EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Monitoring the last Apennine glacier: recent in situ campaigns and modelling of Calderone glacial apparatus

Elena Pettinelli1, Massimo Pecci2, Frank S. Marzano3,4, Marianna Biscarini3, Paolo Boccabella4, Federica Bruschi5, Tiziano Caira2, David Cappelletti2,5, Domenico Cimini4, Pinuccio D’Aquila2, Thomas Di Fiore4, Giulio Esposito6, Sebastian E. Lauro1, Elisabetta Mattei1, Angelo Monaco4, Gianluca Palermo3, Mattia Pecci4, Edoardo Raparelli3,4, Marco Scozzafava4, and Paolo Tuccella4
Elena Pettinelli et al.
  • 1Roma Tre University – DMF
  • 2Italian Glaciological Committee (CGI)
  • 3Sapienza University of Rome -DIET
  • 4CETEMPS – University of L’Aquila
  • 5University of Perugia, DBCC
  • 6National Research Council (CNR) – IIA

The Calderone glacier is at present the most southern glacier in Europe (42° 28' 15’’ N). The little apparatus (about 20.000 m2 in surface area) has been giving an interesting response both to short- and long-term climatic variations which resulted in a considerable reduction in surface area and volume. The glacial apparatus is split into two ice bodies (glacierets) since 2000. The two glacierets are located in a deep northward valley below the top of the Corno Grande (2912 m asl) in the centre of the Gran Sasso d’Italia mountain range (Central Italy). Such glacial apparatus has been subjected to a strong reduction, with a loss of total surface area of about 50% and thickness of about 65%with respect to the hypothetical size (about 105.00 m2 and 55 m at the Little Ice Age).

Since early 90s the Calderone glacier has been subjected to several multidisciplinary field campaigns to monitor and evaluate its role as an environmental indicator in the framework of global warming. Starting from historical series related to more than a century of records, the variability of the different glacier properties has been estimated by using classical geomorphologic methods as well as in situ and remote sensing techniques. In particular, the last field campaigns, in 2015, 2016 and 2019, have been carried out using Ground Penetrating Radar equipped with different antenna frequencies, drone-based survey, snow pit measurements and chemical-physical sampling. The measurement campaigns have been complemented by a regional climate analysis, spanning the last fifty years, and snowpack modelling initialized with microphysical snow data (e.g., snow density, crystal shape and size, hardness).  The snowpack chemical analyses include the main and trace elements, soluble inorganic and organic ions, EC/OC and PAH, with different spatial resolution depending on the analytes. We present here the methodological approach used and some preliminary results.

How to cite: Pettinelli, E., Pecci, M., Marzano, F. S., Biscarini, M., Boccabella, P., Bruschi, F., Caira, T., Cappelletti, D., Cimini, D., D’Aquila, P., Di Fiore, T., Esposito, G., Lauro, S. E., Mattei, E., Monaco, A., Palermo, G., Pecci, M., Raparelli, E., Scozzafava, M., and Tuccella, P.: Monitoring the last Apennine glacier: recent in situ campaigns and modelling of Calderone glacial apparatus, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22579,, 2020.

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