Activities of the Periglacial Romanian Research Group during 2009 focused on (1) geophysical investigations on glacial and periglacial deposits, (2) climate change through meteorological and climatological data in Carpathian Mountains, (3) paleoenvironmental reconstruction of glacial and periglacial environments in Romanian mountain area, connected especially to relict rock glaciers.
At the Department of Geography, West University of Timişoara, P. Urdea and his team (M. Torok-Oance, M. Ardelean, F. Ardelean, A. Onaca) are continuing the application of 2D electrical resistivity tomography, with measurements on rock glaciers, scree slopes and solifluction lobes in Făgăraş Mountains, the highest Romanian mountains. Also, the Bâlea area (central part of Făgăraş Mountains) is being used by P. Urdea and A. Onaca to introduce undergraduate students to glacial and periglacial geomorphology through a 7 days final second year field trip. A new area in the Southern Carpathians has been mapped and studied geomorphologically, the periglacial forms seem to have been active during the Little Ice Age, a cooling being proven by dendroclimatological and dendroecological analyses, carried out by I. Popa (Forest Research Station Câmpulung Moldovenesc).
In order to investigate the coupling between several periglacial processes and climate - in the context of the global warming, a project on collecting meteorological data series from the periglacial belt was launched by the collaboration between two teams from University of Bucharest, headed by A. Vespremeanu-Stroe, and from West University of Timişoara, headed by P. Urdea. The studies of temperature regime of the ground (solifluctional forms, rock glaciers, earth hummocks) and free face-rocks walls are carried out year-round at a network of permanent sites established at high altitude in the Eastern and Southern Carpathians, with a focus on the Retezat and Făgăraş Mountains. Over 100 data loggers for temperatures and humidity have been installed. The investigators undertook Basal Temperatures of Snow (BTS) measurements, geodetic measurements (with Sokkia 610 topographic station) monitored the Pietrele and Valea Rea rockglacier movements and the water temperatures of the springs situated on the front of 7 rock glaciers in Retezat Mountains. Also, the team led by A. Vespremeanu-Stroe has been conducting morphometric analyses of the shape of Carpathian relict rock glaciers.
A. Munteanu (Bucharest University) and E. Marinescu (Craiova University) defended their PhD thesis on the geomorphology of Piatra Craiului Mountains and, respectively, Gilort basin (Southern Carpathians), with special chapters dedicated to glacial and periglacial forms and processes.
Petru Urdea (firstname.lastname@example.org)