Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 3

Contribution of the Department of Geomorphology and Hydrology of Mountains and Uplands IGSO PAS in Kraków to the development of Polish Geomorphology (1953-2012)

Leszek Starkel

Geographia Polonica (2016) vol. 89, iss. 3, pp. 389-404 | Full text

The Department of Geomorphology and Hydrology of Mountains and Uplands in Kraków was established in November 1953 by Professor Mieczysław Klimaszewski. Its first task was to act as lead partner in detailed geomorphological mapping. Parallel with the mapping efforts, studies developed in two directions: (1) the evolution of relief during the Quaternary, based mainly on studies of sediments carried out in cooperation with other disciplines, where the greatest attention was turned to the role of the Holocene period before and after the Neolithic evolution; (2) present-day geomorphic processes based mainly on the monitoring of the circulation of water and mineral matter by experimental field stations. Joint studies on the palaeoenvironment and present-day processes played an important role in understanding the evolution of relief, in the forecasting of future changes, and in its practical evaluation. The concept of rational land use was developed based on the evaluation of the Carpathian landscape. Furthermore, our interest in the geomorphology of mountain areas pushed us to cooperate with countries carrying out studies in European mountains, to organise the Carpatho-Balcan Geomorphological Commission, and later to send expeditions to Mongolia (1974-1980) and India (since 1983), as well as to organise international commissions and projects related to INQUA and PAGES.

Keywords: geomorphological mapping, evolution of relief, monitoring, field stations, expeditions, mountain areas

Leszek Starkel [], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization Polish Academy of Sciences, Św. Jana 22, 31-018 Kraków, Poland