General background

Atmospheric aerosols are suspensions of solid and/or liquid particles in the atmosphere and modify atmospheric radiative fluxes and chemistry. They represent a small fraction of atmospheric mass but have a disproportionately large impact on climate and biogeochemistry. Aerosols have long residence time in the atmosphere and can be transported at long-range from their source region. Therefore, they move mass from one part of the earth system to other parts of the earth system, thereby modifying biogeochemistry and the snow surface albedo. Sources are natural (wind erosion, sea spray, volcanos, biogenic emissions) as well as anthropic (vehicular traffic, industrial fumes, biomass burning, road dust,..).

Atmospheric aerosol does impact on climate through direct radiative changes, aerosol-cloud interactions (indirect effects), atmospheric chemistry, snow albedo, and land and ocean biogeochemistry. Aerosols play an important role in the preindustrial (natural) climate system and have been perturbed substantially over the anthropocene, often directly by human activity. The most important impacts of aerosols, in terms of climate forcing, are from the direct and indirect effects, with large uncertainties. Similarly large impacts of aerosols on land and ocean biogeochemistry have been estimated, but these have larger uncertainties.

Atmospheric aerosols also affect significantly human health because of their capacity to penetrate into the lung system and their complex chemical mixing which include many pollutants such as PAH and heavy metals.

Research group activities

  1. Climatology of aerosol vertical profiles in the Arctic Boundary Layer.
    Since 2011 the group is leading the aerosol vertical profiles activities at the Italian Arctic Base of Ny Alesund.
  2. Long term aerosol measurements at the Regional Background site of Monte Martano.
    The site of Monte Martano (MM) has been set up in the 2009 by a joint research project of the University of Perugia and ARPA Umbria, funded by the Umbria Region and in part supported by a grant of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Perugia. Since 2013 the monitoring site is part of the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory
    and Assessment System (SDS-WAS, network of the World Metrological Organization (WMO) for the observation of the Saharan dust advections. Since 2017 we joined the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) network (EMEP Regional Site n. IT00019R).
  3. Modeling of atmospheric dispersion and pollutants forecast.
    Lagrangian and Eulerian models are run daily to forecast Saharan dust intrusions at the MM site. This activity is conducted in collaboration with the SDS-WAS center at the Barcelona. Moreover, pollution forecasts (O3, NOx, PM) are conducted daily in collaboration with ARPA Umbria with the CHIMERE model.

Recent publications (2015-2017)

A. Spolaor, E. Barbaro, M. Mazzola, A.P. Viola, J. Lisok, F. Obleitner, K.M. Markowicz, D. Cappelletti
Determination of black carbon and nanoparticles along glaciers in the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) region exploiting a mobile platform,
Atmospheric Environment, 170, 184--196 (2017).

Barbaro, E, Spolaor, A, Karroca, O, Park, KT, Martma, T, Isaksson, E, Kohler, J, Gallet, JC, Bjorkman, MP, Cappelletti, D, Spreen, G, Zangrando, R, Barbante, C, Gambaro, A
Free amino acids in the Arctic snow and ice core samples: Potential markers for paleoclimatic studies
Science of the Total Environment, 607, 454-462 (2017).

Pallottini, M; Goretti, E; Selvaggi, R; Cappelletti, D; Dedieu, N; Cereghino, R
An efficient semi-quantitative macroinvertebrate multimetric index for the assessment of water and sediment contamination in streams
Inland Waters, 7, 314-322 (2017)

Markowicz, K. M.; Ritter, C.; Lisok, J.; Makuch, P.; Stachlewska, I. S.; Cappelletti, D.; Mazzola, M.; Chilinski, M. T..
Vertical variability of aerosol single-scattering albedo and equivalent black carbon concentration based on in-situ and remote sensing techniques during the iAREA campaigns in Ny-Alesund
Atmospheric Environment, 164, 431--447 (2017)

M. Grotti, F. Soggia, F. Ardini, A. Bazzano, B. Moroni, R. Vivani, D. Cappelletti,C. Misic
Trace elements in surface sediments from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard: occurrence, sources and bioavailability
International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 97, 401--418 (2017).

B. Moroni, D. Cappelletti, S. Crocchianti, S. Becagli, L. Caiazzo, R. Traversi, R. Udisti,
M. Mazzola, K. Markowicz, C. Ritter, T. Zielinski
Morphochemical characteristics and mixing state of long range transported wildfire particles at Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands)
Atmospheric Environment, 156, 135--145 (2017)

M. Pallottini, D. Cappelletti, A. Fabrizi, E. Gaino, E. Goretti, R. Selvaggi, R. Chereghino
Macroinvertebrate functional trait responses to chemical pollution in agricoltural-industrial landscapes
River Research and Applications, 33, 505--513 (2017)

K. M. Markowicz, P. Pakszys, C. Ritter, T. Zielinski, R. Udisti, D. Cappelletti, M. Mazzola, M. Shiobara, P. Xian, O. Zawadzka, J. Lisok, T. Petelski, P. Makuch, and G. Karasinski
Impact of North American intense fires on aerosol optical properties measured over the European Arctic in July 2015
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, 14487--14512 (2016)

Ferrero, L., Cappelletti, D., Busetto, M., Mazzola, M., Lupi, A., Lanconelli, C., Becagli, S., Traversi, R., Caiazzo, L., Giardi, F., Moroni, B., Crocchianti, S., Fierz, M., Mocnik, G., Sangiorgi, G., Perrone, M. G., Maturilli, M., Vitale, V., Udisti, R., and Bolzacchini, E.} Vertical profiles of aerosol and black carbon in the Arctic: a seasonal phenomenology along 2 years (2011–2012) of field campaigns,
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 12601--12629 (2016)

A. Bazzano, D. Cappelletti, R. Udisti, M. Grotti
Long-range transport of atmospheric lead reaching Ny-Ålesund: Interannual and seasonal variations of potential source areas
Atmospheric Environment, 139, 11--19 (2016)

D. Cappelletti, R. Azzolini, L. Langone, S. Ventura, A. Viola, S. Aliani, V. Vitale, E. Brugnoli
Environmental changes in the Arctic: an Italian perspective
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 1-6 (2016)

E. Goretti, M. Pallottini, M. I. Ricciarini, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti
Heavy metals bioaccumulation in selected tissues of red swamp crayfish: an easy tool for monitoring environmental contamination levels
Science of the Total Environment, 559, 339-346 (2016)

B. Moroni, D. Cappelletti, L. Ferrero, S. Crocchianti, M. Busetto, M. Mazzola, S. Becagli, R. Traversi, R. Udisti
Local vs long range sources of aerosol particles upon Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands): mineral chemistry and geochemical records
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 115-127 (2016)

F. Giardi, S. Becagli. R. Traversi, D. Frosini, M. Severi, L. Caiazzo, C. Ancillotti, D. Cappelletti, B. Moroni, M. Grotti, A. Bazzano, A. Lupi, M. Mazzola, V. Vitale, O. Abollino, L. Ferrero, E. Bolzacchini, A. Viola, R. Udisti
Size distribution and ion composition of aerosol collected at Ny-Alesund in the spring–summer field campaign 2013
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 47-58 (2016)

S. Del Sarto, M.G. Ranalli, D. Cappelletti, B. Moroni, S. Crocchianti and S. Castellini
Modelling spatio-temporal air pollution data from a mobile monitoring station
Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 86, 2456--2559 (2016)

R. Udisti, A. Bazzano, S. Becagli, E. Bolzacchini, L. Caiazzo, D. Cappelletti, L. Ferrero, D. Frosini, F. Giardi, M. Grotti, A. Lupi, M. Malandrino, M. Mazzola, B. Moroni, M. Severi, R. Traversi, A. Viola, V. Vitale
Sulfate source apportionment in the Ny-${\rm\AA}$lesund (Svalbard Islands) Arctic aerosol
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 85-94 (2016).

M. Giovanna Ranalli, G. Rocco, G. Jona Lasinio, B. Moroni, S. Castellini, S. Crocchianti and D. Cappelletti
Functional exploratory data analysis for high-resolution measurements of urban particulate matter
Biometrical Journal, 58, 1229--1247 (2016)

M. Mazzola , M. Busetto, L. Ferrero, A.P. Viola, D. Cappelletti
AGAP: an atmospheric gondola for aerosol profiling
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 105--113 (2016).

A. Bazzano, F. Ardini, M. Grotti , M. Malandrino, A. Giacomino, O. Abollino, D. Cappelletti, S. Becagli, R. Traversi and R. Udisti
Elemental and lead isotopic composition of atmospheric particulate measured in the Arctic region (Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard Islands)
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 73--84 (2016).

Andrea Spolaor, Elena Barbaro, Jean Marc Christille, Torben Kirchgeorg, Fabio Giardi, David Cappelletti, Clara Turetta, Andrea Bernagozzi, Mats P Björkman, Enzo Bertolini, Carlo Barbante
Evolution of the Svalbard annual snow layer during the melting phase
Rendiconti Lincei, 27, 147--154 (2016).

B. Moroni, S. Becagli, E. Bolzacchini, M. Busetto, D. Cappelletti, S. Crocchianti, L. Ferrero, D. Frosini, C. Lanconelli, A. Lupi, M. Maturilli, M. Mazzola, M. G. Perrone, G. Sangiorgi, R. Traversi, R. Udisti, A. Viola, and V. Vitale
Vertical Profiles and Chemical Properties of Aerosol Particles upon Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands)
Advances in Meteorology, 2015, Article ID 292081, 11 pages (2015)

Cartechini, L. and Castellini, S. and Moroni, B. and Palmieri, M. and Scardazza, F. and Sebastiani, B. and Selvaggi, R. and Vagnini, M. and Delogu, G. L. and Brunetti, B. G. and Cappelletti, D.
Acute episodes of black carbon and aerosol contamination in a museum environment: Results of integrated real-time and off-line measurements
Atmospheric Environment, 116, 130--137 (2015).

A. Bazzano, F. Ardini, S. Becagli, R. Traversi, R. Udisti, D. Cappelletti, M. Grotti
Source assessment of atmospheric lead measured at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard
Atmospheric Environment, 113, 20--26 (2015).

M. Pallottini, E. Goretti, E. Gaino, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti, R. Cereghino
Invertebrate diversity in relation to chemical pollution in an Umbrian stream system (Italy)
Comptes rendus Biologies, 338, 511--520 (2015).

B. Moroni, S. Castellini, S. Crocchianti, A. Piazzalunga, P. Fermo, F. Scardazza, D. Cappelletti}
Ground-based measurements of long-range transported aerosol at the rural regional background site of Monte Martano (Central Italy)
Atmospheric Research}, 155, 23--36 (2015).



  • 2018-2020 – CRYO-DUST, Calderone Glacier: From the Environmental studies in a Mountain Environment to an evaluation of Chemical and Biogeographical effects of Saharn dust advections. Funded by Dipartimento per gli affari regionali, le autonomie e lo sport (DARA) della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri.
  • 2017-2021 - Long range transport of atmospheric pollutants at the EMEP background station of Monte Martano - Joint collaboraion between University of Perugia and ARPA Umbria. EMEP European Network.
  • 2017 - AGAP-FLUX - Aerosol profiles and mass and energy fluxes at the air snow interface. Italian Arctic Data Center. Ny Alesund (Svalbard).
  • 2017-2021 - SIDDARTA: Source IDentification of (mineral) Dust to AntaRcTicA - Programma Nazionale di Ricerca in Antartide, Bando PNRA 2016 - Local Unit Coordinator: David Cappelletti - PI: Silvia Nava (Univ. Firenze).
  • 2016-2017 - Snowdust - Calderone Glacier: Chemical and Biogeographical effects of Saharn dust advections in a Mountain Environment. Funded by Dipartimento per gli affari regionali, le autonomie e lo sport della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri
  • 2016 - Iron speciation and local order in industrial and urban aerosol and in Sahara dust: characterization of specific aerosol sources -experiment EV-201 - Grenoble Synchrotron Radiation Source (ESFR) - LISA beam lline (EXAFS-XANES) - Allocated beam time: 22-27 September 2016. PI: Dr. Chiara Petroselli (DCBB).
  • 2016 - SINERGIA (progetto BRIC-INAIL): Fillobiorisanamento: utilizzo delle interazioni piante-batteri come strumento innovativo per il trattamento biologico di inquinanti volatili per la sicurezza negli impianti produttivi - Local Unit Coordinator: David Cappelletti; PI: A.Franzetti, Università Milano Bicocca.
  • 2015 - AGAP: Atmospheric Gondola for Aerosol Profiling - Italian Arctic Data Center. PI: David Cappelletti
  • 2015 - Red-ox speciation and mixing state of iron in Saharan dust - ESFR - Grenoble Synchrotron Radiation Source - LISA beam lline (EXAFS-XANES) - Allocated beam time: November 2015.
  • 2015-2016 - Caratterizzazione microbiologica del particolato atmosferico (PM10) nella conca ternana - in collaborazione con Dr. Ermanno Federici (PI). Finanziato da Fondazione CARIT, Terni e Narni (Bando 2015).
  • 2014-2015 - Biodiversità e il bio-accumulo nei lepidotteri: effetto delle deposizioni atmosferiche e della natura dei suoli. - in collaborazione con Dr. Enzo Goretti (DCBB) e con ARPA Umbria ed il Dip. Chimica dell'Università di Bologna (Prof. Laura Tositti). Convenzione con ARPA Umbria.
  • 2012-2015 - PMETRO – Dynamics of urban aerosols by real time mobile cabine – (PI: David Cappelletti) - in collaborazione con ARPA Umbria, FAI Instruments, Leitner spa, Minimetro spa, Comune di Perugia - final report.
  • 2012-2014 SIOS (Svalbard Integrated Observatory Systems) prep.phase: (EU-ESFRI project) (PI Vito Vitale ISAC-CMR, loc. Resp.. David Cappelletti.
  • 2013-2015 Progetto Bilaterale (MAE) PGR00168 - Coupling of climatic system components and physical, chemical and biological processes at the interface in the Arctic - Italia-Korea (PI V.Vitale ISAC-CNR; loc.resp. David Cappelletti)
  • 2008-2015 - Qualità dell’aria: Identificazione di sorgenti di particolato atmosferico locali ed a lungo raggio in aree urbane – in collaborazione con ARPA Umbria. (PI: David Cappelletti)