Technicians carry out tests of massive flood barrier of giant steel gates bolted to the sea floor designed to protect Venice from the rising waters.

The Experimental Electromechanical Module (MOSE) barrier was chosen among other projects in order to protect Venice’s lagoon from high tide events.

Since the beginning of the 20th century the number of high tide events in the Venetian lagoon has increased exponentially due to ground lowering and rising sea levels.

High tides cause flooding in the city, damaging buildings and disrupting commercial activities.

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The risk of a major high tide event in Venice is quite real since it happened before, on 4 November 1966, when the tide raised a level of 6.3 feet on sea level.

The MOSE barrier has been designed to protect Venice lagoon from high tide up to 9 feet and from the raising of sea level up to 23 inches in the next 100 years.

The system is made of gates formed by movable barriers which will temporarily separate the lagoon from the sea.

The MOSE barrier is intended to start working when sea levels reach 43 inches on sea level.

Four gates are being created, made of 78 movable barriers. Each barrier weighs 300 tonnes.

The gates are being built at the three inlets which link the lagoon to the Adriatic sea: Lido, Malamocco and Chioggia.

“The benefit of the city is that no more floods will arrive and that all the ground floors of the city, which are usually washed out and destroyed by these tides, will be safe,” Hermes Redi, Chief Executive of Consorzio Venezia Nuova which are in charge of the project.

He explained that in normal weather conditions the movable barriers will lay full of water on the bottom of the channel.

In case of high tides, the barriers will be emptied through to the input of compressed air so that they can emerge and separate the lagoon from the sea.

Source: ATPN

Photo Credit: Aerial view of the mouth of Venice's harbor basin. Wikimedia Commons