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The activities of the members of Romanian Permafrost and Periglacial Research Group in 2010 was carried out by an increasing number of experienced and younger scientists.

At the Department of Geography, West University of Timişoara, P. Urdea and his team (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, magnetic susceptibility meter and thermal characteristic meter (conductivity, diffusivity) in the investigation of periglacial forms (earth hummocks, solifluctional forms). Our team and several undergraduate and graduate students undertook additional new data at several test sites -Valea Doamnei, Văiuga cirque, Paltina (Făgăraş Mountains), Bucura (Retezat Mountains, Detunata Goală (Apuseni Mts.) - by geophysical investigations (ERT, GPR), ground temperature sensors on rock glaciers, scree slopes and rock walls, solifluction lobes, small sorted nets. In addition, detailed 2D electrical resistivity tomography was used to detect subsurface frost structures of patterned ground in Căleanu Mountain (2190 m a.s.l; Ţarcu Mts.), or of morainic complex and fossil palsa in Soarbele Valley (Godeanu Mts.). Using GIS technology, a series of digital maps of various scales have been realized for the alpine area of the Transylvanian Alps by M. Törok-Oance and F. Ardelean (West University of Timişoara) oronatural environment of Yakutia (IMZ SB RAS).


Magnetic susceptibility measurement on solifluction lobe Paltina (Făgăraş Mountains). (Photograph provided by Petru Urdea).


DC resistivity investigations on the fossil patterned ground Căleanu Mountain (Ţarcu Mountains). (Photograph provided by Petru Urdea).

During 2010, the Bucharest University team (A. Vespremeanu-Stroe, R. Popescu, M. Vasile) extended the investigation of rock glacier permafrost in the Parâng Mountains, where BTS measurements were conducted and commenced the thermal monitoring of a low altitude permafrost at Detunata Goală in Apuseni Mountains. Continuous GST measurements using digital data loggers continued at the existing sites in Făgăraş and Retezat Mountains and the monitoring of other rock glaciers was initiated. Also, temperature sensors have been placed within debris cones and debris slopes in order to determine their thermal regime and possible permafrost conditions. Preliminary results concerning rock freeze-thaw regime and effectiveness were obtain for the alpine sector of the Southern Carpathians (Bucegi and Retezat Mountains). Frost processes are currently analyzed on different altitudinal floors and exposures in order to establish the impact of frost weathering on present and past debris production. Miniature temperature sensors placed at different depths in rock are intended to give the dimension of frost penetration in the periglacial area of the Southern Carpathians.

Aurel Perşoiu and Bogdan Onac (Speological Institute “E. Racovitză’’, Department of Geology Cluj –Napoca)  continued the research in ice caves in Romania  throughout 2010, mainly in Scarisoara Ice Cave. Stable isotope analysis have been carried out on ice and water samples from the cave in order to elucidate the mechanisms by which the climatic signal recorded in the stable isotope composition of precipitation is transfered to the ice. The results are promising, as they show that it is possible to extract a climatic signal from ice affected by complex melting and freezing processes, despite previous concerns on the matter. Further, ice mass balance measurements and radiocarbon dating allowed us to (partly) reconstruct the genesis and past history of the ice block, over the last ca. 1000 years.

M. Dumitrescu (Bucharest) started his investigations on glacial and periglacial landforms in the upper part of Bratia basin (south slope of Făgăraş Mountains) and R. Putan (West University of Timişoara) has started his master project investigating the earth hummocks and ploughing blocks from alpine area of Şureanu Mountains.

Finally, M. Ardelean (West University of Timişoara) successfull finalized in December 2010 his PhD dissertation ,,Piule-Iorgovanu Mountains - Geomorphological Study", with a consistent part dedicated of the glacial and periglacial landforms. Also O. Pop (,,Babeş-Bolyai’’ University Cluj-Napoca) have been finalized PhD thesis ,,Etude comparative des processus géomorphologiques contemporains dans les massifs volcaniques du Sancy (France) et du Călimani (Roumanie)’’.
A special volume ,,Dendrogéomorphologie et dendroclimatologie-méthodes de reconstitution des milieux géomorphologiques et climatiques des régions montagneuses’’ edited by V. Surdeanu (Cluj-Napoca)  Markus Stoffel (Berne), O. Pop (Cluj-Napoca), Edit. Presa Universitară Clujeană,159 p. 2010, containing a collection of papers which present the first major synthesis of current knowledge on Romanian dendrogeomorphology and dendrochronology, main dedicated on mountain area.

Petru Urdea (urdea@cbg.uvt.ro)