CMN-PV “Monte Cimone with Po Valley facilities”

The National Facility CMN-PV “Monte Cimone with Po Valley facilities” is an integrated site that allows for three-dimensional observation of one of the most critical hotspots in Europe for climate and air quality: the Po Valley. The CMN-PV Node includes the CNR Observatory of Monte Cimone (2165 m a.s.l.), the only Global GAW station on the national territory, the urban supersite of Bologna, and the rural site of San Pietro Capofiume. These atmospheric observatories have been conducting observations of air pollutants and climate-altering compounds for 20 years, in collaboration with other Italian and international institutions. 

CMN-PV’s participation in ACTRIS originated from the “Ottavio Vittori” Observatory, active since 1996 and located on the summit of Monte Cimone (CMN, 44°12′ N, 10°42′ E, 2165 m) in the northern Apennines. It is the only high-mountain station for atmospheric research south of the Alps and the Po Valley, making it a strategic platform for studying the troposphere in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The observational programs conducted here are primarily in-situ and involve aerosol and trace gas components, with the in-situ cloud component currently under implementation. 

Within the framework of ACTRIS-RI, the “O. Vittori” Observatory integrates with the rural site of “S. Pietro Capofiume” (SPC, 43° 21’N, 12° 34’E, 11 m a.s.l.), initially established for fog studies and currently conducting in-situ and remote sensing aerosol observations. It is located in the heart of the Po Valley and managed by ARPAE Emilia-Romagna in collaboration with CNR-ISAC, along with the urban site of Bologna (BO, 43° 21’N, 12° 34’E, 39 m a.s.l.), situated at the CNR Research Area.

 This distributed infrastructure provides the opportunity, as demonstrated during significant measurement campaigns (MINATROC in 2000, PMTC2004 in 2004, PEGASOS in 2012, ACTRIS-2 in 2017), to seamlessly integrate in-situ and remote sensing observations of aerosols, trace gases, and clouds in one of the most critical regions in Europe for air quality and pollution-climate interactions. 

Here are the active observation programs at the “Mt. Cimone – Po Valley” Observatory: 

  • Meteorological parameters and solar radiation: (CMN, BO, SPC). 
  • In-situ Aerosol: 
    Size distribution (10 – 800nm) in number (CMN, SPC). 
    Size distribution (0.8 – 40nm) in number of ions and neutral particles (CMN). 
    Size distribution (280 nm – 10 µm) in number (CMN, SPC). 
    Total number (from 10 nm to 3μm) of aerosol particles (CMN). 
    Absorption coefficient at 637 nm (CMN, SPC). 
    Multi-wavelength absorption coefficient (CMN). 
    Equivalent black carbon (CMN, BO, SPC). 
    Scattering and backscattering coefficients (450, 550, 700 nm) (CMN). 
    Aerosol mass in PM2.5 and PM10 fractions (BO). 
    Concentration of Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and active fraction at six degrees of supersaturation (CMN). 
    Chemical composition of aerosol during intensive campaigns (CMN, SPC, BO). 
  • In-situ Trace Gases: 
    O3 (CMN). 
    SO2 (CMN, SPC). 
    CO2 (CMN). 
    CH4 (CMN). 
    CO (CMN). 
    NO-NO2 (CMN). 
    VOC (CMN). 
    Halogenated greenhouse gases (SF6, CFCs, PFCs, HCFCs, HFCs) (CMN). 
  • In-situ Cloud: 
    Chemical composition of fogs and liquid water content (SPC). 
    Liquid Water Content, Reff (CMN, SPC). 
    Spectral size distribution of cloud droplets (CMN, SPC). 
  • Trace Gas Columnar and Profiling Content: 
    Zenith-sky DOAS and MAXDOAS for O3, NO2, SO2, HCHO – Formaldehyde (CMN, BO). 
  • Aerosol Remote Sensing: 
    Aerosol optical thickness, AOD (CMN, SPC, BO). 
    Vertical profiling (SPC).


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