Multidisciplinary approach in the study of marble quarries in the Apuan Alps

Matteo Calorio (a), Andrea Garattoni (a), Luisa Vernacchia (a), Giovanni Massa (a), Riccardo Salvini (a,b), Altair Pirro (a), Paolo Conti (a,b) & Luigi Carmignani (a)
(a) Centro di GeoTecnologie dell'Università degli Studi di Siena, Via Vetri Vecchi, 34, 56027 San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy. Tel: +39 055-9119430 - Fax: +39 055-9119439. (b) Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, della Terra e dell'Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Siena. Corresponding author e-mail:

DOI:         Pages: 16-22


The Apuan Alps (Northern Tuscany, Italy) represent the world's most important marble mining area, with historical significance and particular geomechanical rocks properties. A detailed knowledge of existing marble rock volumes is required in proper planning and management of mining activities. The aim of this study is the 3D reconstruction of marble formation, taking into consideration the polyphasic deformation history of the Apuan Alps. This goal is pursued through a multidisciplinary approach: geological mapping is integrated with the most modern photogrammetric, GIS (Geographic Information System) and 3D modeling technologies. The project is carried out in different work-stages: i) aerial photo-interpretation; ii) geological field-survey; iii) revision and integration with new data of the existent geological maps; iv) creation of three-dimensional model of marble ore. The photo-interpretation phase is carried out in 3D by means of ESRI? ArcGIS Pro 1.4 suite with the support of DTMs (Digital Terrain Models) and orthophotos at high spatial resolution (up to 5 cm ground pixel); then, through detailed geological mapping, critical data collected in the previous phase is verified. The integration of previous activities leads to the updating and correction of the currently available geological maps and leads to the production of serial geological cross-sections necessary for the creation of 3D models related to both surface and underground geology. Models have been built within Rhinoceros 5.0®code. Final aim of present work is the calculation of marble formation volumes in some defined areas, with a view to proper manage the resource, as well as to plan the mining activities.


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