Department of Geoenvironmental Research


Research profile

Station constitutes a convenient base for geomorphological, climatic and geobotanic investigations, on account of its highly favourably location. Geomorphological studies center around recognition of relief evolution and examination of its contemporary transformations. Among most important accomplishments can be mentioned as follows:

  • the course and volume of contemporary gravitation processes (Kotarba et al. 1983), and at a later stage, denudation system of the Tatras (Kotarba et al. 1987);
  • variability of morphogenetic seasons in a year (Kłapa 1980);
  • determinant factors behind and role of rock debris discharge (i.a., Kotarba 1992, 1997);
  • variability in intensity of morphological processes in the Holocene (i.a., Baumgart-Kotarba, Kotarba, 1993; Kotarba 1996), and chiefly in the period of Little Ice Age (Kotarba 1995, 2004), the Pleistocene glacial relief and deglaciation of the Dolina Suchej Wody valley (i.a., Baumgart-Kotarba, Kotarba, 1993, 2001),
  • identification of determinant factors underpinning occurrence of perennial permafrost (Kędzia 2005, Mościcki i Kędzia 2002) oraz przebiegu procesów peryglacjalnych (Rączkowska 2007).
View of the Station and meteorological garden in winter

At present time, the studies concentrate on monitoring of relief response and on climate changes. Climatic studies focus on microclimatic and topoclimatic issus. The most important achievement is determination of spatial variability of radiation conditions (Baranowski 2003, 2007), thermal conditions at ground level and microclimatic conditions that determine the course of the upper limit of forest (Baranowski et al. 2004, Gądek, Kędzia 2008). Studies on vegetation deal with plant communities mapping in various scales (from micro to landscape scales) as well as with investigation into dynamics of changes. As a result of these studies, vegetation maps (Kozłowska 2006) and identification of transition zones between vegetation types (Kozłowska 2001, 2007) were carried out. Interdisciplinary studies are carried out. Among most important scientific accomplishments are: determination relationships between relief and vegetation (Rączkowska, Kozłowska, Jakomulska 1999, Kozłowska, Rączkowska 2006).

Measurement of snow cover on the Hala Gąsienicowa, the Tatra Mts. (S. Kędzia in the photograph)