TNA experiences and Main Scientific Results

TNA Experiences

In the following you can find examples of recente TNA projects hosted at the CMN-PV facility.


Radio Interferometric Characterisation of High Energy Sources from Thunderstorms (RICHEST)

Thunderstorms are the site of the most energetic natural particle accelerators on Earth, capable to accelerate electrons up to several tens of MeV. Acceleration can be impulsive, resulting in submillisecond photon bursts termed Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGF), so bright that can be detected from space by satellites hosting gamma-ray detectors. Acceleration can also take place as a quasi-stationary process, resulting in large-scale minute-long Gamma-ray Glows, that can be detected by aircrafts flying in the vicinity of thunderstorms, or by ground-based detectors. Thousands of TGFs have now been detected from space, while detections of TGFs and gamma-ray glows from ground are still sparse and limited to few locations in the world. The goal of the RICHEST project, performed in the framework of the ATMO-ACCESS TNA Program, was to perform dedicated lightning measurements to be run simultaneously with the gamma-ray detection by the National Project GAMMA-FLASH.

RICHEST instrumentation field deployment at CMN-PV (July 2022).
RICHEST instrumentation field deployment at CMN-PV (July 2022).
“We are an international team joining scientists from Norway, UK, Spain and Italy” – RICHEST Principal Investigator Martino Marisaldi, said. “Our goal was the study of lightning activity near the Mt. Cimone station using radio receivers in a wide range of frequencies, in correlation with an experiment aimed at observing high-energy gamma-rays sometimes produced in thunderstorms. Our experience in the field has been great: the location was perfect, and the logistic support from ISAC personnel, the local Air Force base, and the workers at ‘Consorzio Monte Cimone’ has been highly professional and outstanding. We managed to realize the radio survey of the site, in preparation of further measurements, and we obtained high-quality radio measurements of lightning that we are planning to publish soon.”

                                                                               Medusa Enhanced Volatile Organic Compounds (MEVOC)

Anthopogenic Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NM-VOC) are reactive atmospheric species with direct effects on human health and ecosystems. Moreover, through their oxidation products, NM-VOCs promote the formation of tropospheric ozone and secondary aerosol, which are important pollutants but also anthropogenic climate forcers. In Europe, only 4 observatories are performing continuous observations of these important species with the accuracy and traceability needed for long-term monitoring of their atmospheric levels and for emission trend assessment. For almost 20 years, an instrument to continuously monitor 15 NM-VOCs has operated at the CMN-PV facility: the sampling location, which overlooks an important source region in the Po basin and is the Southernmost NM-VOC monitoring site in Europe, is crucial for tracking and quantifying emissions of these compounds at regional scale.

Within MEVOC, a team composed by University of Bristol and Terramodus private company,  installed a "Medusa" GCMS preconcentration system at CMN-PV to enhance the previously existing instrumentation and make observations at CMN-PV consistent with other European stations. Optimisation of this specialist equipment was undertaken and training of the local operators conducted. The increased number of observed species and improved precision from the Medusa GCMS is useful for NM-VOC regulations as well as other international regulations such as the Paris Agreement.

Chart, scatter chart

Description automatically generated

Propane atmospheric mixing ratio (upper plot measured in ppt) and instrument precision (lower plot in %) measured by the new Medusa (blue) and the older ADS (red) system at Monte Cimone under MEVOC Project.

Main Past Scientific Results (last 5 years)

Here you can find a selection of some of the most important scientific results obtained by the contribution of the atmospheric experimental activities carried out at the M. Cimone – Po valley facility in the last 5 years.

  • Cristofanelli P, al. et. Negative ozone anomalies at a high mountain site in northern Italy during 2020: a possible role of COVID-19 lockdowns?. Environmental Research Letters 2021. doi:

  • Vollmer MK et al. Unexpected nascent atmospheric emissions of three ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbonsPNAS 2021;118(5). doi:

  • Bhandari J, et al.  Extensive soot compaction by cloud processing from laboratory and field observations.  Scientific Reports 2019. doi:
  • Prinn RG, et al.  History of chemically and radiatively important atmospheric gases from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE).  Earth System Science Data 2018: 10, 985-1018.

  • Graziosi F, et al. European emissions of the powerful greenhouse gases hydrofluorocarbons inferred from atmospheric measurements and their comparison with annual national reports to UNFCCC. Atmospheric Environment 2017;158. doi:

  • Rinaldi M, et al. Atmospheric Ice Nucleating Particle measurements at the high mountain observatory Mt. Cimone (2165~m a.s.l., Italy). Atmospheric Environment 2017;171. doi:

  • Graziosi F, et al.   Emissions of Carbon Tetrachloride (CCl4) from Europe.  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2016; 16, 12849-12859.

  • Duchi R, al et.  Long-term (2002-2012) investigation of Saharan dust transport events at Mt. Cimone GAW global station, Italy (2165 m a.s.l.).  Elementa Science of Anthropocene 2016;4. doi:

  • Cristofanelli P, et al. Long-term surface ozone variability at Mt. Cimone WMO/GAW global station (2165 m a.s.l., Italy). Atmospheric Environment 2014;101:23-33. doi:

  • Paasonen P , et al.  Warming-induced increase in aerosol number concentration likely to moderate climate change.  Nature Geosciences 2013:6, 438-442, 2013.
  • Svenningsson B, et al.  Hygroscopic growth and critical supersaturations for mixed aerosol particles of inorganic and organic compounds of atmospheric relevance.  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 2006. doi:

  • Putaud J-P, et al.  A European aerosol phenomenology—2: chemical characteristics of particulate matter at kerbside, urban, rural and background sites in Europe.  Atmospheric Environment 2004: 38 (16), 2579-2595.