Ardito Desio
Count Ardito Desio was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

, mountain climber, geologist
A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...

, and cartographer.

Early life

Desio was born in Palmanova
Palmanova is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. It is located 20 km from Udine, 28 km from Gorizia and 55 km from Trieste near the junction of the Autostrada Alpe-Adria and the Autostrada Venezia-Trieste .Palmanova is famous for its fortress...

, Friuli
Friuli is an area of northeastern Italy with its own particular cultural and historical identity. It comprises the major part of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia, i.e. the province of Udine, Pordenone, Gorizia, excluding Trieste...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. He attended the Middle Schools of Udine
Udine is a city and comune in northeastern Italy, in the middle of Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, between the Adriatic sea and the Alps , less than 40 km from the Slovenian border. Its population was 99,439 in 2009, and that of its urban area was 175,000.- History :Udine is the historical...

 and Cividale and the University of Florence
University of Florence
The University of Florence is a higher study institute in Florence, central Italy. One of the largest and oldest universities in the country, it consists of 12 faculties...

 (1916–1920), during the First World War also served in the military corps of the alpini
The Alpini, , are the elite mountain warfare soldiers of the Italian Army. They are currently organized in two operational brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpini Corps Command. The singular is Alpino ....

 and was captured by the Austrians
Austrians are a nation and ethnic group, consisting of the population of the Republic of Austria and its historical predecessor states who share a common Austrian culture and Austrian descent....

 on Mount Pasubio. Graduating with a degree in Natural Sciences (Geology). He made advanced studies in Geology at the same University from 1921 to 1923, and was also assistant in that matter in that university, as well as in those of Pavia (1923–1924) and Milan (1924–1927). He was Lecturer in Physical Geography, Geology and Paleontology (1928–1931), Professor of Geology at the University of Milan
University of Milan
The University of Milan is a higher education institution in Milan, Italy. It is one of the largest universities in Europe, with about 62,801 students, a teaching and research staff of 2,455 and a non-teaching staff of 2,200....

, and Applied Geology at the Engineering School of Milan (a position he held from 1932 to 1972). Concurrent to these positions, he served as a consultant geologist for the Edison Company for hydroelectric plants in Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, and the same capacity for the Public Power Corporation of Greece. In 1973 he became Professor Emeritus at the University of Milan.

Exploration of mountains in Europe

Desio began geological investigations into certain areas of the Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

 and Apennines in 1920. The following year, he made some exploratory trips to the Dodecanese Islands. He published a volume on the geology of that archipelago in the Italian Geological Survey.

Exploration of mountains in Africa

In 1926, Desio organized and led a geographical and geological expedition to the Oasis of Jaghbub, in the Libyan Desert
Libyan Desert
The Libyan Desert covers an area of approximately 1,100,000 km2, it extends approximately 1100 km from east to west, and 1,000 km from north to south, in about the shape of a rectangle...

. The scientific results of these investigations are published in four volumes by the Royal Geographical Society of Italy, the organization that sponsored the expedition.

From 1930 to 1933 he led some geological and geographical expeditions through the hinterland of Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, including the crossing of the Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

 desert with a large caravan of camels from the Mediterranean seaboard as far as the frontier of Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and back through Fezzan
Fezzan is a south western region of modern Libya. It is largely desert but broken by mountains, uplands, and dry river valleys in the north, where oases enable ancient towns and villages to survive deep in the otherwise inhospitable Sahara.-Name:...

, across the Libyan Sahara (summer 1931). The report of this expedition was also published in four volumes.

In 1935 and 1936 he further explored the Fezzan, from both the geological and hydrological point of view, and the Tibesti massif
In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole...

 in the Central Sahara. From 1936 to 1940, he organized and directed the Libyan Geological Survey, which included research into mining and artesian waters by order of the Government of Libya. Desio discovered in 1938 natural oil in the subsurface of Libya. In the same years he discovered also an exploitable deposit of Carnallite
Carnallite is an evaporite mineral, a hydrated potassium magnesium chloride with formula: KMgCl3·6. It is variably colored yellow to white, reddish, and sometimes colorless or blue. It is usually massive to fibrous with rare pseudohexagonal orthorhombic crystals...

 in the Oasis of Marada, and rich artesian aquifers in some zones of Northern Libya, which gave a strong impulse to the development of the agriculture. Further exploration in this region was however halted by the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


During the winters of 1937 and 1938, Desio explored Wallega and the Benishangul-Gumuz Region in Eastern Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, both from the point of view of the geology and mining, discovering some new deposits of gold and molybdenite
Molybdenite is a mineral of molybdenum disulfide, MoS2. Similar in appearance and feel to graphite, molybdenite has a lubricating effect that is a consequence of its layered structure. The atomic structure consists of a sheet of molybdenum atoms sandwiched between sheets of sulfur atoms...


In 1940 he organized and directed an expedition to Tibesti, employing automobiles and aircraft. The scientific reports were published in a volume by the Royal Geographical Society of Italy.

In the same year he organized and directed a mining exploration in Northern Albania.

Exploration of mountains in Asia

In 1929 he was a member of the Italian Geographical Expedition to Karakorum
Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, and of the Northern Yuan in the 14-15th century. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of Mongolia, near today's town of Kharkhorin, and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu monastery...

, under the leadership of the Duke of Spoleto
Tomislav II of Croatia, 4th Duke of Aosta
Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta, Duke of Aosta was an Italian prince from the House of Savoy and an officer of the Royal Italian Navy. The second son of Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta he was granted the title Duke of Spoleto on 22 September 1904...

, in the capacity of geographer and geologist. On this occasion he covered Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 and Baltistan
Baltistan , also known as بلتیول བལིུལ་ in the Balti language, is a region in northern Pakistan which forms Gilgit-Baltistan, bordering the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. In addition, a part of Baltistan also falls into Jammu and Kashmir of India. It is situated in the Karakoram mountains...

 in Northern India, and developed his scientific activity in the valleys of Baltoro
Baltoro may refer to:*Baltoro Glacier, a glacier in northern Pakistan*Baltoro Muztagh, a mountain range in northern Pakistan and northwestern China...

 and Panmah glaciers on the south slope of the range, and in the Sarpo Laggo and Shaksgam valleys, between the Karakorum and the Aghil ranges, the Abruzzi valley climbing, for the first time, the Conway Pass. The results of this expedition are contained in a volume, which was published under the aegis of the Royal Geographical Society and the Italian Alpine Club in 1936.

During the summer of 1933, Desio led an expedition to Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

. The expedition climbed some of the highest peaks of the Zagros Range including development of a new route to the summit of Iran's highest peak, Mount Damāvand
Mount Damavand
Mount Damāvand also known as Donbavand, a potentially active volcano and the highest peak in Iran, has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore...

 (5,771 m). He published some scientific reports on this trip.

From 1952 to 1955, he led 3 expeditions to the Karakorum Range and Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

. The first was a preliminary expedition; the second, the main expedition for the first ascent of K2
K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth, after Mount Everest...

 (8,611 m, second highest peak in the world); the third, for geological, geophysical and ethnographical researches. The results of the studies carried out during these expeditions have been published in many papers and more largely developed in 8 volumes of scientific character.

During the summer of 1961, he led an expedition to Badakhshan
Badakhshan is an historic region comprising parts of what is now northeastern Afghanistan and southeastern Tajikistan. The name is retained in Badakhshan Province which is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, in the far northeast of Afghanistan, and contains the Wakhan Corridor...

 and Katagan
Katagan is a town and jamoat in north-west Tajikistan. It is located in Ghafurov District in Sughd province. The jamoat has a total population of 9,217.-References:...

 (North¬eastern Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

) with a geological and geophysical program, and in the summer of 1962 he led another expedition to the Karakorum Range, exploring geologically the upper Hunza
Hunza Valley
The Hunza Valley is a mountainous valley in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The Hunza valley is situated to the north of the Hunza River, at an elevation of around . The territory of Hunza is about...

 valley and the Chogo Lumba, the Basha
Basha means "the King", and may refer to:Kings* Baasha , a Hebrew kingFilms*Basha , a Tamil movieOther*Basha , British military slang for a shelter or sleeping area...

 and the Hoh Lumba glacier valleys.

In 1967 and 1968 he carried out geohydrological investigations in the Mu River
Mu River
Mu River is a river in upper central Myanmar , and a tributary of the country's chief river the Ayeyarwady. It drains the Kabaw valley and part of the Dry Zone between the Ayeyarwady to the east and its largest tributary Chindwin River to the west, flows directly north to south for about and...

 basin (Central Burma) for a UN irrigation project, while in the 1970 he developed a geological study in Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...


Desio in northern Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 carried out three other geological expeditions during the summers of 1971 (Middle Indus Valley), 1973 (Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

Skardu , is the main town of the region Baltistan and the capital of Skardu District, one of the districts making up Pakistan's Gilgit Baltistan....

) and 1975 (Punjab and Gilgit).

By invitation of Academia Sinica
Academia Sinica
The Academia Sinica , headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipei, is the national academy of Taiwan. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences.Academia Sinica has...

, in June 1980, after a scientific symposium in Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, Desio crossed Southern Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 under the leadership of Chinese scientists.

In 1989 he planned, organized and realized a permanent high altitude scientific laboratory-observatory in a prefabricated glass and aluminum pyramid shaped structure, which was installed at an altitude of 5,050 m at the base of Mount Everest
Mount Everest
Mount Everest is the world's highest mountain, with a peak at above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point...

. The aim was to grant multidisciplinary scientific investigations at high quote. The “Pyramid” is still existent, and the laboratory still works.

Exploration of mountains in Antarctica

In 1961, he was invited by the National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 to visit Antarctica, particularly the stations of McMurdo
McMurdo Station
McMurdo Station is a U.S. Antarctic research center located on the southern tip of Ross Island, which is in the New Zealand-claimed Ross Dependency on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. It is operated by the United States through the United States Antarctic Program, a branch of the National...

, Byrd
Byrd Station
Byrd Station refers to a research station established by the United States during the International Geophysical Year by the U.S. Navy during Operation Deep Freeze II in West Antarctica at 80°, 120°W...

 and Amundsen-Scott at the South Pole
South Pole
The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is one of the two points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth and lies on the opposite side of the Earth from the North Pole...

, and the Wright Valley
Wright Valley
The Wright Valley is the central one of the three large Dry Valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains, located west of McMurdo Sound at approximately . Wright Valley contains the Onyx River, the largest river in Antarctica, Lake Brownworth, the origin of Onyx River, and Lake Vanda, which is fed by...

, one of the Dry Valleys (Victoria Land
Victoria Land
Victoria Land is a region of Antarctica bounded on the east by the Ross Ice Shelf and the Ross Sea and on the west by Oates Land and Wilkes Land. It was discovered by Captain James Clark Ross in January 1841 and named after the UK's Queen Victoria...


Membership and titles

Desio was President of the Geological Committee of Italy, of the Geological Society and is honorary President of the Paleontology Society, of the National Association of Italian Geologists. He was the first president of the Italian Order of Geologists.

Desio was a member of the Italian National Academy of Lincei. He was awarded an honorary degree in Geological Sciences by the University of Urbino
University of Urbino
The University of Urbino "Carlo Bo" is an Italian university located in Urbino, a walled hill-town in the region of Marche, located in the north-eastern part of central Italy. The university was founded in 1506, and currently has about 20,000 students, many of whom are from overseas...

 in 1985.

Final years

He spent his last four years in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, where he died in December 2001. He is buried in Palmanova
Palmanova is a town and comune in northeastern Italy, close to the border with Slovenia. It is located 20 km from Udine, 28 km from Gorizia and 55 km from Trieste near the junction of the Autostrada Alpe-Adria and the Autostrada Venezia-Trieste .Palmanova is famous for its fortress...

, his native town.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.