Original paper

Debris slope morphodynamics as a permafrost indicator in the zone of sporadic permafrost, High Tatras, Slovakia

Gądek, Bogdan; Rączkowska, Zofi; Żogała, Bogdan


The aim of the paper is to identify morphodynamic features of the debris slope that might serve as permafrost indicators in the zone of its sporadic occurrence. The studies were performed in the Medena kotlina valley, the Slovak High Tatras. The identification was based on geophysical investigations (monitoring of GST, FEM and VES) which resulted in recognition of horizontal and vertical extend of permafrost as well as active layer depth. The geophysical examination was complied with geomorphological studies (detailed geomorphological mapping, measurement of debris fabric and transfer). Analysis of the slope relief in the study area does not provide unequivocal evidences of permafrost influence. Neither permafrost indicative landforms nor large periglacial forms were found. The presence of permafrost in debris slope is reflected by a significant slope surface instability - lack of compaction, cracks around boulders submerged in fine material (loosing of material), mobility of debris and clast fabric.