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Seismic Regulated Landscapes

Seismic Regulated Landscapes. On going long term project.
All pictures are taken in Basilicata. They may vary.

I.C.H.E.S.E. (lnternational Commission on Hydrocarbon Exploration and Seismicity in the Emilia Region) commission was set up to analyse the circumstances around the Reggio Emilia earthquake in 2012. The event first occurred in January and then to repeat in higher scale on May the same year with significant effects on structures and population. The requested investigation by the president of Emilia-Romagna region led the international commission to establish if there are connections among seismic activity and hydrocarbon exploration, so if the activity altered the natural events, in other words if induced seismicity is real.

The interested area is about 4000 km² and three exploitation licenses have been released in the years, these are: Mirandola, Spilamberto and Recovato. What the commission tries to establish is if “is it possible that the seismic crisis in Emilia has been triggered by...particular invasive research activities, such as drilling, fluids injections, etc..” and if “is possible that the seismic crisis has been triggered by activities for the exploitation and utilization of reservoirs carried out in recent times in the close neighborhood of the seismic sequence of 2012”.

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The underground of Basilicata has the biggest oil reservoir of Europe and like others, the region is one of the most seismic in Italy. In December the 16th, 1857 a violent earthquake with an epicenter in the village of Caggiano destroyed numerous towns between the Val d'Agri (Basilicata) and the Vallo di Diano (Campania) killing 20,000 people. This episode identified the area as the “Montemurro fault area”.

A few weeks after the event the engineer Robert Mallet was sent by the Royal Society of London to study the effects of the earthquake. Together with the photographer Alphonse Bernoud documented what remained of the villages after the 16th December. Later all data and pictures became the book “Great Neapolitan Earthquake of 1857. The First Principles of Observational Seismology”.

Today in Val d’Agri twenty-four oil wells are working twenty-four hours seven days per week to ensure the mining goals. The oil extracted is refined within the C.O.V.A. (Local Refinery) and sent through an underground pipeline to Taranto, in Apulia.

After the I.C.H.E.S.E. commission to monitor the underground reactions of mining activities a network of seismic sensors were placed on the ground in Val d’Agri.

This on going project wants to establish a visual dictionary of an area in constant tension due to the possible and sudden seismic event. It wants also be a picture of what this part of Basilicata is and how the risk has to consider the impact of a possible disastrous scenario. The question is also if the industry has to be seriously blind in front of such consequence that is as harmful as air, land and water pollution, and maybe even more.

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https://www.emanuelegaudioso.com/seismic_regulated_landscapes-p23408

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