The permafrost monitoring network in the Piedmont Alps

The permafrost monitoring network in the Piedmont Alps

The cryosphere is the portion of the Earth’s surface where water is in solid form and includes sea ice, lake ice, river ice, snow covers, glaciers, and polar ice caps. It also includes the perennial frozen ground, known as “permafrost”. Permafrost is defined as “soil or rock that remains below the temperature of 0°C for more than two consecutive years”, therefore its existence is absolutely independent of the presence or absence of ice.
In Piedmont, knowledge of the periglacial environment and of the permafrost distribution has been fragmentary or lacking. In order to expanding this knowledge, in recent years Arpa Piemonte started a series of researches that allowed to better define the context of the high mountain and to identify the thermal state and the distribution of permafrost.