The morphostratigraphic study: A Part from the Book Chapter : Retreat of the Shoreline in the Gulf of Castellammare di Stabia (Gulf of Napoli, Southern Italy)

The morphostratigraphic

The Sarno River is a resurgent river and its solid contribution has always been relatively modest, the exception being the periods of volcanic activity. It originates from the Palazzo, Santa Marina and Cerola springs; two other springs – the San Mauro and the Santa Marina di Lavorate – are practically exhausted due to the excessive uptake. In the past, the river was characterized by a meandering path. The morphostratigraphic study of some sedimentary successions has allowed the reconstruction of the trace of ancient meanders of the Sarno River during the Holocene age, located in the Northern portion of the plain, to the N of the current mouth.

Author(s) Details:

Giuseppe Pecoraro
Giunta Regione Lombardia, Milano, Italy.

Micla Pennetta
Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Napoli, Italy.

Also See : Pesticides have Played a Pivotal Role in Shaping Agricultural Practices and Food Production : A Part from The Book : Pesticides, Toxicity and Its Effects on Human Health and Environment

Recent global research developments in Meandering History of the Sarno River: Insights from Morphostratigraphic Study

 1. At the Origins of Pompeii: The Plant Landscape of the Sarno River Floodplain:

  • A recent study1 sheds light on the environmental evolution and plant landscape of the Sarno floodplain, which surrounds the ancient city of Pompeii. This floodplain was severely impacted by the ad 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. While the eruption destroyed the ecosystem, it also preserved traces of former environmental conditions.
  • For the first time, researchers reconstructed a pollen sequence covering the period from 900 BCE to 750 CE (calibrated years before and during Pompeii’s foundation) up to the catastrophic eruption in ad 79. This sequence provides insights into the changing vegetation and landscape.
  • Key findings:
  • The portion of the Sarno floodplain beneath the “Pompeii hill” was a freshwater backswamp with patchy inundated and dry areas.
  • Palynology (the study of pollen) reveals a thin forest cover since the Early Iron Age, suggesting an open environment with a mosaic of vegetation types.
  • The local presence of Mediterranean coastal shrubland, hygrophilous riverine forest, and mesophilous plain forest combined with regional mountain vegetation.
  • Oscillations between inundated and wet ground characterized the area until the ad 79 eruption.
  • Anthropogenic traits were evident since pre-Roman times, including pasturelands, cultivated fields, and olive groves.
  • The most significant land use change occurred with the introduction of cabbage cultivation in the fourth century BCE, intensifying during the second century BCE as Roman influence grew. The presence of tree crops and ornamental trees reflects the opulence of the Imperial age until the catastrophic eruption.

2. Roman Period and River Meandering:


1.Vignola, C., Bonetto, J., Furlan, G. et al. At the origins of Pompeii: the plant landscape of the Sarno River floodplain from the first millennium BC to the AD 79 eruption. Veget Hist Archaeobot 31, 171–186 (2022).


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