Original paper

The role of gravitational processes in shaping sandstone rock landforms in low mountains: Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains, central Poland

Urban, Jan


Gravitational movements have been among the most important processes shaping groups of natural sandstone outcrops (crags) which are relatively abundant in the Świętokrzyskie Mts, a low mountain-upland region in central Poland. The study examines the effects of these movements, using both detailed descriptions of several sites and general observations from around 40 groups of rock landforms. The occurrence of clay/silt/marl substrata under rather thin sandstone series was the crucial factor controlling block movements over distances of tens of meters across a low angle slopes (5–20° and even less). The second gravitational process associated with the sandstone crag formation was detachment of sand grains due to mechanical weathering and formation of detrital periglacial slope covers, leading to stripping of rock cliffs. Both processes were active during the last Pleistocene glaciation, however the slope covers effectively developed during the whole Pleniglacial, whereas the displacements of blocks were caused by deformation of the sandstone substratum related to permafrost degradation in the Late Glacial.


quaternaryświętokrzyskie mtssandstonelow mountainsnatural rock forms