Environment: Geoswim project, a new research on sea level variations in the Mediterranean kicked off


The 2018 edition of the scientific project ENEA-University of Trieste kicks off from the Argentario, where researchers are working in the water to map the rocky coast of the Mediterranean.

The 2018 edition of Geoswim, the scientific project led by ENEA and the University of Trieste, born in 2012 to map the 23 thousand kilometers of rocky coast of the Mediterranean with the aim of studying sea level variations, has started from the Argentario coast in Tuscany.

"Exploring the coast closely we can observe what satellites and boats can’t see, revealing the variations of the coast, coastal erosion mechanisms and formation of marine caves and identifying the presence of freshwater sources", Fabrizio Antonioli, geomorphologist at the ENEA laboratory of Climate Modeling and Impacts, pointed out.

Researchers work in water with a mask and fins, with the avail of a small floating laboratory, equipped with cameras, sonar and probe for chemical-physical analyses. After the circumnavigation of the Argentario, this edition of Geoswim also foresees the exploration of the adjacent promontory of Ansedonia.

"Our method involves the study of all coastal forms”, Stefano Furlani, geomorphologist at the University of Trieste and project manager of Geoswim, explained, “such as the caves,  that preserve and hide the most interesting data to understand the history, calculate the variations of the coast and sea level, sea furrows and other rock cavities, the collection of data such as temperature and conductivity, the analysis of the mechanisms of erosion and formation of sea furrows, also georeferencing them, that is combining them with the precise geographical position ".

In addition to Fabrizio Antonioli (ENEA) and Stefano Furlan (University of Trieste), the stop at the Argentario included Valeria Vaccher and Federica Muro (University of Trieste), Marco Taviani (CNR ISMAR), Silas Dean (University of Pisa) and Eleonora De Sabata (Medshark).

After the first campaign in 2012, in which researchers traveled 250 km from Istria to Trieste, Geoswim stopped in Malta and Gozo, Sicily (Egadi and Ustica), Sardinia (some islands of the Maddalena archipelago, Capo Caccia and Tavolara), Lazio (promontory of Gaeta) and Greece (Paros), for a total of 950 km swam.

For more information please contact:

Fabrizio Antonioli, ENEA – Laboratory of Climate Modelling and Impacts, fabrizio.antonioli@enea.it

Stefano Furlani, University of Trieste – Department of Mathematics and Geosciences, sfurlani73@gmail.com