Mirosław Szumny


A general review of research into waters’ thermal structure and lake ice cover in the Polish Tatra Mountains

Mirosław Szumny

Przegląd Geograficzny (2017) tom 89, zeszyt 3, pp. 491-512 | Full text
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2017.3.8

Further information

Abstract The article presents a review of research into the thermal structure and ice cover characterising lakes in Poland’s Tatra Mountains, on the basis of two centuries of scientific publications appearing up to 2015. The literature review allowed for the identification of five periods in which research was of differing intensities and quality. The first research carried out in the 19th century is seen to be of limited scientific value, mostly being limited to one-off measurements of morphometry and thermal conditions in the Tatra Mountain lakes. Only the research done by L. Birkenmayer can be regarded as well-planned, detailed and continuous in nature. By contrast, measurements made in the 20th century (mainly on the basis of the better measuring devices making their appearance) have yielded many interesting studies on the thermal conditions present in Tatra Mountain lakes. The measurements made by Lityński were especially important, due to his new and extended classification of Tatra lakes based on changes in water temperature in the summer season and the thermal stratification present through the year. In turn, in the inter-War period, studies became more systematic on both slopes of the Tatra Mountains, and were primarily concerned with winter oxygen content in relation to water temperature. This work bore fruit in the thermal classification of Tatra lakes developed by Szaflarski, who took account of the time at which lakes iced over, as well as maximum temperatures of surface water. After World War II, study of the vertical distribution of temperature in the Tatra lakes was continued with at different times of the year. Here, the result was a distinction drawn in winter between two main types of thermal system. An important event influencing research on lakes in the Tatra Mountains was the ongoing observation of ice-cover thicknesses on the Morskie Oko tarn beginning in 1951 and being engaged in by the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Device development in following years brought the extension of the field study and an increase in the accuracy of measurement of thermal conditions in lakes. The first work on the influence of contemporary climate changes on surface water and the development of ice cover on high-altitude lakes was also carried out and then published. In the second half of the 20th century, the study of maximum ice thicknesses and durations of ice-related events on Morskie Oko confirmed the disappearance of ice phenomena on this lake. Measurement allowed for a better understanding of the relationship between the thickness of the ice cover and lake depth; the dynamics and direction of light and temperature transformations, and the conditioning of stability where the summer stratification of Tatra lakes is concerned. In recent years, the use of thermal imaging cameras to record the dynamics of water temperatures of the surface layer has allowed changes in water temperature at any time interval to be encapsulated. In the context of the literature review of the subject matter, the author poses several questions concerning the extension of modern research to other lakes and further directions of research into the thermal and ice-cover conditions characterising the Tatra lakes. Research on the waters and ice cover of these lakes over 200 years has not given rise to a comprehensive and up-to-date study. This work is therefore an attempt to trace the development of research on the variation and formation of thermal conditions in Tatra Mountain lakes.

Keywords: hydrologia, historia, góry wysokie, Karpaty, Europa Środkowo-Wschodnia


APA: Szumny, M. (2017). Zarys rozwoju badań termiki wód i pokrywy lodowej jezior w polskich Tatrach. Przegląd Geograficzny, 89(3), 491-512. https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2017.3.8
MLA: Szumny, Mirosław. "Zarys rozwoju badań termiki wód i pokrywy lodowej jezior w polskich Tatrach". Przegląd Geograficzny, vol. 89, no. 3, 2017, pp. 491-512. https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2017.3.8
Chicago: Szumny, Mirosław. "Zarys rozwoju badań termiki wód i pokrywy lodowej jezior w polskich Tatrach". Przegląd Geograficzny 89, no. 3 (2017): 491-512. https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2017.3.8
Harvard: Szumny, M. 2017. "Zarys rozwoju badań termiki wód i pokrywy lodowej jezior w polskich Tatrach". Przegląd Geograficzny, vol. 89, no. 3, pp. 491-512. https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2017.3.8