SNOW AVALANCHE ACTIVITY IN PARÂNG SKI AREA REVEALED BY TREE-RINGS
F. MESEȘAN1, O. POP1, IONELA GEORGIANA GAVRILĂ1
1 Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, 400006, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, e-mails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
ABSTRACT. – Snow Avalanche Activity in Parâng Ski Area Revealed by Tree-Rings. Snow avalanches hold favorable conditions to manifest in Parâng Mountains but only one event is historically known, without destructive impact upon infrastructure or fatalities and this region wasn’t yet the object of avalanche research. The existing ski infrastructure of Parâng resort located in the west of Parâng Mountains is proposed to be extended in the steep slopes of subalpine area. Field evidence pinpoints that these steep slopes were affected by snow avalanches in the past. In this study we analyzed 11 stem discs and 31 increment cores extracted from 22 spruces (Picea abies (L.) Karst) impacted by avalanches, in order to obtain more information about past avalanches activity. Using the dendrogeomorphological approach we found 13 avalanche events that occurred along Scărița avalanche path, since 1935 until 2012, nine of them produced in the last 20 years. The tree-rings data inferred an intense snow avalanche activity along this avalanche path. This study not only calls for more research in the study area but also proves that snow avalanches could constitute an important restrictive factor for the tourism infrastructure and related activities in the area. It must be taken into consideration by the future extension of tourism infrastructure. Keywords: snow avalanche, Parâng Mountains, dendrogeomorphology, ski area.