"Il Calderone", Europe's southernmost glacier as seen in July 2007, deglaciation has not slowed, making it unlikely the Calderone will survive past 2020

The Calderone glacier (Italian: Ghiacciaio del Calderone) is a glacier located in the Apennine Mountains in Abruzzo, Italy. Found in the Gran Sasso d'Italia mountain group, it lies just beneath the Corno Grande, the highest peak in the Apennines.

With the disappearance of the Corral de la Veleta glacier in the Sierra Nevada in 1913, "Il Calderone" became one of Europe's southernmost known glaciers (42°28′N, 13°33′E). Snezhnika is a small glacier in Pirin Mountain, Bulgaria, with latitude of 41°46′09″ N it is the southernmost glacial mass in Europe;[1] the nearby Banski Suhodol Glacier below Koncheto, although larger, is slightly to the north.[2][3] If present deglaciation trends continue, the Calderone may soon share Corral de la Veleta's fate. The discovery of a number of small glaciers in the Prokletije in 2009 seemed to threaten Calderone's positions; however, the Italian glacier is slightly farther south.[4][not in citation given]

Historical surface of the glacierEdit

In 1794, the Calderone had an estimated volume of over 4 million cubic metres; by 1916, the glacier’s volume had decreased to 3.3 million cubic metres, and by 1990, it had decreased to 360,931 cubic metres. In 1998 Italian glaciologists at a symposium in L'Aquila predicted that the Calderone would vanish within a few decades.[5]

Some glaciologists have predicted that the glacier will disappear by 2020. However, 2014 has been slightly positive for the glacier. By the end of August 2014, the volume of residual ice was larger than during the same period in 2013.

Surface and volume of the glacier
Year Surface m² Volume m³
1794 104,257 4,332,207
1884 90,886 3,382,166
1916 63,335 3,386,485
1934 59,713 2,461,529
1960 60,030 1,729,934
1990 52,586 360,931
2005 32,900 ---
2006 32,700 ---
2008 35,545 ---


  1. ^ Grunewald, p. 129.
  2. ^ Gachev (2011), pp. 49, 63.
  3. ^ Gachev et al. (2009), p. 16.
  4. ^ Grunewald, K,; Scheithauer, J, (2010), "Europe's southernmost glaciers: response and adaptation to climate change" (PDF), Journal of Glaciology, 56 (195): 129–142
  5. ^ Visconti, Guido; M. Beniston; Emilio D. Iannorelli; Diego Barba. Global Change and Protected Areas (Advances in Global Change Research). New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 425–435. ISBN 0-7923-6918-1.

Coordinates: 42°28′13″N 13°33′56″E / 42.47028°N 13.56556°E / 42.47028; 13.56556