World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Venetian Lagoon

Article Id: WHEBN0000228722
Reproduction Date:

Title: Venetian Lagoon  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Burano, Isola di San Clemente, La Certosa, Sacca Fisola, Sacca Sessola
Collection: Bays of Italy, Chioggia, Geography of Italy, Geography of Venice, Lagoons of Italy, Venetian Lagoon, World Heritage Sites in Italy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Venetian Lagoon

Aerial view of the Venetian Lagoon, showing many of the islands including Venice itself, center rear, with the bridge to the mainland
The Venetian Lagoon

The Venetian Lagoon is the enclosed bay of the Adriatic Sea in which the city of Venice is situated. Its name in the Italian and Venetian language, Laguna Veneta – cognate of Latin lacus, "lake" – has provided the international name for an enclosed, shallow embayment of salt water, a lagoon. Occasionally, Bottlenose Dolphins enter the lagoon possibly for feeding.[1]

Contents

  • Location 1
  • Development 2
  • Government 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Location

The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the north to the Brenta in the south, with a surface area of around 550 square kilometres (210 sq mi). It is around 8% land, including Venice itself and many smaller islands. About 11% is permanently covered by open water, or canal, as the network of dredged channels are called, while around 80% consists of mud flats, tidal shallows and salt marshes. The lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin.[2]

It is connected to the Adriatic Sea by three inlets: the Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia inlets. Sited at the end of a largely enclosed sea, the lagoon is subject to high variations in water level, the most extreme being the spring tides known as the acqua alta (Italian for "high water"), which regularly flood much of Venice.

The nearby Marano-Grado Lagoon, with a surface area of around 160 square kilometres (62 sq mi), is the northernmost lagoon in the Adriatic Sea and is called sometimes the "twin sister of the Venice lagoon".

Development

The Lagoon of Venice is the most important survivor of a system of estuarine lagoons that in Roman times extended from Ravenna north to Trieste. In the sixth century, the Lagoon gave security to Romanised people fleeing invaders (mostly the Huns). Later, it provided naturally protected conditions for the growth of the Venetian Republic and its maritime empire. It still provides a base for a seaport, the Venetian Arsenal, and for fishing, as well as a limited amount of hunting and the newer industry of fish farming.

The island of Torcello seen from the Lagoon at low tide

The Lagoon was formed about six to seven thousand years ago, when the marine transgression following the Ice Age flooded the upper Adriatic coastal plain.[Note 1] Deposition of river sediments compensated for the sinking coastal plain, and coastwise drift from the mouth of the Po tended to close tidal inlets with sand bars.

The present aspect of the Lagoon is due to human intervention. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Venetian hydraulic projects to prevent the lagoon from turning into a marsh reversed the natural evolution of the Lagoon. Pumping of aquifers since the nineteenth century has increased subsidence. Originally many of the Lagoon’s islands were marshy, but a gradual programme of drainage rendered them habitable. Many of the smaller islands are entirely artificial, while some areas around the seaport of the Mestre are also reclaimed islands. The remaining islands are essentially dunes, including those of the coastal strip (Lido, Pellestrina and Treporti).

Venice Lagoon was inhabited from the most ancient times, but it was only during and after the fall of the Roman Empire in the West that many people, coming from the Venetian mainland, settled in a number large enough to found the city of Venice. Today, the main cities inside the lagoon are Venice (at the centre of it) and Chioggia (at the southern inlet); Lido di Venezia and Pellestrina are inhabited as well, but they are part of Venice. However, the most part of the inhabitants of Venice, as well as its economic core, its airport and its harbor, stand on the western border of the lagoon, around the former towns of Mestre and Marghera. At the northern end of the lagoon, there is the town of Jesolo, a famous sea resort; and the town of Cavallino-Treporti.

Government

The Venice Lagoon is mostly included in the Province of Venice, but the south-western area is part of the Province of Padua.

The Venetian Lagoon Islands

The largest islands or archipelagos by area, excluding coastal reclaimed land and the coastal barrier beaches:

Other inhabited islands include:

See also

Notes

  1. ^ This geological history follows Brambati et al. (2003)[3]

References

  1. ^ Ferretti S., Bearzi G. "RARE REPORT OF A BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN FORAGING IN THE VENICE LAGOON, ITALY" (PDF).  
  2. ^ Poggioli, Sylvia (January 7, 2008). "MOSE Project Aims to Part Venice Floods". Morning Edition, radio program.
  3. ^ Antonio Brambati, Laura Carbognin, Tullio Quaia, Pietro Teatini & Luigi Tosi (2003). "The Lagoon of Venice: geological setting, evolution and land subsidence" ( 

Further reading

External links

  • Atlas of the Lagoon - 103 thematic maps and associated explanations grouped in five sections: Geosphere, Biosphere, Anthroposphere, Protected Environments and Integrated Analysis
  • SIL – Sistema Informativo della Laguna di Venezia
  • Lagoon of Venice information
  • Satellite image from Google Maps
  • MILVa – Interactive Map of Venice Lagoon
  • Comune di Venezia, Servizio Mobilità Acquea, Thematic cartography of Venice Lagoon
  • Photo gallery by Enrico Martino about Venice's lagoon small islands, night life

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.