Object structure


The influence of snow avalanches on the timberline in the Babia Góra Massif, Western Carpathians


Geographia Polonica Vol. 88 No. 2 (2015)


Czajka, Barbara ; Łajczak, Adam ; Kaczka, Ryszard J.



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24 cm

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Subject and Keywords:

timberline ; snow avalanches ; Babia Góra Mountain ; Norway spruce ; image interpretation ; dendrogeomorphology


Avalanches are one of the most important abiotic factors influencing the timberline on a worldwide scale. In the case of Babia Góra, avalanches are found to affect more than ¹⁄³ of the length of the timberline, locally lowering it by as much as 350 m in distance. The timberline under the influence of avalanche processes is associatedwith steep slopes (>30°), with 90% of this being located on the massif’s northern slope. In the long run (1964-2009), around the whole massif the timberline shows a high degree of stability along 79% of itslength. It proved possible to reconstruct avalanche events along the largest avalanche path in the examined massif, the Szeroki Żleb gully. Nine such events are seen to have occurred over the past 120 years, with sevenof these characterising the last 50 years. The avalanche(s) occurring in winter 1975/1976 had the greatest impact on the timberline in the Szeroki Żleb gully over the examined period.


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