Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2

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Geomorphic activity of debris flows in the Tatra Mts and in other European mountains

Adam Kotarba

Geographia Polonica (2007) vol. 80, iss. 2, pp. 137-150

Abstract

Debris flows constitute the dominant high-energy slope processes in the high-mountainbelt of the Tatra Mountains, the Alps and other European mountain massifs. Rainfall intensitiesresponsible for triggering recent flows include that of ca 35–40 mm in one hour. Undersuch a condition, whole talus slopes several hundred meters long are affected by rapid flow inthe High Tatras, on both the Polish and Slovak sides, and the maximum volume of debris removedand accumulated by such events is ca. 25,000 m3 . Debris flows with a maximum volume ofca. 500,000 m3 are triggered by rainstorms of similar totals and intensities in the Alps.

Keywords: debris flows, extreme rainfall events, Tatra Mountains, European geomorphic hazards

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