Mass movement hazard in Poland

Category Tectonic & Seismotectonic
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Stefaniuk, Mihal; Ilcewicz-Stefaniuk, Danut; Rybicki, Stanislaw; Slomka, Tadeusz
Holding Date 03 September 2008

The geodynamical hazard over Poland’s territory is mainly connected with landslide processes, which develop at mountain slopes, in escarpments of river valleys and cliff zones of seashore. The activation of landslide processes have been noticed during last several years, particularly in the area of the Carpathians and in some parts of the Baltic Sea coast, where they had locally a disastrous scale. The intensification of landslide processes is likely related to strong atmospheric precipitation or other natural factors, however it can be also induced by incompetent human activity.
The inventory of surface mass movements over Poland’s territory based on archive data, and verified and supplemented by field works was made in the years 2002-2006, as a part of geological work entitled “Identifying and cataloguing natural geological hazards (especially landslides and other geodynamic phenomena) over Poland’s territory”, commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment and financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management. Places of landslides occurrence were reported by “Landslide inventory cards”, which contained fundamental and detailed information on a landslide and terrain conditions where it was formed (landslide position, landslide characteristics, hazards and resulting damages, kind and range of preventive measures, preventive directions, information on landslide study level). It is essential, that the form of the card and type of data writing were adjusted to the requirements of a computer database.
Based on similar genesis and similar geological and geomorphological conditions of landslides as well as zones of their concentration, the following regions endangered by intense landslide processes were separated: the Baltic Sea coast with active landslide processes, mainly at cliffs and in narrow zones of coastal abrasion; moraine hills of northern Poland with numerous landslides of small size; the Vistula river valley and its ice-marginal valley with lower courses of the tributaries; valleys and ice-marginal valleys of central and western Poland; loess areas of the Lublin region and Roztocze range of hills; the Kielce region including the Holly Cross Mts. and adjoining areas; the Carpathian Foredeep filled with deposits with great capability of developing landslide processes, and the Sudetes Mts. and their foreland.
The goal of the project is to create a database containing risks caused by the geodynamic phenomena. The database will be used to plan preventive action and spatial management of the threatened areas. The cataloguing is carried out on the basis of archive data which are verified and updated and supplemented with new field data. The project focuses on the documentation of landslides and other surface mass movements over Poland’s territory excluding the Carpathians (which are the subject of a separate project).