An experiment on a sand-dune environment in Southern Venetian coast based on GPR, VES and documentary evidence

A. Galgaro, E. Finzi, L. Tosi


The internal structures of some surviving sand dunes and the ancient shore-lines along the coast south of Venice have been investigated integrating Ground Probing Radar (GPR) profiles, Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES) and water conductivity measurements in some boreholes. The GPR penetration depth has been limited (4-5 m,using a 400 MHz antenna) by the high conductivity of salt water saturating pores of the shallow sediments. On the other hand, the excellent spatial resolution of the radar survey provided an estimate of internal dune bedding features, such as cross lamination and forwarding ancient covered coast-lines dated in the Thirties. The interpretation of the data, in particular along one line 360 m long intercepting a sizable sand-dune bank, seems to offer clues to the evolutional history of the coast line and the depth of transition from fresh-water to brackish-salt water. The water table was detected with electrical measurements and direct observations in boreholes, whereas the transition between fresh and salt water (brackish water) was pointed out indirectly by the high energy absorption and total back-reflection of the EM waves, encountered at this boundary, and directly by the strong decrease in VES resistivity values.


GPR-coastal dunes;groundwater;salt-water intrusion;littoral evolution

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X