GEOLOGY AND MARINE BIOLOGY
to have a constant view on what happens in the seabed
Man is slowly realizing that the immense expanse of water that is often found in front of him is not a huge landfill or even a huge basin, but the fulcrum on which the existence of our planet revolves. With this in mind, fortunately, new projects and studies are emerging, aimed at better defining the parameters found in marine and oceanographic waters, and at studying the changes that are made every day about which we know nothing.
The excellent news is that something is moving in Italy too.
Off the coast of the marine area of the Cinque Terre (in Liguria) a project is underway to place sensors on the seabed for measuring the following variables: wave width, salinity, temperature, tides.
So far nothing new, we often try to characterize marine areas through these parameters but only in the first tens of meters, the difference is that through this project we will be able to have a vision of what is happening on the seabed and constantly. In fact, through a submarine cable, these data are transmitted ashore at the Environmental Education Center of the Cinque Terre Park in Torre Guardiola, where they will be used for the continuous and real-time characterization of the areas. These data will also be associated with the data taken from GPS receivers placed on the surface.
This is only the first step of the project called INSAS and is carried out by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, the NATO Undersea Research Center, the Milan Polytechnic, Tecnomare and ENI.
All this, in addition to providing us with important data on the seabed, has the purpose of measuring the deformation and altimetric variation of these, through vehicles equipped with interferometric Sonar.
It is excellent news, for the Italian and international scientific environment, that finally, even in Italy, projects of this type are starting to expand our marine knowledge.
Dr. Rossella Stocco
Note(1) Image taken from Auto Atlante, Italy 1: 250.000, Geographical Institute de Agostini, 1995