Geographia Polonica (2008) vol. 81, iss. 1

Present-day Retreat of Slopes Above the Upper Timberline in the Slovak Part of the Western Carpathians

Rudolf Midriak

Geographia Polonica (2008) vol. 81, iss. 1, pp. 93-100 | Full text

This article focuses on the rate of present-day retreat of slopes, as determined by directmeasurement, both above and below the upper timberline, and in relation to erosion, mass movements,cryogenic processes, nivation, aeolian processes, etc.Rates of surface erosion processes—the most widespread geomorphic processes operating at highaltitude in the Western Carpathians—range from low to high. In the forest belt below the uppertimberline, in the dwarf pine scrub and on surfaces with grassland, the mean rate of soil removalis of only 0.001–0.007 mm yr -1. In the case of denuded surfaces with destroyed cover this rises to3.4 mm yr -1 on average, while linear erosional landforms lose as much as 17.4 mm yr -1.As a whole, the area above the upper timberline in the Slovak geomorphic units of the WesternCarpathians is characterised by medium to relatively high real denudation rates, the mean rateof slope retreat being 0.27 mm yr -1.

Keywords: present-day geomorphic processes, upper timberline, rate of slope retreat, Slovakia, Western Carpathians

Rudolf Midriak, Institute of Science and Research, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica Cesta na amfiteáter 1, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia