Adam Łajczak

Articles

Reconstruction of the morphology and hydrography of the centre of Kraków before the mid-13th century

Adam Łajczak, Roksana Zarychta

Geographia Polonica (2020) vol. 93, iss. 1, pp. 25-50 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0161

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Abstract:

The paper concerns investigations on urban geomorphology. The subject of the paper is the historic centre of Kraków (or Cracow) where the pre-human relief became masked due to the rapid increase in cultural deposits from the mid-13th century onwards. The aim of the investigation is the reconstruction of the original topography, relief and hydrography of this area based on rich sources of materials in papers and non-publisheddata on geology, geoengineering, archaeology, history, and also on maps and panoramic drawings of the town. A digital elevation model has been generated, which showed the topography of the study area in the period before the mid-13th century. Structural analysis, cross validation test and estimation by ordinary kriging method were carried out. The final cartographic work was prepared with the use of QGIS and Surfer software.The distribution of landforms in the study area in the mid-13th century is presented as a proposed variant of the geomorphological map prepared by the authors. The former relief was evaluated in terms of its potential for encouraging settlement.

Keywords: pre-urban morphology, Kraków, Vistula, meandering river, limestone horst, Pleistocene terrace, Holocene floodplain, digital cartography, geostatistics, ordinary kriging

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@o2.pl (corresponding author)], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Kraków Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków: Poland
Roksana Zarychta [roksana.zarychta@up.krakow.pl], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Kraków Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków: Poland

Differentiation of vertical limit of forest at the Babia Góra Mt., the Western Carpathian Mountains

Adam Łajczak, Barbara Spyt

Geographia Polonica (2018) vol. 91, iss. 2, pp. 217-241 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0118

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Abstract:

The work contains quantitative analysis of differentiation of altitudinal position and sinuosity of two lines determining the course of forest limit, i.e. timberline and treeline within Babia Góra Mt. (1725 m a.s.l.) homoclinal flysch ridge (the Western Carpathians). The course of the empiric timberline was delimited basing on aerial photographs with details from spatial data of Aerial Laser Scanning conducted in 2012. On the N slope, the course of timberline is exclusively conditioned by natural factors, whereas on the S slope this line was shifted downwards as a result of sheep and cattle grazing (however it has shown progression for the last 80 years).In the course of theoretical treeline conditioned by macrotopography and local climate, the mass-elevation effect is visible, and on the N slope, additionally, a sub-summit downward shift (the Diablak effect) occurs.The sequence of natural factors, according to their positive or negative influence on timberline and treeline courses was determined.

Keywords: timberline, treeline, mass-elevation effect, homoclinal flysch ridge, climatic asymmetry, snow avalanches, Babia Góra Mt., Western Carpathians

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@o2.pl (corresponding author)], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Kraków Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków: Poland
Barbara Spyt [barbara.spyt@us.edu.pl], Faculty of Earth Sciences University of Silesia in Katowice, Będzińska 60, 41-200 Sosnowiec: Poland

Surface water storage in the Orava – Nowy Targ Basin, Western Carpathians

Adam Łajczak

Geographia Polonica (2017) vol. 90, iss. 4, pp. 383-399 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org//10.7163/GPol.0113

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Abstract:

The Orava – Nowy Targ Basin is one of 31 basins found in the Western Carpathians. While average in size (643 km2), it is the only basin where large amounts of water are stored in vast peat bogs. Until the 16th century,it had not been inhabited and the amount of water stored in peat at that time was estimated to be 171 million m3. Due to the anthropogenic degradation of peat bogs the amount of water has decreased 2.7 times andit is now estimated at 62 million m3. Two dams built in the basin, in the second half of the 20th century, retain reservoirs that store 563 million m3 of water. This amount of water exceeds the earlier loss of water in peatfive times over. If the planned, more ambitious project of dam construction in the basin had been completed,the total capacity of the reservoirs would exceed the water loss in peat by 27 times. The index of lake retention including peat in relation to the area of the basin is determined to be currently 98 cm, but if the project of maximum development of the reservoirs in the basin had taken place, it would reach 270 cm. The estimated useful lifetime of the reservoirs studied suggests theoretically an 80% loss of their initial capacity over a timescaleof one thousand years. Taking into account the current regeneration of peat bogs, there is an optimistic outlook for the protection of the natural and anthropogenic water resources of the basin.

Keywords: surface waters, peat bog, dam-retained reservoir, Orava – Nowy Targ Basin, Orava – Podhale Peatland, Carpathians

Adam Łajczak [alajczak@o2.pl (corresponding author)], Institute of Geography Pedagogical University of Kraków Podchorążych 2, 30-084 Kraków: Poland