The SOIUSA, acronym from Italian Suddivisione orografica Internazionale del Sistema Unificata Alpino, German International unified orographic division of the Alps ( IVOEA ), is a system of geographic classification of the Alps, which was developed and proposed by the Italian Alps researchers Sergio Marazzi.

  • 3.2.1 Central Eastern Alps
  • 3.2.2 North Eastern Alps
  • 3.2.3 Southern Eastern Alps

History and Mission

The SOIUSA system is an attempt to develop a standardized definition of the Alps, which is valid in all Alpine countries. To date, based the classification on two historical systems, in the German, Austrian, Slovenian and South Tyrolean widespread dichotomy (Western and Eastern Alps ), and the Italian and French three-division ( Western, Central and Eastern Alps ), each in east-west direction. The SOIUSA aims at harmonization among the most common in the Alpine literature outlines, the Alpine Club classification of the Eastern Alps (abbreviated AVE) by Franz Grassler ( 1984 version ), which improved the previous classification Moriggl classification of the Eastern Alps from 1928 and Geographical space planning Austria Reinhard Mang, and the Partizione delle Alpi of the 9th Italian geographical Congress in 1924. AVE classification, designed only for the working area of the German and Austrian Alpine Association, extends only to the eastern Swiss Alps, which they never became widespread here, and for the central area of the Alps is no uniform terms were also established in German.

The SOIUSA classification combines the Italian - French system of classification of the Western Alps to the Slovenian / Austrian in the Eastern Alps. Although it also sets a fundamental dichotomy based within the Swiss- Lombard space to include the groups but together so that even the three-division concept remains manageable and transferable.

The SOIUSA since the release of Marazzis orographic Atlas of the Alps, SOIUSA (Italian Orografico Atlante delle Alpi. SOIUSA ) was from 2005, attracted international attention, and, as a possible replacement for the outdated scheme positively assessed by the CAI, the Italian Alpine Club. Now offers the CAI SOIUSA the Atlas on his website for sale by its sections on how well the various tour guides.

In the long-term development of SOIUSA have the various Alpine clubs and also scientists like some Swiss cartographers, the international climbers association UIAA ( based in Bern ), the author of the Alpine Club classification of the Eastern Alps Franz Grassler, in Austria the geographer Josef Breu, the Italian glaciologist Giuseppe Nangeroni, and in France the glaciologist Claude Meyzenq and Robert Vivian, former director of the Institut de alpine geography and the CNRS laboratories of the Alps, participated.


The construction of the structure follows this system:

  • Is case outline (Italian raggruppamenti di grado superiore ), based on morphological and orographic criteria, and the traditional divisions 2 parts (French grandes parties ); (Italian parti); (Slovenian dela ) Western Alps and Eastern Alps
  • The Western Alps are divided into two sub- parts of southern Western Alps and northern Western Alps
  • The Eastern Alps are divided into three sectors Central Eastern Alps, northern Eastern Alps Eastern Alps and Southern
  • 333 supergroups (French super- groupes ); (Italian supergruppi ); (Slovenian nadgrupa )
  • 870 groups ( groupes French ); (Italian gruppi ); (Slovenian skupine )
  • 1625 subgroups (French sous- groupes ); (Italian sottogruppi ); (Slovenian podskupine )

An example is the following:

The term of the sector includes - in addition to the five major sectors of the Alps ( ST_PT ) - even more unsystematic between groups of different levels, which are used mostly for compatibility with other systems and the embedding of prevailing local group name. They are shown with capital letters. The following are defined for the whole of the Alps:

  • 31 sectors of Sections ( Italian Settore di sezione, SR_SZ )
  • 30 sectors of subsections (Italian Settore di sottosezione, SR_STS )
  • 18 sectors of primary groups (Italian Settore di Supergruppi, SR_SPG )
  • 07 sectors of groups ( Italian Settore di Gruppi, SR_GR )

In addition, the sectors of subgroups (Italian Settore di sottogruppo, SR_STG ) can fine structure of the lowest level. These sectors are listed with enclosed lowercase. In total there are 409 such subgroups sectors, they are not defined for all code points.

All classes of sectors in principle be accompanied by a "/", while the basic SOUISA code groups with "-" and "." Are summarized.

Classification of the Alps to the SOIUSA

Western Alps

Southern Western Alps

6 sections:

  • ( 1) Ligurian Alps ( Punta Marguareis, 2,661 m)
  • ( 2) Maritime Alps i.w.S ( Monte Argentera, 3,297 m)
  • ( 3) Provençal Alps and Pre-Alps ( Tête de l' Estrop, 2,961 m)
  • ( 4) Cottian Alps ( Monviso, 3,841 m)
  • ( 5) Dauphiné Alps ( Ecrins Barre des, 4,102 m)
  • (6 ) Dauphiné Alps ( Obiou, 2,790 m)

North west Alps

The SOIUSA categorization attempts to overcome the Swiss Alps, the classification according to cantons by orographic contiguous mountains are summarized. The canton of specific designations by the Swiss Alpine Club are largely retained as sub- sections.

8 sections:

  • ( 7) Grajische Alps ( Mont Blanc, 4810 m)
  • ( 8) Savoyard Alps (Haute Cime des Dents du Midi, 3257 m)
  • (9 ) Pennine Alps ( Monte Rosa, 4634 m ) with the subsections Grand Combin, White Horn Group / Cervino, Monte Rosa group, Mischabelgruppe / White Mies group
  • (10 ) Lepontine Alps ( Monteleone, 3552 m ) with the subsections Adula Alps, Monteleone - Sankt Gotthard Alps and the Ticino Alps and Verbano
  • (11 ) Lugano Prealps (also: Eastern Lombard Prealps, Pizzo di Gino, 2,245 m ) with the subsections Como foothills and the foothills Varese
  • (12 ) Bernese Alps in the broader sense ( Finstaarhorn, 4,274 m ) with the subsections Bernese Alps in the strict sense, the Urner Alps and Vaud Alps
  • (13 ) Glarus Alps, in the broader sense ( Todi, 3620 m ) with the subsections Uri Glarus Alps and the Glarus Alps in the strict sense
  • (14 ) Swiss Alps ( Schilthorn, 2,970 m ) with the subsections Bernese Alps, the foothills of Vaud and Fribourg, Lucerne and Alps Unterwalden, Uri and the Canton Schwyz pre-Alps and the Appenzell and St. Gallen Alps

Eastern Alps

The term of the Eastern Alps corresponds to the local practice. The SOIUSA called many well-known after the AVE mountain groups and referred to them as subsections. These subsections summarizes them in turn in the sections together.

Central Eastern Alps

6 sections:

  • (15 ) Western Rhaetian Alps ( Piz Bernina, 4049 m) with Rätikon, Silvretta, Münstertal Alps, Plessur Alps, Albula Alps, Platta group, Bernina Alps, Livigno Alps
  • (16 ) East Rhaetian Alps (wild peak, 3,772 m)
  • (17 ) Western Tauern Alps ( Grossglockner, 3,798 m), subsections are Zillertal Alps, the Hohe Tauern, the Villgratner mountains that Kreuzeckgruppe
  • (18 ) Eastern Tauern Alps ( Hochgolling, 2,863 m), subsections are Radstadt Tauern, Schladming Tauern, Rottenmanner and Wölzer Tauern, Seckauer Tauern
  • ( 19) Styrian- Carinthian Alps (also: Noric Alps, Italian Alpi Aurine, monkshood, 2,441 m)
  • (20 ) Styrian Edge Mountains ( Styrian Alps, Ameringkogel, 2,184 m), which also contains the Lavantal Alps as a sub-section

Northern Eastern Alps

7 sections:

  • (21 ) North Tyrolean Limestone Alps ( Parseierspitze, 3,040 m ) with the subsections Lech Valley Alps, Wettersteingebirge, Karwendel, Brandenberger Alps and the Kaiser Mountains
  • (22 ) Bavarian Alps (Great Krottenkopf, 2,657 m ) with the subsections Bregenz Forest, Allgäu Alps, Oberammergau Alps, Wallgau, Mangfallgebirge, Chiemgau Alps
  • (23 ) Tyrolean Slate Alps ( Lizumer Reckner, 2,884 m)
  • ( 24) North Salzburg Alps ( High King, 2,941 m), among others, the Berchtesgaden Alps
  • (25 ) Upper Austrian Salzkammergut, Alps ( Hoher Dachstein, 2,993 m)
  • (26 ) North Styrian Alps ( high door, 2,369 m ) with the subsections Ennstaler Alps and north-eastern mountains of Styria, which in turn in high Schwab; Miirzsteg Alps and Rax -Schneeberg Group are further divided
  • (27 ) Lower Austrian Alps ( high barn, 1,919 m) ​​with subsections Türnitzer Alps, Alps and Ybbstaler Gutensteiner Alps / Wienerwald

Southern Eastern Alps

9 sections:

  • (28 ) Southern Rhaetian Alps ( Ortler, 3,905 m)
  • (29 ) Bergamo Alps and Pre-Alps (also: Central Lombardy Prealps, Pizzo di Coca, 3,052 m)
  • (30 ) Brescia and Lake Garda Alps (also: Eastern Lombardy Alps, Monte Baldo, 2,218 m)
  • (31 ) Dolomites ( Marmolada, 3342 m)
  • (32 ) Venetian Prealps ( Vizentiner and Belluno Alps, Col Nudo, 2,472 m)
  • (33 ) Carnic Alps i.w.S. ( Carnic Alps and Gail Valley, Hohewarte, Italian Monte Coglians, 2,780 m)
  • (34 ) Julian Alps i.w.S. ( Julian High Alps and Julian ( Friuli ) Pre-Alps, Triglav, 2,863 m)
  • (35 ) Carinthian - Slovenian Alps ( Grintovec 2,558 m) with ao Karavanke and Kamnik Alps
  • (36 ) Slovenian Alps ( Pozeren, 1,630 m ) with the Pohorje