The CAV OTT research project Real-time monitoring of quarry walls using optical fibres, financed by the POR FESR 2014-2020 of the Tuscany Region, involves three cooperatives of the Apuan-Versilian stone district. The project is led by the Cooperativa Cavatori Lorano (Carrara) and is the result of a collaboration with the Centro di GeoTecnologie and GeoExplorer S.r.l., a start-up company of the University of Siena belonging to the Distretto Tecnologico del Marmo. In addition to the Lorano Quarrymen’s Cooperative, the partnership comprises the Apuana Vagli di Sopra Cooperative, which operates in Garfagnana, and the Levigliani Cooperative in the Municipality of Stazzema.
The project envisages the monitoring of potentially unstable marble quarry fronts, both underground and open air, in the provinces of Massa Carrara and Lucca by means of fibre optics integrated with a remote data transmission apparatus. The sites being monitored are the Piastra Bagnata Quarry (Cooperativa Apuana Vagli di Sopra, Lucca), the Piastraio di Sotto Quarry (Cooperativa Levigliani, Lucca) and the Lorano “I” Quarry n° 22 (Cooperativa Cavatori Lorano, Carrara).
The objective is to monitor any deformations and/or displacements of potentially unstable quarry fronts by integrating the fibre with a remote data transmission device in order to signal in real time potential sources of risk for human health and the machinery operating in the worksite areas.
The experimentation with optical fibres in the marble quarries of the Apuan Alps is a definite innovation. Due to their particular morphology, characterised by overhanging rock masses, projecting walls and tunnels, they are ideal places for the experimental development of such a monitoring system.