Geografie 2008, 113, 400-416

Main features of geomorphology of the Sudetes re-assessed in the light of digital elevation model

Piotr Migoń

University of Wrocław, Department of Geography and Regional Development, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland

The Sudetes as a geomorphological region are distinguished by complicated spatial pattern of high- and low-altitude terrains and variable mean slope gradients across the range. Several conceptual models have been proposed to account for this variability, emphasizing the significance of planation surfaces, intramontane basins, climate-controlled landform generations, or differential uplift and subsidence. An analysis of a digital elevation model and maps derived from the model have allowed for re-assessment of some of those hypotheses and concepts. It confirms that differential tectonics explains best the morphological layout of the Sudetes, but its effects are superimposed on a variety of rock - landform relationships. Neither the model emphasizing the occurrence of tiered levels of relict planation surfaces, nor one assuming the widespread existence of distinctive landforms of tropical morphogenesis find support in the light of region-wide DEM analysis. The general landform pattern of the western part of the Sudetes differs from the one in the eastern part, the difference being the abundance of intramontane basins in the former.