Geographia Polonica (2023) vol. 96, iss. 1

Late Pleistocene glaciation in the headwaters of the Ceremuşul Alb valley (Maramureş Mountains, Romania)

Piotr Kłapyta, Marcel Mîndrescu, Jerzy Zasadni

Geographia Polonica (2023) vol. 96, iss. 1, pp. 13-28 | Full text

The Late Pleistocene Jupania palaeoglacier (area 0.85 km2, 1.7 km long) was reconstructed in the headwaters of the Ceremuşul Alb/Bilyj Cheremosh valley (Maramureş Mountains). The study area represents one of the most inaccessible natural areas in the Romanian part of the Eastern Carpathians where the legacy of the Pleistocene glaciation has recently been discovered. Based on mapping of glacial landforms and deposits,we reconstruct glacier dimension and ice-surface geometry, as well as estimate equilibrium line altitude( ELA) during the maximal ice extent (MIE). Well-preserved terminal moraines mark the extent of glacier front at ~1400 m a.s.l. Sedimentological analysis documents that the lateral moraines are sometimes overbuilt by 1-1.5 m thick colluvial deposits. The ELA for the Jupania palaeoglacier calculated with the Area-Altitude-Balance-Ratio (AABR) 1.6 was 1630 m. However, the gentle-sloping mountain-top could serve as an importantsnow contribution area to glacier mass balance; therefore, the ELA could potentially exist even higherat 1676 m. The resulting climatic ELA (1630-1676 m) in the south-eastern part of the Maramureş Mountains fits well with the rising trend of ELA towards the southeast observed between Chornohora (ELA = 1516 m) and Rodna Mountains (ELA = 1697 m). The SE rising trend of the ELA corresponds well with the dominant palaeowind direction suggested in the Carpathian region and supports the prevalence of zonal circulation pattern in Central Eastern Europe during the culumination of the last glaciation.

Keywords: glacier reconstruction, ELA, glacial sediments, Maramureş Mountains, Romania

Piotr Kłapyta [], Faculty of Geography and Geology, Institute of Geography and Spatial Management Jagiellonian University Gronostajowa 7, 30-387 Kraków: Poland
Marcel Mîndrescu [], Department of Geography University of Suceava 720229 Suceava: Romania
Jerzy Zasadni [], Faculty of Geology, Geophysics and Environmental Protection AGH University of Science and Technology Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Kraków: Poland