Wavelet analysis of remote sensing and discharge data for understanding vertical ground movements in sandy and clayey terrains of the Po Delta area (Northern Italy)
Subsidence phenomena change the proneness of urban and coastal areas to huge flooding, particularly, in river delta regions. Many natural and/or anthropic processes can induce vertical ground movements; identifying the causes of the observed phenomena is a useful, even if not easy, task for flood forecasting. In order to improve the knowledge of natural versus anthropic contributions to vertical ground movements, in the present work data analysis techniques (polynomial regression analysis, frequency analysis and cross wavelet and wavelet coherence analysis) are used to analyze both the long- and short-time scale dependencies between Continuous Global Positioning System (CGPS) and variations of meteorological, hydrogeological and hydrological data collected in the Po River Delta area (Northern Italy) from January 2009 to December 2015. The main findings are as follows: (i) occurrence of positive correlations and periodic oscillations of about 2–3 years for all the analyzed meteorological, hydrogeological and hydrological records; (ii) a general decrease of the ground level with a faster soil lowering in clayey terrain with respect to sandy terrain; and, (iii) negative correlations between CGPS and Po River discharge records at the intra-annual scale (2–6 months), which are attributed to an isostatic rebound induced by the change of the river discharge due to precipitation changes over northern Italy.