Regional distribution and relevance in paleonvironmental studies of lakes in the Tatra Mts. (Western Carpathians)



Scientific limnological research in the Tatra Mountains were initiated by Stanislaw Staszic in the early XIX century.  After the World War II, the evolution of Tatra lakes was investigated by Kondracki, Klimaszewski, Baumgart-Kotarba and. Extensive paleolimnological investigations in the Tatra Mountains were started by the group of scientists led by K. Starmach in the beginning of the second half of the 20th century.

 There has been not much research concerned to the regional distribution of lakes and their properties in the Tatra Mountains (Pociask-Karteczka 2013). Very early division of lakes presented A. Gadomski (1922), which distinguished four types of lakes: a) tarns (cirque lake or corrie loch), b) bedrock-dammed lakes, c) moraine lakes. This division was concerned in subsequent publications (Choiński 2007). M. Lukniš (1973, 1985) recognized additional types: kettles and landslide-dammed lakes and M. Klimaszewski (1988) – inter-sheepback lakes. J. Pacl and K. Wit-Jóźwik in Klima Tatier (Pacl, Wit-Jóźwik 1974) were focused on the temperature of water in lakes in Polish and Slovak parts and M. Borowiak (2000a,b) provided a comprehensive analysis of types, dimensions, temperature and chemical composition of water in lakes in the Tatra Mountains.

According to present day state of knowledge, one may distinguish following genetic types of lakes: I) glacial, II) not-glacial. There are four types of the glacial origin lakes in the Tatra Mountains (Fig. 1): a) tarns (cirque lakes or corrie loch), b) bedrock-moraine dammed lakes, c) inter-sheepback lakes, d) moraine lakes, e) kettles.

Most of lakes in the Tatra Mountains are tarns and bedrock-moraine dammed lakes, and they are located at the elevation over 1400 m a.s.l. in the Western Tatra Mountains, and over 1600 m a.s.l. in the High Tatra Mountains. Some of them are paternoster lakes – a series of stair-stepped lakes formed in individual rock basins aligned down the course of a glaciated valley. Lakes in the Five Polish Lakes Valley is an example of such type. The inter-sheepback lakes occur at higher elevations (e.g. Wyżnie Mnichowe Stawki, Zamrznuté oká). There is a little number of moraine lakes in the Tatra Mountains (e.g. Smreczyński, Toporowy Niżni) and kettles (e.g. Štrbské Pleso, Kotlinowy Stawek). Some lakes are located among rock debris or rock debris and moraine material (Dwoisty Staw Gąsienicowy, Anitino očko) – they are of polygenetic origin. 


glacial lakes, Tatra Mts

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