Changes in the morphology of the step pool channels in the high-mountain ski resort without artificial snowmaking. An example from the Polish Tatra Mountains
- 1Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spatial Managment, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Kraków, Poland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 2Jagiellonian University, Institute of Geography and Spatial Managment, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Kraków, Poland (email@example.com)
The development and maintenance of ski resorts cause serious damage to the environment. Especially, the most severe changes can occur in the most sensitive environments such as high mountains, alpine ecosystem. The proper functioning of ski resorts based on some activities e.g. snow grooming, artificial snowmaking, and ski lifts conservation. This research we conducted in the only alpine ski resort in Poland, located in Kasprowy Wierch in the Tatra National Park in Tatra Mountains. Due to nature conservation law, the ski resort does not use artificial snowmaking. The main problems in this area are snow grooming and changes in the snow cover period. Snow groomers compact snow, which causes delay in spring thaws. Furthermore, in places where snow cover is thinner, snow groomers damage alpine vegetation and prepare conditions for soil erosion. Changes in snow cover, spring thaws, and water outflows intensify hillslope processes. It can lead to contact between hillslope and fluvial systems. The aim of this study is to recognize the influence of ski resort maintenance on the morphology of step-pool channels. We analyzed 4 step-pool channels: 2 are located within the area of ski runs and 2 on the hillslopes without ski runs. Drainage area, channel length, channel gradient, channel width, step height, step spacing, and particle size were analyzed. We measured 148 channel steps and 1,2 km of channels. The measured parameters were used in the statistical analyses: Pearson correlation and PCA. The results indicate that the step-pool channels within the area of ski runs are distinguished by a greater number of statistically significant relations typical of fluvial processes. The morphology of channels on the hillslopes without ski runs are dominated by relationships characterized as a typical effect of the hillslope processes. The results suggest that maintenance of ski resorts based on snow grooming and snow compaction can intensify fluvial processes in the step-pool channels in alpine environment, due to changes in snow melting patterns.
This research is part of the project “Impact of skiing on high mountain catchment morphodynamic. An example from Kasprowy Wierch region, Polish Tatras” funded by the National Science Centre, Poland (Grant No. 2020/37/N/ST10/02550).
How to cite: Piątek, D. and Gołąb, A.: Changes in the morphology of the step pool channels in the high-mountain ski resort without artificial snowmaking. An example from the Polish Tatra Mountains, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-6895, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu23-6895, 2023.