Recent Landform Evolution in the Romanian Carpathians and Pericarpathian Regions

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Abstract

In the Romanian Carpathians, developed on crystalline and volcanic rocks, the main geomorphological processes are rockfalls, debris flows, and topples. In the eastern part of the Eastern Carpathians, built up of Cretaceous and Paleogene flysch, landslides and mudflows are of major significance. High and middle mountain karst features and cave systems are also widespread. In the alpine area of the Southern and Eastern Carpathians, avalanches are common on the steep slopes of glacial cirques and valleys. Landslides also develop on high quarry slopes, waste dumps and tailing dams characteristic of the mining sites of the Apuseni Mountains. High discharges along the Carpathian rivers cause intense erosion and the undercutting of slopes, favoring landslides and flooding. Although in fluvial erosion channel incision is predominant (for half of all river sections studied), riverbed aggradation is also observed locally. On the agricultural lands of the Subcarpathians and in the Transylvanian Depression slopes are degraded by sheet and gully erosion, landslides, and mudflows. On the Moldavian Plateau soil erosion, gullying, and landslides are major exogenous geomorphic processes. The country-wide spatial distribution of these geomorphological hazards has been evaluated by several authors (e.g., Geografia României I. 1983; Bălteanu 1997).