Geographia Polonica (1988) vol. 55

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Tendencies of debris slope evolution in the High Tatra Mountains

Adam Kotarba

Geographia Polonica (1988) vol. 55, pp. 83-90


An alpine cliff and related to it talus slope* are the most typical features of mountainous areas transformed by glaciers. The development of a young cliff starts at the moment when the inclined rock surface becomes free of ice. Very often such surfaces are very steep, vertical or even overhanging and devoid of weathered material. Weathering processes on rock surfaces produce debris which is transported downslope due to gravitational processes such as falling, sliding and toppling. Principal debris slope units formed below cliffs are differing from each other in terms of grain size composition and sorting. Active and non-active or partially active slope surfaces occur adjacent to each other. They are the diagnostic features of past and contemporary periglacial/cryonival environment. Therefore, talus slope features are good indicators of postglacial evolution. Seven types of cliff-debris slope systems have been distinguished in this paper.


Adam Kotarba [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland