EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Sinkhole susceptibility evaluation in Apulia, southern Italy

Carmela Vennari1, Mauro Rossi2, Luca Pisano3, Veronica Zumpano3, and Mario Parise3,4
Carmela Vennari et al.
  • 1CNR IRPI, Rende (CS), Italy (
  • 2CNR IRPI, Perugia , Italy
  • 3CNR IRPI, Bari Italy
  • 4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy

In some regions in Italy sinkholes are frequent and pose a serious threat to structures and infrastructures. Apulia region is largely affected by sinkholes of both natural and anthropogenic origin, due to the karst nature of large portions of the regional territory and to high diffusion of artificial cavities.

For this reasons, susceptibility, hazard and risk posed by sinkholes must be estimated in order to gain more insights into their spatial and temporal distribution, and to apply appropriate risk management and to take proper mitigation strategies.

In order to estimate the susceptibility to sinkholes in Apulia, the ensemble statistical modelling proposed by Rossi et al. (2010) and later refined by Rossi & Reichenbach (2016) is used. This allows assessing susceptibility using differentiated statistical approaches, quantifying accurately the modelling performances, and evaluating the associated uncertainty. In order to obtain accurate and reliable results thematic layers related to the sinkholes occurrence were carefully evauated and selected. This contribution shows the preliminary results of the analyses to evaluate the susceptibility to natural sinkholes, which used  as training dependent (i.e. grouping) set, data extracted from the regional inventory of natural caves, edited by the Apulian Speleological Federation (, and as validation set the natural sinkholes occurred in Apulia, collected in the chronological catalogue of sinkholes in Italy (Parise & Vennari, 2013, 2017). Appropriate thematic layers, were selected heuristically on the base of the knowledge on the triggering mechanisms and the nature of the phenomenon gained previously in the study area.

Resulting regional-scale susceptibility map will be appropriately validated. The methodological procedure will be applied to the evaluation of susceptibility for anthropogenic sinkholes as well.


Parise M. & Vennari C. (2017) Distribution and features of natural and anthropogenic sinkholes in Apulia. In: Renard P. & Bertrand C. (Eds.), EuroKarst 2016, Neuchatel. Advances in the hydrogeology of karst and carbonate reservoirs. Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-45464-1, p. 27-34.

Parise M. & Vennari C. (2013) A chronological catalogue of sinkholes in Italy: the first step toward a real evaluation of the sinkhole hazard. Proceedings 8th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes & the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, Carlsbad, USA.

Rossi, M. & Reichenbach P. (2016) LAND-SE: a software for statistically based landslide susceptibility zonation, version 1.0. Geoscientific Model Development, 9(10).

Rossi M., Guzzetti F., Reichenbach P., Mondini A. C., Peruccacci S. (2010) Optimal landslide susceptibility zonation based on multiple forecasts, Geomorphology, 114, 129–142.

How to cite: Vennari, C., Rossi, M., Pisano, L., Zumpano, V., and Parise, M.: Sinkhole susceptibility evaluation in Apulia, southern Italy, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2154,, 2021.

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