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New Scripps Oceanography project to study sediments and ecosystem restoration in Venice lagoon

xpertise to global frontiers."

"The overall goal of the SIOSED project is to provide integrated, interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art science that addresses sediment management in the context of ecological improvement of the Venice lagoon," said Dimitri Deheyn, SIOSED principal investigator and the project's scientific coordinator for Scripps. "Venice is one of the most popular cities in the world and Italy's safeguarding measures--including the Mose floodgates system for the defense against high tides--are considered some of the most ambitious projects of the 21st century. So being part of this lagoon preservation effort is being part of history."

"Scripps has a long history of collaboration with the scientists and citizens of Venice," said John Orcutt, deputy director of research at Scripps. "These projects extend from (Scripps Research Professor) Walter Munk's recommendations of gates to limit the effects of flooding at Venice in the early '70s, to nondestructive cleaning of statuary with lasers and (Scripps Research Geodesist) Yehuda Bock's use of global positioning system technology to measure the actual rate of sinking, to today's understanding of the implications of sediment removal and transplantation. This is a wonderful opportunity to extend this history into important studies of biological and toxicological implications of major public works in Venice and elsewhere."

The field experiment phase by SIOSED scientists will include sediment dredging and transplantation to build six 35-meter-long and 10-meter-wide subtidal banks inside the lagoon. The banks will allow the researchers to test how the chemical content and biodiversity of the lagoon respond to such a local change. The researchers will conduct assessments by extracting short and long sediment cores, which will be analyzed for geochemical and biological parameters. Deheyn says that such an analysis is a fundamental precaution.

"In SIOSED we will be extracting cores abo
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Source:University of California - San Diego


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