjustment are identified over the past 150 years primarily driven by human disturbances. Firstly, slight channel widening dominated from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the 1950s. Secondly, from the 1950s to the end of the 1990s, altered sediment fluxes induced by in-channel mining and channel works brought aboutmoderate to very intense incision (up to 6–7m) accompanied by strong channel narrowing (up to 96%) and changes in channel configuration from multi-threaded to single-threaded patterns. Thirdly, the period from around 2000 to 2015 has been characterized by channel stabilization and local widening. Evolutionary trajectories of the rivers studied are quite similar to those reconstructed for other Italian rivers, particularly regarding the second phase of channel adjustments and ongoing transitions towards channel recovery in somereaches. Analyses of river dynamics, recovery potential and connectivity with sediment sources of the study reaches, framed in their catchment context, can be used as part of awider interdisciplinary approach that views effective river restoration alongside sustainable and risk-reduced river management.

2014 - Evoluzione geomorfologica di lungo termine del settore molisano dell'Appennino meridionale [Capitolo/Saggio]
Amato, V; Aucelli, Ppc; Bracone, V; Cesarano, M; Di Paola, G; Filocamo, F; Rosskopf, Cm; Scorpio, V

2013 - Definizione della suscettibilità a fenomeni alluvionali torrentizi in aree urbanizzate: alcuni esempi nell’Appennino Campano [Articolo su rivista]
DI CRESCENZO, G.; Liuzza, V.; Santangelo, N.; Santo, A.; Scorpio, V.

2013 - Geomorphological map of the Biferno river valley floor system (Molise, Southern Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Rosskopf, Cm; Scorpio, V

A 1:20,000-scale geomorphologic map of the valley floor system of the Biferno River (Molise Region, Italy) is presented in this paper. Map analysis and aerial photography interpretation, in addition to field surveys, have allowed digital mapping of fluvial landforms and associated coastal, slope and anthropogenic forms which have characterised the valley floor in different periods. Comparative multi-temporal analysis performed in a GIS for the time-period 1869– 2010 allowed the reconstruction of spatial-temporal relationships between most of the mapped landforms and acquisition of quantitative data on channel adjustments. The geomorphologic map provides an overall large-scale view of major channel adjustments over the past 150 years as well as the current morphological setting and dynamics of the Biferno valley floor. It provides a basic map for land planning policy with the observed distribution of active geomorphic processes to be used for landslide and erosion susceptibility assessment and the data obtained on channel adjustments essential in investigating land cover change over the same period. As the Biferno valley floor system is characteristic of major river systems in Central-Southern Italy, the reconstructed framework of valley floor transformations turns out to be useful when assessing a representative channel evolution model and potential scenarios concerning near future dynamics of similar river systems.

2012 - Alluvial fan flooding hazard: the study case of Teglia (San Gregorio Magno, Salerno) [Articolo su rivista]
Chirico, GIOVANNI BATTISTA; DI CRESCENZO, Giuseppe; Santangelo, Nicoletta; Santo, Antonio; Scorpio, Vittoria

2012 - Palaeo-landscape reconstruction and assessment of long-term erosion rates through DEM analysis: preliminary results from the Molise Apennine (Central-Southern Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Aucelli, Ppc; Amato, V; Scorpio, V; Bracone, V; Rosskopf, C

2012 - Topographic predictors of susceptibility to alluvial fan flooding, Southern Apennines [Articolo su rivista]
Santangelo, Nicoletta; Daunis, I. Estadella J.; Di Crescenzo, Giuseppe; Di Donato, Valentino; Faillace, P. I.; Martín Fernández, J. A.; Romano, Paola; Santo, Antonio; Scorpio, Vittoria

The flooding susceptibility of alluvial fans in the Southern Apennines has long been neglected. To partly address this oversight, we focus on the region of Campania which contains highly urbanised piedmont areas particularly vulnerable to flooding. Our findings are based on stratigraphic analysis of the fans and morphometric analysis of the basin-fan systems. Using geomorphological analysis we recognised active alluvial fans while stratigraphic analysis together with statistical analysis of the morphometric variables was used to classify the fans in terms of the transport process involved. The results indicate that in the examined geological context, the best discrimination between debris flow (Df) and water flood (Wf) processes is achieved by means of two related variables, one for the basin (feeder channel inclination, Cg) and one for the fan (fan length, Fl). The probability that an unclassified fan belongs to group Wf is computed by applying a logistic function in which a p value exceeding 0.5 indicates that a basin/fan system belongs to group Wf. This important result led to the classification of the entire basin/fan system data. As regards process intensity, debris flow-dominated fans are susceptible to the occurrence of flows with high viscosity and hence subject to more severe events than water flood-dominated fans. Bearing this in mind, the data gathered in this study allow us to detect where alluvial fan flooding might occur and give information on the different degrees of susceptibility at a regional scale. Regrettably, urban development in recent decades has failed to take the presence of such alluvial fans into account due to the long recurrence time (50-100 years) between floods. This paper outlines the distribution of such susceptibility scenarios throughout the region, thereby constituting an initial step to implementing alluvial fan flooding control and mitigation.

2011 - Flood susceptibility assessment in a highly urbanized alluvial fan: the case study of Sala Consilina (southern Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Santangelo, Nicoletta; Santo, Antonio; DI CRESCENZO, Giuseppe; G., Foscari; Liuzza, Viviana; S., Sciarrotta; Scorpio, Vittoria

This paper deals with the risk assessment to alluvial fan flooding at the piedmont zone of carbonate massifs of the southern Apennines chain (southern Italy). These areas are prime spots for urban development and are generally considered to be safer than the valley floors. As a result, villages and towns have been built on alluvial fans which, during intense storms, may be affected by flooding and/or debris flow processes. The study area is located at the foothills of the Maddalena mountains, an elongated NW-SE trending ridge which bounds to the east the wide intermontane basin of Vallo di Diano. The area comprises a wide detrital talus (bajada) made up by coalescent alluvial fans, ranging in age from the Middle Pleistocene to the Holocene. Historical analysis was carried out to ascertain the state of activity of the fans and to identify and map the zones most hit by past flooding. According to the information gathered, the Sala Consilina fans would appear prone to debris flows; in the past these processes have produced extensive damage and loss of life in the urban area. The watershed basins feeding the fans have very low response times and may produce debris flow events with high magnitudes. Taking into account the historical damage, the fan surface morphology and the present urban development (street orientation and hydraulic network) the piedmont area was zoned and various susceptibility classes were detected. These results may represent a useful tool for studies aiming at territorial hazard mapping and civil protection interventions.

2011 - Recent channel adjustments and riparian vegetation response: Some examples from molise (Italy) [Articolo su rivista]
Aucelli, Ppc; Fortini, P; Rosskopf C., M; Scorpio, V; Viscosi, V

An integrated geomorphological and ecological approach was adopted to investigate the relation between recent channel adjustments and riparian vegetation evolution by performing a large-scale multi-temporal analysis of channel and land cover features and a study of the present-day floristic setting along the three major river systems present in Molise (Southern Italy), the Volturno, Biferno and Trigno. Our results highlight the major channel adjustments that occurred between 1954 and 2009 consisting in progressive morphological changes, extreme channel narrowing (between 84% and 97%) and moderate to very intense channel incision (between 2 and 10.5 m). These channel adjustments led to the progressive stabilization of most of the formerly active channel systems and were accompanied by substantial changes in the riparian vegetation which now appears largely, but not completely, in equilibrium with the present river dynamics. Major differences may be noted between the studied river reaches in relation to their state of naturalness, floristic richness and differentiation in vegetation types, which appear particularly controlled by the amount of channel incision and human disturbance. Our findings underline the importance of fluvial dynamics and trends in controlling the development and structure of riparian vegetation and the connected ecological status of river systems.