GEOFISICA MARINA: Scardino, Giovanni, et al. “The Footprints of the Wreckage of the Italian Royal Navy Battleship Leonardo Da Vinci on the Mar Piccolo Sea-Bottom (Taranto, Southern Italy).” Oceans. Vol. 1. No. 2. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2020.

Lo studio pubblicato fa riferimento direttamente all’attività del Commissario Straordinario Vera Corbelli, citata fra gli autori della pubblicazione, nell’ambito del Mar Piccolo. Il progetto per la rilevazione dell’impatto antropico nel Mar Piccolo e nel Mar Grande, condotto attraverso un approccio multidisciplinare, ha permesso di identificare come alcune delle depressioni presenti sul fondale, inizialmente ritenute di origine naturale, fossero invece da associarsi all’affondamento della nave da battaglia Leonardo Da Vinci nel 1916 ed alle successive operazioni di recupero.


Over the last two decades, the scientific interest for marine geophysical surveys has shown a huge increase, mostly for multidisciplinary applicability on different studies, from historical heritage to environmental remediation. One of the main research fields carried out through marine geophysical surveys is the study of the wreckage footprints connected to the seabed perturbation. In 2018, a strategic project planned by the Italian National Government Commissioner for the remediation in the Taranto area (Southern Italy) stands as a basic sample for such issues. The project aimed at the detection of anthropogenic impact in the highly polluted Mar Piccolo and Mar Grande basins seabed, through a multidisciplinary approach involving geological, biological, chemical, engineering, and ecological studies. The main purpose of the work was to identify any potential pollution source, focusing on anthropogenic sea-floor features such as uncontrolled dumping, wrecks, or other objects of peculiar origin. To achieve the purpose of the work, field surveys were planned and performed in order to direct a general policy and accurate planning for environmental remediation activities. Different marine geophysics methods were used to characterize the main sea-floor features and to detect each anthropogenic feature. A comparative analysis of a high-resolution dataset allowed to clarify the origin of some deep depressions on the Mar Piccolo sea-bottom, which at the first instance were associated with a natural origin, as the results of the Leonardo Da Vinci wreckage and related recovering activities. High-resolution morphobathymetric, magnetometric, and seismic data revealed the story of the Italian Royal Navy battleship which sunk on 2 August 1916 as a slight footprint on the Mar Piccolo seabed but a deep historical heritage of the city of Taranto. Moreover, final results demonstrate high-resolution marine survey methodologies’ complete applicability to environmental, historical, and scientific issues.