Effect of historical climatic and hydrometeorological extremes on slope
and fluvial processes in the Western Beskydy Mts. and their forefield
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::: Aim of the project :::

The aim of the presented project is to correlate geomorphic and sedimentary evidence of hazardous geomorphological processes and relevant time series of historical climatic and hydrometeorological events in sensitive landscape of the Western Beskydy Mountains and their forefield. The targeted time period is the last millennium and the main effort is to reveal climatic and consequent geomorphic feedbacks of the Little Ice Age. Geomorphological, sedimentological and geochronological methods will make it possible to define historical phases of intensified sediment pulses connected with accelerated mass wasting, fluvial aggradation and development of alluvial fans. Techniques of historical climatology connected with statistical analysis will be used for the determination of relative importance of climatological and anthropogenic aspects of the occurrence of historical catastrophic geomorphic processes. Obtained relationships between climatic and geomorphic processes will be used in order to construct future scenarios, especially in the context of possible future climatic changes.

::: Substance of the project :::

The substance of the grant project is to determine and create a chronological spectrum of displays of extreme geomorphological processes of the last 1000 years and to correlate them with climatic and hydrometeorologic extremes identified by means of the analysis of documentary sources, dendrochronological methods and apparatus-based measurement. The studied geomorphological extremes (catastrophic geomorphological processes) include particularly (i) slope processes of a type of landslides, flowslides and rockfalls and (ii) fluvial (mainly flood-like) processes related to massive displays of flood facies aggradation and erosional transformation of valley bottoms. Fluvial processes can thus be observed both in alluvial plains and on the surface of alluvial fans. The analysis will be carried out in a model area of the Western Beskydy Mts. including their foreground since they are frequently affected by catastrophic geomorphological phenomena (e.g. Brázdil, Kirchner et al., 2007).

::: Studied territory :::

The studied territory is delimited by geomorphological areas of the Western Beskydy Mts., Západobeskydské podhůří Foothills and Northern Outer Carpathian Depression (sensu Demek et al., 2006). The centre of the research is related predominantly with the geomorphological units of the Moravskoslezské Beskydy Mts., Slezské Beskydy Mts., Jablunkovská brázda Furrow, Hostýn-Vsetín Highlands, Podbeskydská pahorkatina Upland and Ostrava Basin. In this respect, the study area is convenient for the research of hazardous geomorphological processes in mountain and piedmont regions, namely as a consequence of climatic and hydrometeorological extremes.

The research requires interdisciplinary approach as the only way to reveal the morphosystem reaction to climatic fluctuations and to determine parameters of this relation using appropriate research methods and interpretation procedures. Special emphasis will be laid on the identification of intensive slope and fluvial processes in the LIA period and on the assessment of the LIA influence on the contemporary landforms character and LIA sedimentary record in slope, fluvial and proluvial sequences. The study of interactions between historical climatic and hydrometeorological extremes and catastrophic geomorphological processes will facilitate predicting the extent of present georelief changes as well as the changes in the intensity of geomorphological processes, particularly in connection with global climate change. Although there are many world examples of historical climatic extremes and their impact on the georelief development (Evans a Clague, 1994; Starkel, 2001 etc.), a wide range of issues remains unsolved. These include, among others, the problem of the LIA extremity in the context of the whole Late Holocene, i.e. whether it really represented an exceptional fluctuation that is, within geomorphological and sedimentological record, incomparable with other humid and cold phases identified in the Western Carpathians in Subboreal and Subatlantic (e.g. the periods of 3900-3400 BC, 2800-2600 BC, 2200-2000 BC, 1700-1300 BC, 800 BC- 0 AD, 600-1000 AD and 1200 (or 1300)-1400 AD - sensu Margielewski, 2006). Other issues concern (i) the relation between the climate and geomorphological processes before the LIA onset and after its termination and (ii) the degree of influence of climate and/or increased anthropopresion (in the study area largely coinciding with the LIA period) on the identified geomorphological extremes. 

::: Main aims of the project :::

The main aims of the project are as follows:

1) Identification and typification of characteristic displays of historical geomorphological extremes in the georelief and selected sedimentary sequences.

2) Dating the above mentioned displays by means of geomorphological and geochronological (both absolute and relative) methods.

3) Creation of a time series of geomorphological extremes of the last millennium and its correlation with identified climatic and hydrometeorological extremes.

4) Identification of the LIA position and importance in the geomorphological development of the model area of the Western Beskydy Mts. and their foreground.

5) Estimation of the future development of catastrophic geomorphological processes in the context of current climate change and its future development.

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