10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Permafrost distribution in the Southern Carpathians, Romania, derived from statistical modeling 

Răzvan Popescu1, Simon Filhol2, Bernd Etzelmüller2, Ionuț Șandric1, Alin Pleșoianu1, Marina Vîrghileanu1, Ionuț Săvulescu1, Mirela Vasile3, Nicolae Cruceru4, Alfred Vespremeanu-Stroe1, Sebastian Westermann2, Flavius Sîrbu5, Alexandru Onaca5, Bogdan Mihai1, and Alexandru Nedelea1
Răzvan Popescu et al.
  • 1Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
  • 2Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  • 3University of Buchares Research Institute, Bucharest, Romania
  • 4Emil Racoviță Institute of Speleology, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania
  • 5West University of Timișoara, Timișoara, Romania

Mountain permafrost and rock glaciers have been intensely investigated in Southern Carpathians highest ranges in the last 15 years using thermal, geophysical and remote sensing methods. However, a complete estimation of permafrost area has not been done so far. Thus, using statistical modeling we intend to offer an image of potential permafrost distribution in Southern Carpathians ranges of Făgăraș, Iezer, Parâng, Retezat, Godeanu and Țarcu. Model 1 is based on machine learning algorithms and model 2 is based on Maxent model. Both models use bottom temperature of snow (BTS) data as independent variable and land cover, altitude, slope curvature, solar radiation and snow probability as independent variables. Land cover is considered the key variable as the field methods indicated that permafrost can only be present in the talus deposits that produce negative thermal anomalies in the underground. Results indicated an area of about 45-60 km2 of potential permafrost distribution depending on the BTS threshold used for permafrost presence (-3°C, -2.5°C and -2°C). This represent about 0.01% from a total surface of about 4334 km2 of the six ranges used in this analysis being a typical sporadic mountain permafrost in a marginal periglacial environment.

How to cite: Popescu, R., Filhol, S., Etzelmüller, B., Șandric, I., Pleșoianu, A., Vîrghileanu, M., Săvulescu, I., Vasile, M., Cruceru, N., Vespremeanu-Stroe, A., Westermann, S., Sîrbu, F., Onaca, A., Mihai, B., and Nedelea, A.: Permafrost distribution in the Southern Carpathians, Romania, derived from statistical modeling , 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-655, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-655, 2022.