Hydrologic Processes within the Balacita Piedmont
The Bălăciţa Piedmont represents a distinct relief subunit within the Getic Piedmont; it is a lower step, with a general aspect of a plateau fragmented in large interfluves and a West-East directed hydrographical net. The Bălăciţa Piedmont, also called The High Plain of Bălăciţa, due to its generally high plain, is a transition subunit between the Coşuştei Hills, in the North, and the Oltenia Plain, in the South, the main differences being related to altitude, its unique river system, general relief configuration, drainage density, and pedological and climatic features.
The eastern limit within the piedmont is made through a vast depression couloir directed NW-SE, which is cut by the Jiu River in a monocline structure that inclines in the same direction. In the North, the Motru, the Huşniţa, and the Ghelmegeoaia rivers, which are consequent valleys, separate it from the Motru Piedmont. In the West, the limit with Mehedinţi Plateau continues through the Severin Depression to the Danube. In the South, it neighbours with the Oltenia Plain, which, in this sector, is separated into the Terraces Plain of Oltenia and the Sălcuţa Filed (a piedmont plain) on the alignment Drobeta Turnu-Severin-Vânju Mare-Pleniţa-Podari (Fig. 3-1).
The geological conditions represent the starting point and conditions of all the future geomorphologic processes through paleogeographic, lithostratigraphic, and paleoclimatic features. From the lithological point of view, the oldest Quaternary deposits can be divided into three horizons made up of sands, gravels, blocks, and some intercalations of grey clays and lignite beds; the newest deposits belong to Holocene and they represent accumulations within the alluvial plains, dune deposits, and deluviums located on the slopes of the valleys.
Dilivium deposits display a high development within the analysed region and they cover most of the slopes of the valleys and the taluses of different morphological steps; these deposits are made up of sandy clays and clayish sands and, sometimes, gravels.
The general morphological elements, due to their features, reflect the presence of three distinct sectors within the Bălăciţa Piedmont. The first sector includes the catchment areas of the Blahniţa and of the Drincea, inclusively the slope of the Danube between Şimian and Batoţi and it is characterized by the presence of the rivers with subsequent valleys, which deeply cut a NW-SE directed monocline structure, made up of soft rock deposits, such as the sandy ones (predominantly). The most representative cuestas developed on the left slopes of the Danube, of the Corlăţel, and of the Blahniţa Rivers.
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Natural Environment and Culture in the Mediterranean Region
The Mediterranean Basin is located at the intersection of two major landmasses, Eurasia and Africa, which contributes to its cultural and high biodiversity. The greatest impacts have been deforestation, habitat fragmentation, intensive grazing and fires, and infrastructure development, especially on the coast, which have distinctly altered the landscape. In view of the valuable natural heritage there is a great need for weighing our ecological impact in order to achieve a balance between biodiversity conservation and human development and above all, how to maintain traditional rural livelihoods in a way that benefits biodiversity. This book synthesizes knowledge from many disciplines to throw some light on the unpredictability of forthcoming changes.
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