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The occurrence of glaciers in the Polish Tatra Mountains during the Little Ice Age

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The Little Ice Age is the greatest cooling period in the past millennium on our planet. A great deal of evidence of this cooling can be found on the present Polish territory. During that cooling period, there were no well-developed glaciers in the Tatra Mountains, only the perennial snow patches. Therefore, for the study of glaciation of Polish Tatra parts two large patches of snow were selected: the Mięguszowiecki Glacieret and the patch under Bula pod Rysami. The study used lichenometric dating. The surface of the snow patches, which already existed in that period, underwent smaller fluctuations than their thickness, primarily due to protalus ramparts, the ridges of which blocked surface development. The largest snow-firn-ice formation in the Polish Tatra Mountains, the Mięguszowiecki Glacieret, displayed the maximum thickness in the 19th century, when it was approximately 10 m thicker than at present. This apparently occurred in the middle of the century, i.e.at the time of the maximum advance of Alpine glaciers. The snow patch under Bula pod Rysami, which is a significantly smaller and less stable snow-firn-ice formation than the Mięguszowiecki Glacieret, was ca 2 m thicker in the middle or towards the end of the 19th century.
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Keywords: LICHENOMETRY; LITTLE ICE AGE (LIA); SNOW PATCHES; TATRA MTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2015-06-01

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  • Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie main volume is a peer-reviewed international journal presenting original contributions of high scientific standard from all fields of geomorphology, encompassing basic research and applied studies. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie (ZfG) invites the submission of original papers from the entire field of geomorphological research, both applied and theoretical. Authors are encouraged to submit their papers to the editor-in-chief. Please peruse the instructions to authors (PDF) before submitting your paper.

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