Zofia Rączkowska

Articles

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: https://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: https://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

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: https://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

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

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: https://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 [barbara.spyt@us.edu.pl]
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

Poland on maps

Digital geomorphological map of Poland

Zofia Rączkowska, Zbigniew Zwoliński

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 205-210 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0025

Further information

Abstract:

The paper presents the Digital Geomorphological Map of Poland (DGM) on which work started in 2013. Background is provided on the history of geomorphological mapping and the digital adaptation of analogue geomorphological maps. The legend (key symbols) of the DGM and the construction of its database are introduced. The test sheets prepared on the basis of the DGM assumptions are demonstrated.

Keywords: digital geomorphological maps, legend, test sheets, 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
Zbigniew Zwoliński, Institute of Geoecology and Geoinformation Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań Dzięgielowa 27, 61-680 Poznań: Poland

Articles

The recent timberline changes in the Tatra Mountains: A case study of the Mengusovská Valley (Slovakia) and the Rybi Potok Valley (Poland)

Ryszard J. Kaczka, Michał Lempa, Barbara Czajka, Karolina Janecka, Zofia Rączkowska, Juraj Hreško, Gabriel Bugár

Geographia Polonica (2015) vol. 88, iss. 2, pp. 71-83 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0016

Further information

Abstract:

A comparison was done of the timberline course from the mid-20th and beginning of 21st century, in Mengusovská Valley (Slovakia) and Rybi Potok Valley (Poland). These are two valleys in the High Tatra Mts. Aerial photo sand satellite images were used to assess the changes of the timberline in the two valleys. The course of the timberline ecotone in both valleys is similar. In both valleys, the stable timberline section is almost half of the total timberline length. In both valleys there has been an increase in the elevation of the timberline (on average by 10 m in the Mengusovská Valley and 15 m in the Rybi Potok Valley), and free spaces have been increasingly closing up. The progressive changes of the timberline are mainly due to the limit placed on human economic activity, and to climate warming. Inactive avalanche paths have led to an enlargement of the forest area in both valleys. The reduction of avalanche activity is the direct result of climate warming in the Tatra Mts. and from the decrease in the amount of snow in winters.

Keywords: snow avalanches, Carpathians, Tatra Mountains, photointerpretation, reafforestation, timberline ecotone

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
Barbara Czajka, Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice Będzińska 60, 41 -200 Sosnowiec: Poland
Karolina Janecka, 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
Juraj Hreško, Department of Ecology and Environmentalistics Faculty of Natural Sciences Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra
Gabriel Bugár, Department of Ecology and Environmentalistics Faculty of Natural Sciences Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra

Preface

Preface

Zofia Rączkowska, Leszek Starkel

Geographia Polonica (2008) vol. 81, iss. 1, pp. 7 | 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
Leszek Starkel [starkel@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland

Articles

Links between vegetation and morphodynamics of high-mountain slopes in the Tatra Mountains

Anna Kozłowska, Zofia Rączkowska, Bogdan Zagajewski

Geographia Polonica (2006) vol. 79, iss. 1, pp. 27-39 | Full text

Further information

Abstract:

This study examines the propositions that: 1. in high-mountain areas, the differentiationof vegetation units at the landscape (supra-ecosystem) scale is closely linked to variations in thegeomorphology of slopes and valley bottoms across various morphodynamic units; 2. morphodynamicunits constitute the natural boundaries of the vegetation-related landscape units; 3. differenttypes of geomorphological unit at the landscape scale are characterized by the vegetationtypes growing on them. These propositions were tested by comparing overlays of digital maps ofvegetation and geomorphology. A characteristic combination of plant communities was determinedfor each of the five types of morphodynamic unit identified.

Keywords: geomorphology, morphodynamic units, vegetation, landscape units, vegetation-relief links, Tatra Mountains, Poland

Anna Kozłowska [a.kozl@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, 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

High-mountain valley floors evolution during recession of Alpine glaciers in the Massif des Ecrins, France

Maria Baumgart-Kotarba, Jean-Paul Bravard, Michel Chardon, Vincent Jomelli, Stanisław Kędzia, Adam Kotarba, Pierre Pech, Zofia Rączkowska

Geographia Polonica (2003) vol. 76, iss. 2, pp. 65-87 | Full text

Further information

Abstract:

The age of recent glacial, glacifluvial/fluvial forms is determined using lichenometric dating in two Alpine valleys of the Massif des Ecrins in France. A lichen growth-curve is based on data from natural sites, such as boulder-fields, moraine ridges etc. of known age on recently deglaciated terrain. The maximum extent of the glacial system of the Veneon and Etangons valleys during the Little Ice Age was 15 km in length. The maximum lichen diameter of 90-95 mm characterizes the stage of recession correlated with AD. 1650-1660. Analysis of the systems of terraces and paleochannels of the progla-cial rivers supported by lichenometric dating allows three periods of intensified fluvial activity to be distinguished for the Little Ice Age.

Keywords: deglaciation landforms, lichenometry, Little Ice Age, Massif des Ecrins, France

Maria Baumgart-Kotarba, Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Św. Jana 22, 31-018 Kraków, Poland
Jean-Paul Bravard, Université de Lyon 2, Faculté GHHAT, 5, av. Pierre Mendes, 69676 Bron, France
Michel Chardon, Institut de Géographie Alpine, 14 bis av. Marie-Reynoard, 38100 Grenoble, France
Vincent Jomelli, Institut de Géographie, Université Paris I-Sorbonne, 191, rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris, CNRS Laboratoire de Géographie Physique 1, pl. A.Briand 92195, Meudon Cedex, France
Stanisław Kędzia [kedzia@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Adam Kotarba [kotarba@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland
Pierre Pech [pierre.pech@univ-paris1.f], Institut de Géographie, Université Paris I-Sorbonne, 191, rue Saint-Jacques, 75005 Paris, CNRS Laboratoire de Géographie Physique 1, pl. A.Briand 92195, Meudon Cedex, France
Zofia Rączkowska [raczk@zg.pan.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 31-018 Krakow, Sw. Jana 22, Poland