Dendrogeomorphological analysis of the Sawicki Landslide in the Beskid Niski Mountains (S Poland)

Marek Krąpiec, Natalia Nawrocka, Włodzimierz Margielewski, Elżbieta Szychowska-Krąpiec


We applied dendrochronological analysis to study an extensive (~2.5 km long) complex-type landslide in the Beskid Niski Mountains (Polish Flysch Carpathians), which was rejuvenated in historical time (the earliest transformation occurred in 1913). We used three complementary methods (dating of eccentricity of annual growth rings, eccentricity indices, and analysis of reaction wood), based on seven species of deciduous and coniferous trees. A total of 204 trees were sampled and 408 cores collected using a Pressler increment borer. Based on the dendrochronological analysis, the activity of various parts of the landslide in the past century is presented, which appears to have been diverse and influenced mostly by precipitation. The upper part of the landslide was active from the 1920s until the 1940s. In the middle section of the landslide, intensifications of gravitational movement were repeatedly recorded after intense rainfalls throughout the entirety of the last century. The highest landslide activity was dendrochronologically detected in the 1980s and 1990s. Increasing landslide activity during so-called “dry years” may have been  related to quick drying of the bedrock, resulting in changes in rock strength parameters. Our results indicate significant susceptibility of this particular slope-valley geosystem in response to even slight hydrogeological changes (including dryness), which can trigger ground movement.


dendrogeomorphological analysis, complementary method, complex-type landslide, Polish Flysch Carpathians, Southern Poland

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