The thermal waters of Podhale, southern Poland: history of research, genesis and utility

Danuta Małecka


This paper outlines hypotheses relating the dip of Tatra strata beneath the Podhale Flysch to deep groundwater flow through the systems of fissures and karst caverns. Attempts by J. Gołšb and S. Sokołowski to constrain hypotheses through a series of exploratory-exploitational drillings led to the discovery in 1963 of thermal artesian waters in the Tatra foreland. These are of meteoric origin with total dissolved solids from 0.2 g/dm3 in the Tatra area to 3.0 g/dm3 in the central and near-Pieniny parts of the basin. Palaeogene strata are important in controlling the hydrogeology of the Podhale artesian basin. The Tatra Mountains are a recharge area for the Podhale basin whereas the Pieniny Klippen Belt seems to be an impermeable shield preventing further groundwater flow to the north. Within the southern flank of the basin the groundwaters are used as a local source of drinking water as well as to supply thermal baths in Zakopane. Furthermore, the geothermal energy from the Podhale basin provides a supply of clean, environment-friendly domestic heating.


Tatra Mts.; thermal waters; artesian basin; recharge area; age of water; geothermal energy

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