Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2

Landform evolution, climate change and man

Articles

Global planetary change and catastrophic earth-surface evolution: Implications for modern geomorphological research

Victor Baker

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 5-14 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.1

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Abstract:

Current international programs of global planetary change research overemphasize therole of analysis as manifested in the idealized predictions of mathematical models, a strategy thatcontains potential flaws both scientifically and as a matter of public policy. Similar methodologicalproblems have impeded progress in understanding the catastrophic processes that affectlandforms and landscapes at various spatial scales. An increased emphasis on synthetic scientificreasoning through the use of natural indexical signs can provide a more balanced scientific approachto advancing understanding in both these areas.

Keywords: global change, catastrophic processes, landscape evolution, geomorphology, modeling

The Himalayas: from mountain building to landform evolution in a changing world

Monique Fort

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 15-37 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.2

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Abstract:

The Himalayas are a living mountain mass, which, in addition to their rocks, landformsand processes, are the homeland of people who must continually adapt to their geodynamicallyvery active, yet inspiring environment. We focus on the Himalayas of Nepal, one of the less developedcountries in the world. This paper addresses different issues: mountain landform building,the role of current processes and natural hazards, and their interactions with a changingworld, i.e. under the influence of economic development in a context of globalization and climatechange.

Keywords: Nepal Himalayas, geomorphic processes, natural hazards, global change

Monique Fort, Department of Geography, GHSS (Case 7001) Université Paris-Diderot, Sorbonne-Paris-Cité

Contemporary trends in the Białka River channel development in the Western Carpathians

Elżbieta Gorczyca, Kazimierz Krzemień, Michał Łyp

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 39-53 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.3

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Białka is a typical river that has its origins in the high mountains of the High Tatra andthe Belanske Tatra Mountains. Transport of gravel from the Tatra Mountains down to the foot ofthe mountains over a long period of time, during the Pleistocene and the post-glacial era, led tothe formation of a typical braided river channel. During the last 150 years the river channel wasgradually narrowed and deepened. This process has clearly intensified since the end of the 1960sdue to human intervention that changed the course of the river channel. Exploitation of the riverchannel by extraction of sediment also had an impact. From the geomorphological and ecologicalpoint of view, the changes occurring in the Białka River channel, which are still continuing, arenot progressing in a positive direction.

Keywords: mountain river channels, braided river, fluvial processes, the Western Carpathians

Kazimierz Krzemień, Institute of Geography, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Impacts of fluvial land form evolution and global change in urban environments

Kenneth John Gregory

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 55-67 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.4

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Abstract:

Understanding of the character of urban environments, which have been increasinglyembraced by geomorphological research in the last four decades, has progressed to the way inwhich they are currently perceived. For fluvial geomorphology it is necessary to understand thepalimpsest inherited from long-term evolution under pre-urban conditions. This includes understandingthe way urban hazards arise, appreciating the diverse consequences of short-term landform changes influenced by human activity, and contemplating the nature and implications ofmanagement methods in relation to future global changes including those instigated by changedurban hazards.

Keywords: urban geomorphology, palimpsest, urban channel changes, urban management methods, global change

Kenneth John Gregory, School of Geography, University of Southampton Southampton, SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

The role of relief geodiversity in geomorphology

Andrzej Kostrzewski

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 69-74 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.5

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Geodiversity is an important characteristic of Earth surface. Geodiversity is meaningthe diversification of Earth surface in the scope of geology, terrain relief, soils, climate, surfaceand underground water, taking into consideration modifying anthropogenic activity (Kostrzewski1986, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2001). The program of geodiversity protection and preservation includethe assessment of studied spatial unit (geoecosystem) actual geodiversity state, on the base ofdetailed knowledge of geographical environment and the stage of its evolution. In terrain reliefgeodiversity, young and old – restited forms, very often exhumed, are taken into consideration,that are giving the relief of studied area special meaning and appearance. Thematic maps (e.g.of terrain relief geodiversity, soils, surface water and complex maps e.g. landscape) are the cartographicpresentation of geodiversity. Geodiversity studies should be included in geomorphologicalresearch priorities, that is very important from substantive and practical point of view.

Keywords: geodiversity, terrain relief geodiversity, maps of geodiversity, geodiversity protection

Andrzej Kostrzewski [Andrzej.Kostrzewski@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, 00-818 Warsaw, Twarda 51/55, Poland

Contemporary changes in the relief of raised bogs on the example of the Polish Carpathians

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 75-92 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.6

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Abstract:

The subject of this paper is the problem of anthropogenic changes in the relief of raisedbogs in mountain areas. This problem has not received a great deal of attention in the researchliterature. All peat bogs in the Polish part of the Orawa – Nowy Targ Basin and the BieszczadyMountains were analysed. Special attention was paid to the remnants of peat domes andpost-peat areas and the scarps separating them. This paper is based on an analysis of maps producedover the last 230 years as well as aerial photographs. Field data were also analysed as partof this research. Six phases in the development of scarps were identified. The rate of relief changewas estimated and the role of exposure was assessed. Attention was paid to changes in the reliefof post-peat areas that are occurring because retention ponds and drainage ditches have becomemore shallow due to beaver activity and the results of stream channel regulation. Special attentionwas also paid to the geomorphological aspects of the restoration of post-peat areas.

Keywords: anthropopression, raised bog, peat dome, post-peat area, the Orawa – Nowy Targ Basin, the Bieszczady Mountains, the Carpathian Mountains

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Krakow Podchorążych 2, 30 -084 Krakow: Poland

Geomorphic diversity of the Sudetes - effects of structure and global change superimposed

Piotr Migoń

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 93-105 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.7

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Abstract:

The Sudetes are mountains of outstanding geomorphic diversity. Reasons reside inlithological and structural variability of bedrock and protracted history of landscape evolutionspanning at least the entire Cenozoic. Over this time span, global changes have exerted a keycontrol on the geomorphic evolution of the Sudetes. Late Cenozoic mountain building in theAlpine-Carpathian region induced differential uplift of the Sudetes and radically changed itsgeomorphic environment, from one typified by a landscape of low relief to one of increasingrelief energy and accelerated erosion. Environmental changes were equally profound but theirgeomorphic effect is less obvious, except for the widespread presence of periglacial landformsof Pleistocene age and localized occurrence of glacial cirques and moraines in the KarkonoszeMts. At the same time, rock control on the location and shape of individual landforms is evidentand large tracts of the Sudetes may be described as having structural morphology. Therefore,unequivocal recognition of relief generations in the Sudetes is problematic.

Keywords: geomorphology, geodiversity, global change, rock control, the Sudetes

Piotr Migoń, Institute of Geography and Regional Development University of Wrocław pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław: Poland

The Dolomites and their geomorphodiversity

Mario Panizza

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 107-115 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.8

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Abstract:

Following the concept of geomorphodiversity which was introduced by the author (Panizza,2009a), the peculiarities of the geomorphology of the Dolomites are summarized. First of all,they have specific geomorphological and landscape characteristics, which distinguish them fromall other mountains in the world; i.e., they have greatly accentuated extrinsic geomorphodiversityon a global scale. In relation to morphostructural landforms, the Dolomites have a high degreeof extrinsic geomorphodiversity compared with other mountains in relation to morphotectodynamics,morphotectostatics and morpholithology. They also have greatly accentuated intrinsicgeomorphodiversity on a regional scale from the morphoclimatic viewpoint, considering theirpolygenesis linked to pre- or interglacial, glacial, periglacial, fluvial, relict, dormant or activelandforms. Nevertheless, when some geomorphological features, chosen with a subjective criterion,are examined in detail on a regional scale (for example landslides) they show a great intrinsicgeomorphodiversity. The Dolomites make up an important geoheritage that can be consideredas a high-altitude field laboratory for research and development of geomorphological theoriesand understanding. The inclusion of these mountains in the World Heritage List is an importantscientific goal and an event which stimulates in-depth studies, discussions and assessment of investigationsand theories in the field of geomorphology.

Keywords: geomorphology, geomorphodiversity, geoheritage, the Dolomites, UNESCO

Prediction of runoff in the Um-U-Lah catchment of extremely humid area of Cherrapunji, India

Surendra Singh, Jones Hiambok

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 127-139 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.10

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Abstract:

In the studies of runoff prediction, the Variable Source Area (VSA) methods are becomingincreasingly more pronounced especially for the humid areas, such as the North-Easternareas of India. Such methods of physically-distributed modelling system are greatly dependenton land surface characteristics (slope gradient, hydrological soil types and land use/ land coverpatterns) that are stable spatially, and on the temporarily fluctuating pattern of precipitationintensity. Considering grid cells of 10 m*10 m size in a micro-areal watershed of 103 ha calledUm-U-Lah that is situated in the extremely humid area of Cherrapunji, having an average slopevarying from 4 to 30 percent, and with sandy-loam porous soils with grass land dominating vegetalcover, the mapping of the saturated area adopting the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI)was made to measure the location and extent of saturated areas, which contract and expand inproportion to the changes in intensity of effective rainfall. After calibrating the Curve-Numberbased VSA model at effective available soil storage of 5.88 mm (AMC-III Soil conditions) and atInitial Abstraction of 1.746 mm, the rainfall simulation were conducted. It is found that increasingdepth of effective rainfall quickly expands the saturated areas over the flat lands of hill-topsand slopes in the watershed. At 8.25 mm of effective rainfall depth, about 85.03 percent areas ofwatershed becomes saturated directly contributing to runoff.

Keywords: runoff process, extremely humid area, variable source area and topographic wetness index

Surendra Singh, epartment of Geography, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793014, India
Jones Hiambok, Department of Geography, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong 793 022, India

Concepts of dynamic equilibrium of interest for river management in the lower Maas catchment

Jef Vandenberghe, Jos De Moor, Gemma Venhuizen

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 141-153 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.11

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Abstract:

This paper discusses the interaction between climate change, land use, water managementand internal evolution within a river catchment, applied to the Maas River catchment. It isbased on the results of a project carried out as part of the Dutch research programme “ClimateChanges Spatial Planning”, theme “Climate Scenarios”. These results were obtained by a combinationof proxy reconstructions and by numerical modelling of past, present-day and near-futureclimate and river evolution. Since external factors like climate change and human impact influencethe river system in such a way that they will have severe consequences for society, economyand public health, understanding of the cause-and-effect relations within a river basin appears tobe of utmost importance. Therefore, a background framework for accurate water managementstrategies, based on the intrinsic factors and external driving factors (climate, human impact) influencingthe Maas River, has been developed. Together with the simulations, which give a goodoverview of the trends in precipitation and discharge between 4000–3000 BP and 1000–2000AD (as well as an outlook to the 21st century), the proxies help to gain insight into the long-termchanges in climate and hydrology in the Maas River basin. It appears that the principles of the dynamicequilibrium in a river system provide most useful guidelines for such a background. Fromthe reconstructed river evolution it is illustrated what kind of effects may be expected from eachnatural or anthropogenic distortion of that equilibrium for flood risks, changes in river courseand morphology, and fluvial transport capacity. It is concluded that river management, includingcompliance with the recent European directives for maintenance of natural heritage of river systems,should find a balance between providing the possibility to the river to maintain a dynamicequilibrium, based on its reconstructed historical river behaviour, and necessary measures asdirected by practical social and economic needs.

Keywords: dynamic equilibrium, river management, climate change, water management, human impact, flooding, Maas River, Geul River, The Netherlands

Jef Vandenberghe, VU University, Institute of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jos De Moor, EARTH Integrated Archaeology, Basicweg 19, 3821 BR Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Gemma Venhuizen, Nova Zemblastraat 23M, 1013 RJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Planation surfaces in the Polish Carpatians: myth or reality?

Witold Zuchiewicz

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. 155-178 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.12

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Abstract:

Previous views concerning the number and age of planation surfaces in the Polish segmentof the Carpathians varied depending on the state of recognition of geological structure ofthe area. The most commonly accepted opinion says that at least three such surfaces, representingremnants of pre-existing landscapes, can be traced in the study region. These include theintramontane (Early Pliocene), foothills (Late Pliocene) and riverside (Early Pleistocene) levels.Scarce fission track data pertaining to the age of exhumation of the Carpathian orogen indicatethat the preserved “planation surfaces” could not had formed before ca. 7 Ma. A possibility exists,however, that individual bevels could have been shaped at the same time at different altitudes,with respect to local base levels and differentiated bedrock resistance to erosion.

Keywords: planation surfaces, exhumation, Carpathians, Poland

Witold Zuchiewicz, AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection, Al. Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków, Poland

Evolution of the Paglajhora slump valley in the Shiv Khola Basin, the Darjeeling Himalaya, India

Subir Sarkar

Geographia Polonica (2011) vol. 84, Special Issue Part 2, pp. Sarkar | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2011.S2.9

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Abstract:

The morphologic configuration of the Paglajhora slump valley is controlled by geologicstructure and remodelled by the hydro-geomorphic processes. The slope forms exhibit a combinationof convex – concave – irregular profiles with highly variable inclination (10° to 35°).Overland flow feeding the uppermost niche during heavy rains transformed into concentratedsub-surface flow over the permeable colluvium. The observed rills and cracks facilitate the pipingand deep drainage towards the slumped areas. The high intensity of the processes as well as therelative heights and steep gradients are the limiting factors in the stabilization of the Paglajhoraslumps. At present, the form reached quasi-unstable equilibrium. Each extreme rainfall (above300 mm/day) causes substantial changes in its morphology.

Keywords: landslide, slump, quasi-unstable equilibrium, colluvium slope, palaeo-landslides, high intensity rainstorm, Darjeeling Himalaya, India.