Update on the Hydrodynamics of the Venice Canals
This project provides an update on the hydrodynamics of 93 canal segments in the historical center of Venice. During the 1990’s, students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) measured the currents in the entire canal system. Since then, there have been many speculations about possible changes in the canal currents. Our team set out to verify whether those rumors were founded. The results of our study show that indeed there have been changes in the patterns of movement of the waters of the inner canals: the speed of some of the northern canals has increased, the area around the Rio Nuovo has slowed down, and some smaller segments have even reversed their direction of flow. In particular, our research has confirmed that the western end of the Grand Canal is displaying a pattern of flow that is the opposite to the direction measured in 1966. Our data was used to update a computer model of the canal hydrodynamics in collaboration with ISMAR. The results of our project indicate that more research is needed to fully understand the behavior of tidal flows, especially in relation to the major lagoon channels.