Cirque development and the glaciation of the Carpathians

Ian S. EVANS, Marcel MÎNDRESCU

Abstract


The moderate altitudes of the Carpathian Mountains limited glaciation to cirque and short valley glaciers, but these were widespread: well-developed cirques are found inRomania,Ukraine,SlovakiaandPoland.  The ‘marginal’ nature of glaciation means that glaciers formed first on the most favourable (shadiest and leeward) mountain slopes, giving valuable indications of former wind directions (from west-northwest inRomania).  Some cirques are completely isolated from others, but several mountain ranges rose sufficiently high above snowline that glaciers and cirques developed on all slopes, as in the Retezat, Făgăraş¸ and especially the High Tatra.  However, differences in snowline (palaeo-ELA) are found between different slopes there also. The Low Tatra, by contrast, are strongly asymmetric, with many north-facing cirques.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4316/GEOREVIEW.2012.0.0.182