Michał Lempa

Articles

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

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

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