Geographia Polonica

Geographia Polonica has been published since 1964; in the years 1964–1998 as a serial publication. Since 1999 – as a journal with two issues per year (Spring and Autumn), and since 2012 there are four issues per year (March, July, October, December). Contributions to the journal on both human and physical geography topics as well as related fields (e.g. urban and regional planning, ecology) should be submitted to the Editor. Papers dealing with Central and Eastern Europe are particularly welcomed.

News

CALL FOR PAPERS: Borders in Central and Eastern Europe

tl_files/igipz/ZPZ/GP/map.gifThe objective of this coming issue of GEOGRAPHIA POLONICA is to come back over the borders and cross-border relationships, in a context where the traditional representation of borders seen as the ground for categorization and delimitation is now questioned by multiple flows processes, dynamics and changes.

Political and socio-economic changes in Central and Eastern Europe has deeply transformed existence and functioning of borders and borderland areas. General systemic changes in Central Europe help with the use of endogenous potential, which can be modified through an uncovering of new resources and innovations. Increases in traffic: international, cross-border and national, help in the development of new economy that services it, both in “old” border regions and in new emerging cross-border regions. This processes are supported by economic and social changes that help increase the significance of development of borderlands. Given wise policies and investments, these processes become impulses behind the appearance and increase of new cross-border relationships. European Union funding (funds) has been the main component to investments in the borderland areas in many CEE regions. At the same time new crated interactions are becoming a primary focus of transboundary collaboration and integration.

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Geographia Polonica appreciated by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

tl_files/igipz/ZPZ/GP/mse.jpgOn 23 December, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education announced a new list of scientific journals, along with the number of points awarded for articles in these journals.  With pleasure and great satisfaction we announce that Geographia Polonica has received the highest score, which is 15 points. It is the highest possible score for a Polish journal outside of the  Philadelphia List, but also the absolute highest possible score for a general geographical periodical. It is worth noting that our magazine has the highest metrics of Polish general geographical periodicals in Scopus database (SJR and IPP).We hope that this is another step to strengthen position of Geographia Polonica also on the international area.

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Geographia Polonica: A window onto the world. An interview with Professor Leszek Antoni Kosiński - IN POLISH

tl_files/gp/kosinski.jpgTo mark the 50th anniversary of Geographia Polonica, we are publishing an interview with Professor Leszek Antoni Kosiński, who was a member of its first editorial team. The interview with Professor Kosiński became an opportunity to talk about the work and successes of Polish geographers on the international stage after the Second World War, and to consider the origins as well as ways of achieving those successes, which are still relevant today. This is a Polish version of the interview. English version is available here.

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Current Issue

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1

Preface

From editors

Zofia Rączkowska, Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 5 | Full text

Further information

Keywords:

Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Articles

Not only climate: Interacting drivers of treeline change in Europe

Dominik Kulakowski, Ignacio Barbeito, Alejandro Casteller, Ryszard J. Kaczka, Peter Bebi

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 7-15 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0042

Further information

Abstract:

Treelines have long been recognized as important ecotones and likely harbingers of climate change. However, over the last century many treelines have been affected not only by global warming, but also by the interactions of climate, forest disturbance and the consequences of abrupt demographic and economic changes. Recent research has increasingly stressed how multiple ecological, biophysical, and human factors interact to shape ecological dynamics. Here we highlight the need to consider interactions among multiple drivers to more completely understand and predict treeline dynamics in Europe.

Keywords: Picea, Larix, disturbance interactions, subalpine forests, climate, climate change, topography, pollution, snow avalanche

Dominik Kulakowski [dkulakowski@clarku.edu], Graduate School of Geography Clark University 950 Main Street, MA 01610, Worcester: USA
Ignacio Barbeito [ignacio.barbeito@nancy.inra.fr], Laboratoire d’Etude des Ressources Forêt Bois (LERFoB) Centre INRA de Nancy INRA, UMR1092, Champenoux : France
Alejandro Casteller [alejandro.casteller@slf.ch], WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Flüelastrasse 11, CH-7260 Davos Dorf: Switzerland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Peter Bebi [bebi@slf.ch], WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF Flüelastrasse 11, CH-7260 Davos Dorf: Switzerland

The morphodynamics of slopes within the snow avalanche starting zones in the Tatras

Zofia Rączkowska, Elżbieta Rojan, Michał Długosz

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 17-29 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0043

Further information

Abstract:

The upper sections of avalanche paths (avalanche starting zones) in the Tatras are being transformed by morphogenetic processes, both secular and rapid mass movements, which include avalanches. The erosion niches and scars occurring within the avalanche starting zones are most exposed to these processes. A three-year monitoring of the impacts of these processes leads to the conclusion that, in the absence of dirty avalanches, the efficiency of secular geomorphological processes is low (max. a few cm/year). Such avalanches can clearly transform the relief as is demonstrated by the results of analyses of erosion niches and scars on orthophotomaps. Furthermore, it was found that the direction of relief changes (accumulation or erosion) in the Tatras is spatially and temporally varied, as well as varying within individual avalanche starting zones, and sometimes within individual erosion niches or scars.

Keywords: morphodynamic, slopes, avalanche, starting zones, Tatra Mountains

Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Michał Długosz [dlugosz@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland

Combining tree-ring dating and geomorphological analyses in the reconstruction of spatial patterns of the runout zone of snow avalanches, Rybi Potok Valley, Tatra Mountains (Poland)

Michał Lempa, Ryszard J. Kaczka, Zofia Rączkowska, Karolina Janecka

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 31-45 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0044

Further information

Abstract:

The snow avalanche is one of the major processes that shapes the landscape of high mountains. A significant manifestation of its activity is changing the course of the timberline, whose course and growth disturbances constitute a good source of information about the history of avalanche activity. The aim of this study was to: i) detail the temporal and spatial reconstruction of snow avalanche events within the three surveyed couloirs in the Rybi Potok Valley, in the High Tatras, ii) analyse of the relationship between the relief of the runout zoneand the course of the avalanches. Dendrogeomorphological, geomorphological and cartographic methods were employed here. Detailed geomorphological maps comprising the runout zone were prepared and use to divide the runout zone into subzones of similar relief. The dendrogeomorphological reconstructions of avalanche events were carried out on two scales, i.e. for the entire runout zone and for the determined subzones. The courses of major avalanche events in the studied couloirs over the past 100 years were reconstructed. A detailed dendrogeomorphological analysis in the subzones allowed the identification of additional local avalanche events whose extent had not covered the entire avalanche path.

Keywords: snow avalanche, relief, dendrogeomorphology, tree-rings, Tatra Mountains

Michał Lempa, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Karolina Janecka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Topographical factors, meteorological variables and human factors in the control of the main snow avalanche events in the Făgăraş Massif (Southern Carpathians - Romanian Carpathians): Case studies

Mircea Voiculescu, Florina Ardelean, Marcel Török-Oance, Narcisa Milian

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 47-64 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0045

Further information

Abstract:

Snow avalanches are a common geomorphic process and natural hazard in the Southern Carpathians (Romanian Carpathians). The spatial distribution of avalanches is controlled by topographical factors, meteorological variables and human factors. This study examines the occurrence of avalanches in two glacial areas in the Făgăraş massif, Bâlea (on the northern slope) and Capra (on the southern slope). During the period from 1963 to 2015 a total of 27 serious avalanche accidents were recorded in the months November-June in the Făgăraş massif resulting in 76 fatalities and 50 burials/injuries. From these avalanches, we examined five major avalanche accidents: the avalanche of June, 1974 which caused 6 fatalities and 8 burials/injuries; the avalanche of April 17, 1977 which caused 23 fatalities; the avalanche of December 23, 1988 which caused 3 fatalities; the avalanche of December 28, 2002 which caused 4 fatalities and the avalanche of February 20, 2010 which caused one fatality and 2 burials/injuries. Our results indicate a good correlation between some topographical factors. On the other hand, an increase in snowfall and snowstorms in particular are factors responsible for one avalanche event; early snowfall and a sudden increase in temperature are factors responsible for two avalanche events and snowfall and a sudden increase in temperature are factors responsible for one avalanche event. Using the weather scenarios we found high snowstorm frequency in one case, early-season weak layers of faceted crystals and depth hoar in two cases and well above-average total snowfall for one case.

Keywords: topographical parameters, climate variables, human factors, avalanche accidents, Făgăraş massif, Romanian Carpathians

Variability of the snow avalanche danger in the Tatra Mountains during the past nine decades

Bogdan Gądek, Mariusz Grabiec, Zofia Rączkowska, Andrzej Maciata

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 65-77 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0046

Further information

Abstract:

In order to recognise the variability of the snow avalanche danger in the Tatra Mountains, the danger levels on consecutive days with snow cover over the last nine decades were calculated. To accomplish this task, the longest series of meteorological data were used from the Tatras along with an empirical method for determining the regional avalanche danger on the basis of elementary meteorological data. The results point to the fact that over the last 25 years the number of days with a level 2 avalanche danger significantly decreased, whereas the number of days with level 1 increased. This should result in a decreasing trend in the incidence of small and medium-sized natural avalanches. In the structure of snow cover, the percentage of melt forms might increase. However, this should not correlate with a significant increase in wet-snow avalanches, because the number of days with wet snow also reduces. The contemporary changes in the snow conditions and avalanche danger in the subalpine belt of the Tatras have been primarily associated with an increase in the air temperature (shorter winters and less snow).

Keywords: snow avalanche, avalanche danger, climate danger, the Tatra Mountains

Bogdan Gądek, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Mariusz Grabiec, Centre for Polar Studies University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Andrzej Maciata, Tatra Volunteer Rescue Service Piłsudskiego 63A, Zakopane: Poland

Spatial modelling of avalanches by application of GIS on selected slopes of the Western Tatra Mts. and Belianske Tatra Mts., Slovakia

Martin Boltižiar, Marek Biskupič, Ivan Barka

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 79-90 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0047

Further information

Abstract:

The avalanches represent a significant and very dynamic process within the Tatra high-mountain landscape. Undoubtedly avalanche run-out distances play a key role in land use planning within avalanche prone areas. The Žiarska valley and Predné Meďodoly valley are considered as one of the most avalanche prone valleys in Tatra Mts. This environment represents an excellent opportunity for studying and modelling extreme avalanche run-outs. Primarily avalanche release zones were estimated by using an existing model proposed by Hreško (1998). This model was modified and calibrated for both valleys. The alpha-beta regression model developed in Norway has been used to estimate avalanche run-outs. Data processing and model calibration have been elaborated in GIS environment. Avenue script for ArcGIS was written to perform automated runout estimation based on alpha-beta regression model. Model managed to estimate run-outs on some slopes while it failed to model run-ups. Finally the results were visualized by creating the fly-through simulations and 3D views. Comparison between model calculation and avalanche cadastre showed correlation.

Keywords: snow avalanche, GIS, run-out modelling, Western Tatra Mountains, Belianske Tatra Mountains

Martin Boltižiar, Institute of Landscape Ecology SAS Bratislava, branch in Nitra Akademická 2, 949 01 Nitra, Slovakia
Marek Biskupič, Institute for Environmental Studies Charles University Prague Ovocný trh 3-5, 116 36 Prague 1: Czech Republic
Ivan Barka, National Forest Department T.G. Masaryka 22, 960 92 Zvolen: Slovakia

Application of timberline morphometric analysis for detecting snow avalanche paths: A case study of the Tatra Mountain

Barbara Spyt, Ryszard J. Kaczka, Michał Lempa, Zofia Rączkowska

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 91-111 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0048

Further information

Abstract:

The upper forest limit is principally controlled by climate factors, mainly temperature but locally also other factors, such as snow avalanches, debris flows, and wind throw. Therefore, the timberline course may be useas a proxy of these drivers. The aim of the study was to employ the morphometric features of the upper forest limit for remote detection of avalanche paths. We introduced the Morphometric Avalanche Index (MAI), which combine simple parameters such as: Perimeter Development, Altitudinal Difference, Elongation Ratio, Area, and the existence forest patches. This tool was tested in four valleys in the Tatra Mountains, wherein 103 known avalanche paths. The employment of MAI resulted in remote identification of 90% of avalanche paths existing and acknowledged in this region. Additionally 28 avalanche paths that had not been previously indicated as such were detected.

Keywords: snow avalanche, timberline, morphometry, remote sensing, Tatra Mountains Introduction The boundary

Barbara Spyt, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Michał Lempa, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland

Book review

Avalanche dynamics: Dynamics of rapid flows of dense granular avalanches

Ryszard J. Kaczka

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 113-115 | Full text

Further information

Keywords:

Ryszard J. Kaczka [ryszard.kaczka@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Poland on maps

Abiotic nature of the Tatra Mountains: A new cartographic picture

Adam Kotarba

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 1, pp. 117-121 | Full text
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0049

Further information

Keywords:

Adam Kotarba [kotarba@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland