Press note

Ecological research and technological advancement in the Arctic: the PRA "EcoClimate" project


The hydrographic unmanned surface vessel  (Credits: E. Calizza)
The hydrographic unmanned surface vessel (Credits: E. Calizza)

As part of the PRA “EcoClimate” project, coordinated by the trophic ecology Group of the Department of Environmental Biology at Sapienza University of Rome, in collaboration with the National Research Council of Italy  - Institute for water research (Cnr-Irsa) based in Rome and Istitute for polar research (Cnr-Isp) based in Messina and Rome - a hydrographic unmanned surface vessel specifically configured for work at extreme latitudes has been used for the first time.

The use of this state-of-the-art technology allows for highly accurate 2D and 3D bathymetry of the lake basins in the Svalbard islands. The acquired data will enable the calculation of water volumes and turnover rates of the Arctic lakes with unprecedented precision, enabling predictions of their evolution based on expected environmental conditions in the region in the near future.

The technological advancement, in charge of Cnr-Irsa, was made possible thanks to the instrumentation supplied and ad hoc configured by Seafloor System Inc. for the portable hydrographic drone and by the Italian company Microgeo for the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) antenna.

The data acquired through the newly tested technology will be combined with ecological data for the reconstruction of lake food webs, microbiological data for the study of lake metabolism, satellite images and field radiometric measurements for studying snow and vegetation dynamics.

This highly interdisciplinary approach, which characterizes the PRA-EcoClimate project, will allow us to understand how climate change can influence the structure and functioning of delicate Arctic lake ecosystems, which are considered biodiversity hotspots and carbon sinks at extreme latitudes.



Per informazioni:
David Rossi
Cnr - Irsa
Coordinator of the experimental set up
Edoardo Calizza (Sapienza Università di Roma), Coordinator of the research project, email:

Ufficio stampa:
Francesca Gorini
Cnr Press Office

Responsabile Unità Ufficio stampa:
Emanuele Guerrini
06 4993 3383