Scientific Institute Angelo Mosso

Last DEIMS-SDR update: 22.02.2024


The "Istituto Scientifico Angelo Mosso" research site is located on the watershed between Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta (NW-Italy), in the Municipality of Alagna Valsesia (Monte Rosa massif). The Scientific Laboratories of the "Angelo Mosso Institute" at Col d’Olen (2901 m a.s.l.), the heart of this research site, were built between 1905 and 1907, when it became clear that the Capanna Regina Margherita on Monte Rosa (4554 m a.s.l.), as a high-elevation research centre, had become insufficient to the increasing number of requests for use by the international scientific community. From here the idea promoted by Angelo Mosso (1846-1910), professor of human physiology at the University of Turin, to add an additional structure to the Observatory of the Capanna Regina Margherita for make larger laboratories available to researchers and allow study stays at high elevation. This project soon became a reality thanks to the intervention of Queen Regina Margherita, Ministries of Education and Agriculture, the Italian Alpine Club and various personalities of the time. The research conducted at the Institute did not concern only human physiology, but also other disciplines, including alpine meteorology and glaciology, thanks also to the presence of the Meteorological Observatory that flanked the Institute, directed in the years 1925-40 by Umberto Monterin. It is now home to an automatic snow and weather station, managed by the Alpine Troops-Meteomont service. In addition to the University of Turin, the research groups that operate at the site and contribute to data collection and implementation are currently CNR-IRSA, Alpine Troops Command-Service Meteomont, Monterosa 2000 SpA and Monterosa SpA (Monterosa Ski), Protected areas of Valsesia, ARPA Piemonte, ARPA Valle d'Aosta and Sesia Val Grande Geopark. In addition to the valuable historical series of climate data, a series of research activities are devoted to the study of snow-soil-vegetation interactions, with particular reference to carbon dynamics e soil nitrogen (Magnani et al. 2017a,b; Freppaz et al. 2019). In addition, investigations are performed focusing on the chemical characteristics of high-elevation surface waters, fed by different cryospheric features such as rock glaciers, glaciers, and permafrost (Colombo et al. 2018a,b; 2019a,b; 2020; Vione et al., 2021). New research lines, aimed at investigating the most recent environmental challenges, have been added to the previous ones. For instance, investigations on sources and routes of atmospheric carbon and nitrogen species are ongoing. References: Colombo N. et al. (2018a), Colombo N. et al. (2018b), Colombo N. et al. (2019a), Colombo N. et al. (2019b), Colombo N. et al. (2020), Freppaz M. et al. (2019), Magnani A. et al. (2017a), Magnani A. et al. (2017b), Vione D. et al. (2021),

Angelo Mosso Scientific Institute and Lake Bowditch in late summer (2901 m asl)

Angelo Mosso Scientific Institute

Angelo Mosso Scientific Institute and Lake Bowditch in early summer

Angelo Mosso Scientific Institute and Lake Bowditch in winter

One of the research plots in the alpine tundra

Historical picture of the Angelo Mosso Scientific Institute. It was founded in 1907

Related Resources:
Col d'Olen, soil chemistry (extractable N-NH4)
Col d'Olen, snow chemistry (N-NO3)
Col d'Olen, water chemistry (N-NH4)
Col d'Olen, water chemistry (N-NO3)
Col d'Olen, soil temperature
Col d'Olen, soil chemistry (extractable N-NO3)
Col d'Olen, species abundance
Col d'Olen, snow chemistry (N-NO3) 2009-2019
Col d'Olen, soil chemistry (extractable N-NH4) 2008-2019
Col d'Olen, soil chemistry (extractable N-NO3) 2008-2019
Col d'Olen, soil temperature 2007-2019
Col d'Olen, species abundance 2015-2019
Col d'Olen, water chemistry (N-NH4) 2005-2019
Col d'Olen, water chemistry (N-NO3) 2005-2019
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