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The regional geomorphology of Montenegro mapped using Land Surface Parameters

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Despite the large variability of landforms in Montenegro, no attempts have yet been made to regionalize its geomorphology. However, Digital Elevation Models are globally availability and in recent decades we have seen a strong increase in computation possibilities to map and quantify relief. Here, we used the Geomorphon method to define and delineate the geomorphological characteristics of Montenegro, using the ASTER Digital Elevation Model with 30 m resolution. Together with a literature review and field observations, this has led to the preparation of a regional geomorphological map of Montenegro at scale 1:800,000. In total, seven geomorphological regions were recognized: Coastal Montenegro, High Karst, Inland Depression, Durmitor Flysch, Northwestern Highlands, Prokletije and the Northern Cristalline Hills. Karst landforms largely dominate the geomorphology of the country, with the occurrence of numerous dolines, uvala's, large poljes (Gradaj, Grahovo and Njeguši) and karst plateaus (Banjani, Jezerska Površ). Limestone areas are often dissected by impressive canyons (Morača, Cijevna, Mala Rijeka, Tara, Sušica and Piva), of which the formation is thought to be parallel with that of the ria coast. The latter corresponds to large submerged river valleys that were scoured during the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Besides karst features, a glacial imprint can be found in Montenegro, which is amongst the southernmost in Europe. To conclude, the Geomorphon method allowed making a rapid assessment of the country's main geomorphological characteristics, that could be further defined with existing research and field observations. Furthermore, the method also shows good potential in supporting detailed field-investigations as demonstrated here for the Njeguši polje.
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Keywords: DIGITAL ELEVATION MODEL; GEOMORPHON; KARST; MAP; NJEGUŠI POLJE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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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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