Origin and age of the Cracow Canyon, Western Tatra Mts

Leszek Lindner


The Cracow Canyon, one of the largest and most picturesque morphological forms in the Tatra Mountains owes its origin to karst phenomena. Observations on the development of similar forms under polar climatic conditions in Spitsbergen suggest that they originated mainly due to activity of meltwaters derived from perennial snows. The origin of the Cracow Canyon has been initiated at the Tertiary decline, and during the Quaternary the Canyon has been deepened due to the activity of meltwaters coming from the snow deposited on the flat surfaces around its upper part. Numerous caves preserved in the cliffs of the Canyon are remnants of underground tributary flows. The deepest, lower part of the Canyon originated in result of a collapse of a cave collecting the meltwaters.

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