Defending Venice from flood waters

The MOSE flood defense scheme for Venice, Italy, is a unique project. It consists of 78 mobile flood gates that can be raised during high tides and storm surges to protect this historic floating city from water damage.

Controlling the flood gates

In normal conditions, the barrier lies out of sight on the bottom of the lagoon, in turn preserving the iconic cityscape. ABB’s pressure transmitters play a key role in helping to control the raising and lowering of the flap gates, quickly and effectively, when flooding is expected.

An iconic challenge

Rising sea levels and a drop in land level have combined to put Venice under threat. The solution is a mobile flood barrier which spans three inlets of the lagoon and extends for over more than a kilometer. Rows of adjacent flap gates, 78 in total, are connected to foundations on the seabed and huge hinges allow them to raise and lower as necessary.

The complexity of the project combined with the city’s immense heritage status, meant that any solution must offer longevity and be highly responsive as well as meet precision engineering requirements.

Accuracy under pressure

To function effectively, the MOSE flood defense scheme relies on ABB’s 2600T series pressure transmitters to measure the pressure of compressed air and water in the flap gates. Air pressure indicates when the gates have risen to a level sufficient to block any high tides from entering the lagoon, ensuring raising and lowering of the mobile gates is controlled and optimized.

Designed for subsea installation, these monitoring devices are a robust and highly stable solution able to operate accurately even at the bottom of a Venetian lagoon.

ABB’s pressure transmitters measure water and air pressure in all of the 78 mobile gates that make up the Venice flood defense scheme, helping to control their position and prevent flooding.


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