During the past year, Romanian researchers have developed glacial, periglacial and permafrost research in the Romanian Carpathians. The Geography Department of the West University of Timisoara works on the Research Project financed by National Council for Superior Education Scientific Research (CNCSIS) entitled «Geographical risk phenomena in the alpine belt of the Southern Carpathians: use of GIS technique and the achievment of maps of risk phenomena» (Mircea Voiculescu).

Under the leadership of Petru Urdea, another research project, «The impact of the climatic changes upon the Holocene and present dynamics of the alpine environment from the Romanian Carpathians: implications in the risk management and landscape’s arrangement (MEDALP)» started. The project is in collaboration with scientists from other institutions (West Univ. of Timisoara; Univ. of Bucharest; National Inst. for Forest Research, Campulung- Moldovenesc Branch; Inst. of Geography of the Romanian Acad., National Authority of Meteorology). The project has two major research directions: (1) the Holocene to present evolution of the alpine landscape in the Romanian Carpathians; (2) the analysis of the present geomorphologic processes, including the monitoring of permafrost and periglacial processes, and drawing of large scale maps of the landscape and geomorphologic risks in order to conserve the natural environment.

Glacial and periglacial relief and relict permafrost indicators were studied by Smaranda Simoni (Univ. of Pitesti) in Zarna–Leoata area (Fagaras Mts.), by Marcel Mandrescu (Univ. of Suceava) in Suhard and Tibles Mts. (Eastern Carpathians) and in Calimani Mts. by a team from «Univ. of Budapest, Hungary, lead by Nagy Balaz. Alexandru Onaca (West Univ. of Timisoara) started investigations in the Capatanii Mts. (Southern Carpathians).

The Second International Workshop «Alpine Geomorphology and Mountain Hazard» took place September 14-17, 2006, at Bâlea Cascada (Fagaras Mountains). This workshop was organized by the Department of Geography, West Univ. of Timisoara, under the scientific coordination of the Carpatho-Balkan Geomorphologic Commission, Romanian Association of Geomorphologists, and the Institute of Geography of the Romanian Academy. Participants were from Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic and Romania. The field trip was held in the Doamnei valley, an area with expressive late glacial and periglacial landforms.

Petru Urdea (urdeap@rectorat.uvt.ro)