Original paper

Morphology and Solution Relationships of three Karren Slopes in different Environments (Totes Gebirge, Eastern Alps)

Veress, Márton


We compared karren formation of various slopes (three bare slopes and two with a plant patch) in a glacier valley close to Tragl peak (in Totes Gebirge, Austria). They were covered with a net of 50 × 50 cm mesh size for mapping purposes. Karren features of the slopes were mapped, their width and depth were measured along profiles. The averages of the specific width of the rinnenkarren (channels, runnels), the specific cross section area of the runnel and runnel density were calculated and averages for profiles and slope segments. It could be established that bare slopes have a larger average specific width, channel shape and channel density. The specific width and the specific cross-section area decrease moving from the lower parts towards the upper margin on bare slopes but they increase towards the margin of the plant patch on the slopes with a plant patch. The phenomena can be explained by the fact that the solution capacity is increased by the plant patch. Additional amounts of water with solution capacity flow from the surrounding surfaces into the karren forms on bare slopes. Therefore the solution capacity does not decrease down slope but increases. The solution capacity is low but scattered on the upper part of the bare slope but is intensive and concentrated on the upper part of the slope fed from a plant patch. The dynamics of karren features are different on the bare slopes and slopes fed from a plant patch. Karren features tend to widen on bare slopes, while they tend to deepen on slopes with a plant patch. The specific width is greater on slope with Pinus mugo than on slopes with a grass patch, and the specific cross-section area of the channel is also greater. Hence the solution intensity is higher on slopes fed from Pinus mugo than on slopes fed from a grass patch.