The activity of the Italian IPA group by F. Dramis has focussed on two main topics that reflect the main financial resources for the scientific activities: a) Antarctic Research; b) the Italian activities within PACE.


In Antarctica, at Terra Nova Bay Station, the campaign 1999/2000 was performed with the cooperation of A. Lewkowicz (Ottawa University). The research was concentrated on the study of the net energy balance of the permafrost surfaces with different morphologic conditions and snow accumulations, on the impact of climate change on the salt concentrations within the active layer, and on the analysis of the relationships between climate and weathering of the bedrock in the ice-free areas of Northern Victoria Land. During the campaign, and thanks to the PNRA organisation, a 15.5 m deep borehole was drilled in the outcropping Harbour granite near the Station. The first temperature profiles were obtained. In the same campaign two CALM grids were established according to the CALM protocols, in proximity to the automatic monitoring stations of Boulder Clay and Simpson Crags. During the austral summer, with the cooperation of Argentine Antarctic Institute and CADIC, two field campaigns, one in Tierra del Fuego and one in James Ross Island (Antarctica), were performed. These campaigns are the first step of a threeyear programme to analyse the relationships between active layer thickness, permafrost conditions and different kinds of vegetation in respect to the main climatic parameters. This approach was proposed to the SCAR-RiScc meeting in Madrid last year. It will be conducted along an ideal transect between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica in cooperation with Argentina and UK. During this campaign a new 8 m deep borehole was drilled at Lachman Harbour (James Ross Island) in the outcropping sedimentary Tertiary rocks.

Monitoring of climatic parameters and borehole temperatures in the Stelvio Borehole (100.3 m deep) continues as part of the PACE activities. The first crystallographic and chemical analyses of the ice core from Foscagno rock glacier have been completed. In addition, 10 miniature data loggers have been placed within different vegetation types and landforms to monitor ground temperature at different depths and incoming radiation, and to understand the effect of the vegetation cover on the permafrost distribution in the Alps.

The Cryosphere Map of Lombardia was published. It is the first attempt in Italy to map the distribution of permafrost, rock glaciers and glaciers in a sector of the Italian Alps. Finally, the organisation of the First European Permafrost Conference in Rome (March 2001) was undertaken.

Mauro Guglielmin and Nicoletta Cannone (