Problemy czwartorzędu Gór Świętokrzyskich

Stefan Z. Różycki


Problems of Quaternary deposits of the Holy Cross Mts (Southern Poland)

The development of Quaternary deposits lin the Holy Cross Mts, being the. most elevated part of the Małopolska (little Poland) Upland (611 m a. s. 1.), is different when compared with other areas of north and south Poland. The territory under consideration exhibits diversified morphology of the older fundament, consisting of all geological formations from Cambrian to Miocene. Climatic changes during Pleistocene were depending here on the horizontal and vertical migration of the main 'climatic zones. Specific character of the Quaternary (deposits of the Holy Cross Mts and their considerable local variability is caused by the above mentioned factors as well as by diversity of rocks of the fundament and steep inclination of slopes. Consequently the methods of examination of these deposits should be to some extent different when compared with those applied to Quaternary formations on lowland areas. Comparatively large denivelations (100—400 m) of the mountainous ridges., being obliquely oriented in regard to the direction of advance of the ice-sheet, caused a division of their front into several tongues. The latters, advancing in different direction (even from S to N) and with different velocity were closing some fragments of valleys to form aqueous basins or „oases” surrounded entirely by ice. Repeated changes of glaciers configuration, and of the morphology of their surface resulted in considerable changes in drainage system. The elevations met by advancing glacier were subjected to exaration giving moutonnized forms and accumulation of abundant local material in the moraines. When during the Cracovian Glaciation (Mindel) this whole area was covered by ice-sheet, zone of crevasses were formed along the highest parts of the ridges. During the Middle Polish Glaciation (Riss) the ice-sheet surrounded from three sides the Holy Cross Mts and its front was supported in numerous places on steep slopes of their higher elevations. The above character of slopes, consisting of very different rocks, favoured repeated development of solifluction under periglacial conditions. The products of these processes occur several times in cross-section from the oldest cool period (Gunz) preceding the Cracovian Glaciation. Patches of loesses, accumulated within the eolian shadows of elevations, enable to carry out an aerodynamic analysis of dust carrying low wind systems. These data supplemented by granulometric and petrographieal analysis of loesses (especially concerning the content of local constituents) may indicate the directions of winds. These examinations have to be carried out separately for individual leoss horizons, which may be distinguished basing on paleopedological typology of buried soils separating them. For ecological characteristics of accumulation environment of loesses it is essential to determine which part of caileium carbonate contained in them is of organic origin (calcareous algae). Decisive results both in this respect and to the stratigraphy will be certainly obtained by palynological examination of loess profiles using new excellent M.P. Griczukova’s method (1967). During the periods of climatic warming, when preglacial morphology was emerging, considerable amounts of outwash material was accumulating below the slopes. It was not immediately transported to the rivers which consequently could deepen their valleys in connection with very low position of erosion bases. During the postoptimal periods of interglacials there is a tendency to diminish the (inclination of slopes. Thus the weathering and outwash products are transported to rivers and their valleys are filled by accumulation. Among alluvial deposits there is a great possibility to find old river beds which can give good palynological spectra enabling their age determination. Very valuable are also findings of mammalian bones since even those, not identified specifically, can be used for dating by means of fluor- -chlor-apatite method. The Whole Holly Cross Mts region is subdivided into several individual landscape units displaying considerable local differentiation of development of Quaternary deposits. Methods of examinations used in other regions of the Polish lowland should be considerably modified here. Particular attention has to be paid to the consequent application of palaeogeomorphological methods and their strict connection with cAimatoistratigraphy. Any schematism based on experiences transferred from lowland areas is anadmissible when examining Quaternary deposits of the Holy Cross Mts.

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