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Environmental Management

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 580–592 | Cite as

Land Degradation at the Stara Planina Ski Resort

  • Ratko RistićEmail author
  • Milica Kašanin-Grubin
  • Boris Radić
  • Zoran Nikić
  • Nevena Vasiljević
Article

Abstract

The environmental impacts of ski resorts in the Balkan region are great and can lead to landscape degradation and loss of land functionality. In this study, we present an example of the negative effects of human activities at the Stara Planina ski resort in southeastern Serbia. The objective of this study is detailed analysis of the characteristics of environmental impacts at the Stara Planina. The management of the ski area and ski slope development caused severe degradation of topsoil and native vegetation. The morphological characteristics of the area, lithological properties of the exposed material and climate conditions resulted in various geomorphic impacts, including rills, deep gullies, solifluctions and debris from rock weathering. Significant changes in land usage altered hydrological conditions, resulting in more frequent torrential floods in the downstream sections of the Zubska River and increased the sediment yield. Environmental impacts were analyzed in the immediate and wider zones of the ski resort in accordance with the specific topography and visual exposure. The restoration and erosion control measures have stopped degradation processes and helped to rehabilitate the appearance and functions of the landscape. The results show the importance of considering lithological (the type and characteristics of minerals present) and hydrological (precipitation, water storage capacity of soil, runoff) factors under the conditions of significant changes in land usage. The results of this investigation can contribute to the improvement of planning processes and the implementation of development projects in ski areas.

Keywords

Erosion processes Land degradation Ski runs Gully erosion Hydrological conditions 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the Serbian Ministry of Science within project 43007 (Investigation of climate changes and their influence on the environment: monitoring, adaptation and mitigation-subproject: Frequency of torrential floods and degradation of soil and water as a consequence of global changes). We also wish to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript that contributed to its improvement.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ratko Ristić
    • 1
    Email author
  • Milica Kašanin-Grubin
    • 2
  • Boris Radić
    • 1
  • Zoran Nikić
    • 1
  • Nevena Vasiljević
    • 3
  1. 1.Ecological Engineering in Protection of Soil and Water ResourcesUniversity of Belgrade Faculty of ForestryBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental GovernanceEducons UniversitySremska KamenicaSerbia
  3. 3.Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of Belgrade Faculty of ForestryBelgradeSerbia

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