World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0028890321
Reproduction Date:

Title: Soiusa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gran Paradiso, Monte Viso, Noric Alps, Eastern Alps, Monte Grappa, Pizzo Tre Signori, Presolana, Monte Cistella, Monte Leone, Rocca la Meja
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


SOIUSA (an acronym for Suddivisione Orografica Internazionale Unificata del Sistema Alpino - English: International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps-ISMSA[1]) is a proposal for a new classification system of the Alps from the geographic and toponomastic point of view. It was designed by Sergio Marazzi, Italian researcher and author of the Orographic Atlas of the Alps SOIUSA. His book was presented with the patronage of the Italian Alpine Club on 23 Jan 2006.[2]


The SOIUSA is a recent interpretation by Marazzi of the complex terrain of the Alps aiming to replace the traditional way the Alps were partitioned in Italy, the Partizione delle Alpi, which was adopted in 1926 by the Italian National Geographic Committee (Comitato Geografico Nazionale ) after the IX Italian Geographic Congress (Congresso Geografico Italiano).[3] SOIUSA takes into account the European geographic literature normalizing and standardizing the different national classification systems in use. It was publicly presented in a lecture organized by the Italian Alpine Club's Milan conference of 6 April 2006,[4] following the publication of Marazzi's book.


The SOIUSA introduces the bipartition of the Alpine System (Western Alps and Eastern Alps) replacing the old tripartite division (Western Alps, Central Alps and Eastern Alps) by a multilevel pyramidal hierarchy according to identical scales and rules.

Mountain groups higher level: fractionated with morphological and altimetric benchmark taking into account the historical and geographical regions in the Alps.

  • 36 sections (SZ) (de:Sektionen; fr:sections; it:sezioni; sl:sekcij).
  • 132 subsections (STS) (de:Untersektionen; fr:sous-sections; it:sottosezioni; sl:podsekcij).

Mountain groups lower level: divided with a benchmark mountaineering.

  • 333 supergroups (SPG) (de:Supergruppen; fr:super-groupes; it:supergruppi; sl:nadskupina).
  • 870 groups (GR) (de:Gruppen; fr:groupes; it:gruppi; sl:skupine).
  • 1625 subgroups (STG) (de:Untergruppen; fr:sous-groupes; it:sottogruppi; sl:podskupine).

(With some relative sectors (SR) intermediate to groups above)

To any alpine mountain can be assigned a SOIUSA code, which shows to what part, sector, section, subsection, supergroup, group and subgroup the mountain belongs.


SOIUSA parametres for Pointe Sommeiller (Fr) / Punta Sommeiller (It) are:

Main part:Western Alps
 Major sector:Southwestern Alps
  Section:Cottian Alps
   Subsection:Northern Cottian Alps
    Supergroup:chaîne Bernaude-Pierre Menue-Ambin (Fr) /
               catena Bernauda-Pierre Menue-Ambin (It) 
     Group:groupe d'Ambin (Fr) /
           gruppo d'Ambin (It) 
      Subgroup:crête Sommeiller-Vallonetto (Fr) /
               sottogruppo Sommeiller-Vallonetto (It) 


Names of higher level groups are given in the four main languages spoken in the Alps (German, French, Italian, Slovene) and in English, while lower level groups are just named in the language/languages of the concerned country/countries.


Northern Cottian Alps subsection (STS.4.III ) is also called:

Nördliche Cottishche Alpen (De),
Alpes du Mont Cenis (Fr),
Alpi del Moncenisio (It),
Severne Kotijske Alpe (Sl).

Ambin group, located on the French-Italian border, is just referred as:

Groupe d'Ambin (Fr) and
Gruppo d'Ambin (It).

Western Alps

From the line Savona - Bocchetta di Altare - Montezemolo - Mondovì to the line Rhine - Splügen Pass - Lake Como - Lake Lecco;[6] they are divided in 14 sections (in brackets their highest summit).

Southwestern Alps

  • 1. Ligurian Alps (Punta Marguareis, 2,661 metres (8,730 ft))
  • 2. Maritime Alps (Monte Argentera, 3,297 metres (10,817 ft))
  • 3. Provence Alps and Prealps (Tête de l'Estrop, 2,961 metres (9,715 ft))
  • 4. Cottian Alps (Monviso, 3,841 metres (12,602 ft))
  • 5. Dauphiné Alps (Barre des Écrins, 4,102 metres (13,458 ft))
  • 6. Dauphiné Prealps (Grande Tête de l'Obiou, 2,790 metres (9,150 ft))

Northwestern Alps

Eastern Alps

From the line Rhine - Splügen Pass - Lake Como - Lake Lecco[6] to the line Vienna-Sopron-Köszeg-Graz-Maribor and Godovič Pass; they are divided in 22 sections (in brackets their highest summit).

Central-eastern Alps

  • 15. Western Rhaetian Alps (Piz Bernina, 4,049 metres (13,284 ft))
  • 16. Eastern Rhaetian Alps (Wildspitze, 3,772 metres (12,375 ft))
  • 17 Western Tauern Alps (Großglockner, 3,798 metres (12,461 ft))
  • 18. Eastern Tauern Alps (Hochgolling, 2,863 metres (9,393 ft))
  • 19. Carinthian-Styrian Alps (Eisenhut, 2,441 metres (8,009 ft))
  • 20. Styrian Prealps (Ameringkogel, 2,184 metres (7,165 ft))

Northeastern Alps

  • 21. North Tyrol Limestone Alps (Parseierspitze, 3,040 metres (9,970 ft))
  • 22. Bavarian Alps (Großer Krottenkopf, 2,657 metres (8,717 ft))
  • 23. Tyrol Schistose Alps (Lizumer Reckner, 2,884 metres (9,462 ft))
  • 24. Northern Salzburg Alps (Hochkönig, 2,941 metres (9,649 ft))
  • 25. Salzkammergut and Upper Austria Alps (Hoher Dachstein, 2,993 metres (9,820 ft))
  • 26. Northern Styrian Alps (Hochtor, 2,369 metres (7,772 ft))
  • 27. Northern Lower Austria Alps (Hochstadl, 1,919 metres (6,296 ft))

Southeastern Alps

  • 28. Southern Rhaetian Alps (Ortler, 3,905 metres (12,812 ft))
  • 29. Bergamasque Alps and Prealps (Pizzo di Coca, 3,052 metres (10,013 ft))
  • 30. Brescia and Garda Prealps (Monte Cadria, 2,254 metres (7,395 ft))
  • 31. Dolomites (Marmolada, 3,342 metres (10,965 ft))
  • 32. Venetian Prealps (Col Nudo, 2,472 metres (8,110 ft))
  • 33. Carnic and Gailtal Alps (Monte Coglians, 2,780 metres (9,120 ft))
  • 34. Julian Alps and Prealps (Triglav, 2,864 metres (9,396 ft))
  • 35. Carinthian-Slovenian Alps (Grintovec, 2,558 metres (8,392 ft))
  • 36. Slovenian Prealps (Porezen, 1,630 metres (5,350 ft))

See also

References and footnotes


  • Marazzi, Sergio; Grimm, Peter; Mattmüller, Claus R; Zahn, Paul; Jurgalski, Eberhard (2004), Die Gebirgsgruppen der Alpen:Ansichten, Systematiken und Methoden zur Einteilung der Alpen. Die orographischen einteilungen der Alpen und die IVOEA, German and Austrian Alpine Clubs, (German/English) Munich, pp. 69–96 .
  • Marazzi, Sergio (1991). Atlante orografico del monte Bianco, Priuli & Verlucca.
  • Marazzi, Sergio (2005). Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA, Priuli & Verlucca, ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8.
  • Marazzi, Sergio (2012). SOIUSA - Suddivisione orografica internazionale unificata del Sistema Alpino , on-line article at, accessed on 7 Feb 2012
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.