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Malej A.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Tirelli V.,National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics - OGS | Lucic D.,University of Dubrovnik | Paliaga P.,Ruder Boskovic Institute | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2017

Mnemiopsis leidyi has successfully made the transition from its native spatial range along the Atlantic coast of North and South America to many areas of the Eurasian seas. In summer 2016, we observed M. leidyi at several sites within the northern Adriatic (Mediterranean Sea). Here we describe the spatio-temporal distribution of this invasive ctenophore and its morphological and biometric characteristics, and we present laboratory data on egg production and microscopic observations. M. leidyi was observed in the offshore, coastal and lagoon systems of the northern Adriatic, at temperatures ranging from 13 °C to 29 °C and salinity from 11 and 38, from July to December 2016. Dense blooms were detected intermittently from mid-August to November 2016. Total length (TL) of M. leidyi ranged from 2.0 to 13.5 cm with overall dominance (68.9 ± 14.2%) of the 5–9 cm size fraction. In the eastern part of the northern Adriatic, we always observed individuals with TL < 3 cm from August to November and cydippid larvae were found in net samples indicating successful reproduction throughout the studied period. Egg production under laboratory conditions (temperature 20–22 °C, salinity 37–38) was high, with mean of 4320 ± 3980 eggs ind.− 1 day− 1 and maximum of 13,512 eggs ind.− 1 day− 1. © 2017

Dalla Libera N.,University of Padua | Fabbri P.,University of Padua | Mason L.,ARPAV | Piccinini L.,University of Padua | Pola M.,University of Padua
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2017

The Natural Background Level (NBL), suggested by UE BRIDGE project, is suited for spatially distributed datasets providing a regional value that could be higher than the Threshold Value (TV) set by every country. In hydro-geochemically dis-homogeneous areas, the use of a unique regional NBL, higher than TV, could arise problems to distinguish between natural occurrences and anthropogenic contaminant sources. Hence, the goal of this study is to improve the NBL definition employing a geostatistical approach, which reconstructs the contaminant spatial structure accounting geochemical and hydrogeological relationships. This integrated mapping is fundamental to evaluate the contaminant's distribution impact on the NBL, giving indications to improve it. We decided to test this method on the Drainage Basin of Venice Lagoon (DBVL, NE Italy), where the existing NBL is seven times higher than the TV. This area is notoriously affected by naturally occurring arsenic contamination. An available geochemical dataset collected by 50 piezometers was used to reconstruct the spatial distribution of arsenic in the densely populated area of the DBVL. A cokriging approach was applied exploiting the geochemical relationships among As, Fe and NH4 +. The obtained spatial predictions of arsenic concentrations were divided into three different zones: i) areas with an As concentration lower than the TV, ii) areas with an As concentration between the TV and the median of the values higher than the TV, and iii) areas with an As concentration higher than the median. Following the BRIDGE suggestions, where enough samples were available, the 90th percentile for each zone was calculated to obtain a local NBL (LNBL). Differently from the original NBL, this local value gives more detailed water quality information accounting the hydrogeological and geochemical setting, and contaminant spatial variation. Hence, the LNBL could give more indications about the distinction between natural occurrence and anthropogenic contamination. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Rossa A.,ARPAV | Liechti K.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Zappa M.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Bruen M.,University College Dublin | And 5 more authors.
Atmospheric Research | Year: 2011

Quantifying uncertainty in flood forecasting is a difficult task, given the multiple and strongly non-linear model components involved in such a system. Much effort has been and is being invested in the quest of dealing with uncertain precipitation observations and forecasts and the propagation of such uncertainties through hydrological and hydraulic models predicting river discharges and risk for inundation. The COST 731 Action is one of these and constitutes a European initiative which deals with the quantification of forecast uncertainty in hydro-meteorological forecast systems. COST 731 addresses three major lines of development: (1) combining meteorological and hydrological models to form a forecast chain, (2) propagating uncertainty information through this chain and make it available to end users in a suitable form, (3) advancing high-resolution numerical weather prediction precipitation forecasts by using non-conventional observations from, for instance, radar to determine details in the initial conditions on scales smaller than what can be resolved by conventional observing systems. Recognizing the interdisciplinarity of the challenge COST 731 has organized its work forming Working Groups at the interfaces between the different scientific disciplines involved, i.e. between observation and atmospheric (and hydrological) modelling (WG-1), between atmospheric and hydrologic modelling (WG-2) and between hydrologic modelling and end-users (WG-3).This paper summarizes the COST 731 activities and its context, provides a review of the recent progress made in dealing with uncertainties in flood forecasting, and sets the scene for the papers of this Thematic Issue. In particular, a bibliometric analysis highlights the strong recent increase in addressing the uncertainty analysis in flood forecasting from an integrated perspective. Such a perspective necessarily involves the area of meteorology, hydrology, and decision making in order to take operational advantage of the scientific progress, an aspect in which COST 731 is successfully contributing to furthering the flood damage mitigation capabilities in Europe. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Parodi S.,National Research Council Italy | Merlo D.F.,Instituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Ranucci A.,University of Piemonte Orientale | Miligi L.,ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute | And 46 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Purpose: Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial paediatric solid tumour. Incidence peaks in infancy, suggesting a role of in-utero and neonatal exposures but its aetiology is largely unknown. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the association between maternal characteristics and perinatal factors with the risk of NB, using data from the SETIL database. Methods: SETIL is a large Italian population-based case-control study established to evaluate several potential cancer risk factors in 0-10 year olds. Information about maternal characteristics, reproductive history, environmental and occupational exposures during pregnancy, as well as newborns' characteristics were obtained using a structured questionnaire. Extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) home exposure was measured. The study included 1044 healthy controls and 153 NB cases, diagnosed between 1998 and 2001. Results: A twofold risk was associated to exposure in pregnancy to chemical products for domestic work and to hair dye. The risk associated with the latter was higher among 0-17 month old children (OR. =. 5.5, 95%CI: 1.0-29.3). Risk was increased for children whose mothers had suffered work related exposure in the preconception period to solvents (OR. =. 2.0 95%CI: 1.0-4.1) and in particular to aromatic hydrocarbons (OR. =. 9.2, 95%CI: 2.4-34.3). No association was observed with ELF-MF exposure. A higher risk was found among children with congenital malformations (OR. =. 4.9, 95%CI: 1.8-13.6) or neurofibromatosis (2 cases and 0 controls, p=. 0.016). Conclusions: Our study suggests maternal exposure to hair dyes and aromatic hydrocarbons plays a role and deserves further investigation. The association with congenital malformations might also be explained by over-diagnosis.External exposure, in particular during and before pregnancy might contribute to NB occurrence. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Berto D.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Rampazzo F.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Noventa S.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Cacciatore F.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 4 more authors.
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2013

Complex environments, such as transitional waters, are characterized by several sources of particulate organic matter (POM). The analyses of stable isotopes, δ13C and δ15N, are usually used to discriminate between allochthonous and autochthonous POM. This study aimed to characterize the nature of POM through the stable isotopic analysis for the first time in the Venice lagoon. Water samples were seasonally collected during 2011 and 2012 at 28 stations during the monitoring program for the accomplishment of the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD, Directive, 2000/60/CE). Dissolved nutrient concentrations, chlorophyll a, total suspended solids were determined and POM was characterized through δ13C, δ15N and C/N molar ratio. The results showed mixed sources (autochthonous and allochthonous) of POM in all lagoon stations. Nevertheless, in autumn, the enriched 13C and significantly depleted 15N POM suggested the major influence of terrestrial contribution, probably due to the increase of freshwater inputs and land runoff. Differently, in the summer period sewage discharges and biological processes as well as primary production and microbial degradation prevailed, giving a strong seasonal increase in δ15N values (up to 18.2‰).The results of PCA analysis evidenced a spatial distinction of POM load among polyhaline, euhaline not confined and euhaline confined areas, identified for the WFD accomplishment. Through the application of multiple sources mixing model (IsoSource) by means of two variables and five different POM sources, a prevalence of allochthonous sources (82%) over autochthonous was estimated in the Venice lagoon. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ostoich M.,Veneto Regional Environmental Prevention and Protection Agency ARPAV | Carcereri M.,ARPAV
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2011

This paper discusses the problem of the identification and definition of the urban agglomerations in accordance with Directive 91/271/EC. The aim of this identification is to guarantee a satisfactory level of treatment for urban wastewaters and the achievement of the quality objectives for water bodies. The methodology employed, taking into account the existing planning tools in the water service sector, has been based on official national census data, on the Water Protection Plan, on the predictions of Water Service Plans prepared by each Water Authority and on detailed indications provided by the Authorities themselves. The proposed approach, obtained with geographic information systems applications and the calculation of pollution loads, is described and tested in the Veneto region, Italy. In the final part of the paper some considerations on the results obtained are presented and discussed. © IWA Publishing 2011.

Azzellino A.,Polytechnic of Milan | Cevirgen S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Giupponi C.,University of Venice | Parati P.,ARPAV | And 2 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2015

In the last two decades, numerous models and modeling techniques have been developed to simulate nonpoint source pollution effects. Most models simulate the hydrological, chemical, and physical processes involved in the entrainment and transport of sediment, nutrients, and pesticides. Very often these models require a distributed modeling approach and are limited in scope by the requirement of homogeneity and by the need to manipulate extensive data sets. Physically based models are extensively used in this field as a decision support for managing the nonpoint source emissions. A common characteristic of this type of model is a demanding input of several state variables that makes the calibration and effort-costing in implementing any simulation scenario more difficult. In this study the USDA Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to model the Venice Lagoon Watershed (VLW), Northern Italy. A Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) network was trained on SWAT simulations and used as a meta-model for scenario analysis. The MLP meta-model was successfully trained and showed an overall accuracy higher than 70% both on the training and on the evaluation set, allowing a significant simplification in conducting scenario analysis. © IWA Publishing 2015.

Cesa M.,University of Trieste | Bizzotto A.,A.R.P.A.V. | Ferraro C.,A.R.P.A.V. | Fumagalli F.,University of Trieste | Nimis P.L.,University of Trieste
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution | Year: 2010

The concentration of Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, V and Zn was measured in the aquatic bryophyte Rhynchostegium riparioides after a 4-week transplantation at 83 stations in seven main watercourses and three smaller tributaries of the basin of the River Bacchiglione (NE Italy). The study, carried out in 9 months, aimed at establishing a database for statistical analyses to define a novel index of water quality, specifically calibrated for moss bags, and suitable for bio-monitoring purposes where autochthonous bryophytes are not available. The background level was estimated for each element, the ratio between sample and background concentration was adopted as measure of environmental alteration and a five-class interpretation scale was defined. The 73.8% of measured concentrations reflected a condition of naturality, 16.6% suspect of alteration, 7.6% sure alteration, 1.6% severe alteration and <0.5% extreme alteration. The condition of global environmental alteration (all contaminants) at each station was also defined. Forty-four stations presented absence or suspect of alteration, 39 sure alteration for one or more elements. Bivariate and multivariate analyses revealed (1) highly significant correlations (p<0.001) between the concentrations of Co-Mn, Sb-Zn, and Fe-V, depending on both natural and human factors, (2) chemical patterns leading to galvanic industries, metallurgy or urban sewages, in some case with a geographical distribution and (3) a gradient of environmental alteration from the Pre-Alps to the lowland. Coloured maps indicate both point sources and widespread environmental alteration, highlighting not only industrial-urban areas but also some apparently undisturbed sites. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Caumont O.,Meteo - France | Cimini D.,CNR Institute of Methodologies for Environmental analysis | Lohnert U.,University of Cologne | Alados-Arboledas L.,University of Granada | And 7 more authors.
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society | Year: 2016

Temperature and humidity retrievals from an international network of ground-based microwave radiometers (MWRs) have been collected to assess the potential of their assimilation into a convective-scale numerical weather prediction (NWP) system. Thirteen stations over a domain encompassing the western Mediterranean basin were considered for a time period of 41 days in autumn, when heavy precipitation events most often plague this area. Prior to their assimilation, MWR data were compared to very-short-term forecasts. Observation-minus-background statistics revealed some biases, but standard deviations were comparable to that obtained with radiosondes. The MWR data were then assimilated in a three-dimensional variational data assimilation system through the use of a rapid update cycle. A first set of four different experiments were designed to assess the impact of the assimilation of temperature and humidity profiles, both separately and jointly. This assessment was done through the use of a comprehensive dataset of upper-air and surface observations collected in the framework of the HyMeX programme. The results showed that the impact was generally very limited on all verified parameters, except for precipitation. The impact was found to be generally beneficial in terms of most verification metrics for about 18 h, especially for larger accumulations. Two additional data-denial experiments showed that even more positive impact could be obtained when MWR data were assimilated without other redundant observations. The conclusion of the study points to possible ways of enhancing the impact of the assimilation of MWR data in convective-scale NWP systems. © 2016 Royal Meteorological Society.

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