Skip to main content
Passa alla visualizzazione normale.


The Role of Wastewater in Controlling Fluvial Erosion Processes on Clayey Bedrock

  • Authors: Bufalini M.; Aringoli D.; Bendia F.; Farabollini P.; Gentilucci M.; Lampa F.; Martinello C.; Materazzi M.; Pambianchi G.
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


In recent decades, fluvial erosion processes in highly anthropized areas are mainly associated with in-stream gravel mining activities or with the presence of artificial reservoirs which have increased the erosive capacity of the river as a consequence of the reduced sediment transport or the modification of the longitudinal profile of the channel. On the other hand, the role of pollutants in the degradation processes of soils with a predominantly clayey component is little known. The present study, through chemical analyses of water and mineralogical–geotechnical analyses of clayey soil samples taken along some river channels in central Italy in correspondence with water treatment plants, highlights how “polluting” elements present in the water can modify the crystalline lattice and consequently, the resistance parameters of the soil itself, making it more susceptible to erosion processes. In particular, significant are the variations of the Plasticity Index, which tends to double in all the samples and the transformations of clayey minerals such as illite and kaolinite, toward montmorillonite and smectite, with consequent breaking of the ionic bonds and decrease of the material cohesion. Although in the cases studied this phenomenon was quantitatively less relevant than the “mechanical” processes described above, it could have a greater impact in the presence of landfills or large production settlements (agricultural or industrial) where the concentration of pollutants can be substantial.