Instability mechanisms affecting cultural heritage sites in the Maltese Archipelago

Gigli, G.; Frodella, W.; Mugnai, F.; Tapete, D.; Cigna, F.; Fanti, R.; Intrieri, E.; Lombardi, L.. 2012 Instability mechanisms affecting cultural heritage sites in the Maltese Archipelago. Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 12 (6). 1883-1903.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.

Download (14MB)


The superimposition of geological formations with marked contrast in geotechnical properties presents one of the most critical environments for slope instability due to the different response of the materials to the applied disturbances. Moreover, the above-mentioned geological setting is often associated with high risk conditions, since many isolated rock slabs located at a higher altitude than the surrounding countryside have been sites of historical towns or buildings. The purpose of the present paper is to investigate the mechanisms determining instability in rock slabs overlying a soft substratum, with reference to two cultural heritage sites in Malta. Accurate investigations have been carried out to evaluate the geological, geotechnical and geomechanical properties together with the main geomorphological features of the soft clayey substratum and the overlying limestone rock mass. The main instability processes have thus been identified and investigated through kinematic analyses and numerical modeling, combined with a 1992–2001 Persistent Scatterers monitoring of ground displacements. The study constitutes the basis for the subsequent restoration works.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Geoscience Technologies
ISSN: 1684-9981
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) is an international and interdisciplinary Open Access journal for the publication of original research concerning natural hazards.
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Space Sciences
Date made live: 09 Oct 2012 12:30 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...