In 2008, the activities of the members of Romanian Permafrost and Periglacial Research Group continued in all regions of the Romanian Carpathians.

The projects stemming from the Research Grant provided by the CNCSIS (National Council for Superior Education Scientific Research) and entitled “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” led by P. Urdea, West University of Timisoara, and A. Vespremeanu- Stroie, University of Bucharest, were completed in September. Some results of this project can be viewed at http://www.cbg. uvt.ro/geografi e/cercetare/granturi/medalp/medalp.htm. 

Investigations also continued in the Transsylvanian Alps (Retezat, Fagaras, Godeanu and Sureanu Mountains) and in the highest area of the Eastern Carpathians (Rodnei Mountains). The application of 2D electrical resistivity tomography were performed in conjunction with measurements on rock glaciers, solifluction terraces, on moraines and thermokarst depressions in the Fagaras Mountains, on scree slopes, moraines, thermokarst depressions and glacial overdeepening in the Godeanu Mountains, and on depression filled with postglacial sediments in the Rodnei Mountains. Core samples were also retrived from glacial lake Lala Mare and from the thermokarst depression Stiol in the Rodnei Mountains and from Sureanu Lake (Sureanu Mountains). 

The study of temperature regime of the ground and rocks are carried out year-round at the network of permanent sites established at high altitude in the Eastern and Southern Carpathians. Over 100 data loggers for temperatures and humidity have been installed. Concurrently, Basal Temperature of Snow (BTS) measurements and water springs temperatures were performed on rock glaciers in the Retezat Mountains.

At the Department of Geography, West University of Timisoara, P. Urdea and his team (M. Torok-Oance, M. Ardelean, F. Ardelean, A. Onaca) are continuing frost heaving and depth of frost monitoring program in the Muntele Mic area, and have implemented a program using thermal photography and infrared cameras in the investigation of periglacial forms.

A. Persoiu and B. Onac from Department of Geology and Speological Institute “E. Racovitza’’ Cluj –Napoca are pursuing a multidisciplinary study of ice caves, a particular form of sporadic permafrost and/or extra-zonal permafrost, focusing on the isotope hydrological monitoring in Bortig Ice Cave (in cooperation with I. Fórizs, Z. Kern, B. Nagy, P. László, University of Budapest, Hungary) , the relation between paleoclimate and perennial ice accumulations and climate changes, as observed in ice dynamics in Scarisoara Cave (Apuseni Mountains). O. Pop (Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca) is beginning a program of dendrochronology on debris fl ows in Calimani Mountains (Eastern Carpathians).

The Institute of Geography of the Romanian Academy in cooperation with six other universities (including University of Bucharest, University “Babes- Bolyai” Cluj Napoca, West University of Timisoara, University of Oradea) organized the IAG Regional Conference on Geomorphology ”Landslides, Floods and Global Environmental Change in Mountain Regions” with a separate workshop ”Climate Change and Extreme Events in Mountain Regions”. 150 scientists from 30 countries participated in the oral and poster sessions, and in the three field excursions. The excursion 3 ,”Vertical zonation of fl oods and mass movements in the Carpathians Mountains” was focused on the geomorphologic specifi city of the central part of the Fagaras Mountains, Bâlea area. The team of West University of Timisoara presented the results of 2D electrical resistivity tomography investigation on rock glaciers, scree slopes, solifl uction lobes, fossil patterned ground and glacial overdeepening depression fi lled with postglacial sediments in the Bâlea-Capra area.

Petru Urdea (urdea@cbg.uvt.ro)