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Volume [:ro]XX[:] |

Role of media in managing environmental conflicts in Rovinari Thermal Power Plant area, Gorj County, Romania

Abstract: Thermal power plants currently contribute significantly to global energy production. However, they cause a series of environmental conflicts through pollution and environmental degradation processes. In this context, people, as well as a number of environmental organisations, NGOs, and mainly the media play an important role in managing these conflicts. In this study, we aimed to analyse how the media can contribute to the management of environmental conflicts generated by the Rovinari thermal power plant in Gorj County, Romania. Its impact is highly visible in the village of Rogojel (Farcăşeşti township), which is located in the immediate vicinity of the thermal power plant, owing to the noise produced by the conveyor belts and excavators, as well as the air pollution generated by the coal dust. Residents have submitted a series of complaints to the Environmental Guard, the Government, and the European Commission. As a method of investigating the situation, both local and national media, which have become a real agora where citizens express their dissatisfaction were chosen. Ziare.com was chosen as a news archive, where 20 volunteers read 24 news articles. When asked if the article reflects concerns regarding the environment, a total of 276 affirmative answers were obtained. In addition, when volunteers were asked how much violence and tension does the article convey, a total of 136 responses were obtained for maximum violence and 160 for high violence. The Cronbach Alpha index had values of 0.73 and 0.66 in the first and second cases, respectively. The articles and strong words of the volunteers were analysed using NVivo software to calculate their frequency and the degree of correct results. Currently, the situation is still open to debate, beyond the unlikely solution of relocating the entire locality or closing the thermal power plant.

Volume XIV |

Snow avalanche tracks mapping within Bâlea glacial valley (the Făgăraș Mountains) using semi-automated detection methods

Abstract: Mapping of snow avalanche tracks based on topographic maps, aerophotos and field data to achieve inventories for the whole mountaineous areas in Romania is an important step in snow avalanche risk assessment and other related geomorphic processes. This requires experience and it is a time consuming process. In the absence of field data, the process of snow avalanche tracks mapping is influenced by the subjectivity of those who digitize.
Thus, we propose a semi-automated method for detection of snow avalanche tracks based mainly on geomorphometric parameters that can be extracted from the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) like slope gradient, plan and profile curvature, mean curvature, runoff.
In this study we used an object based analysis to detect snow avalanche tracks in central part of the Făgăraș Mts. This approach has two steps, segmentation and classification. First, we segmented the area based on plan curvature (which is the most important parameter that describes these snow avalanche tracks) in order to obtain objects. In the process of classification we added other conditions such as fuzzy function for slope gradient, thresholds for altitude and runoff and a shape index of objects. The results obtained were very close to the mapped tracks using digitizing techniques. The maps resulted from the classification were compared to the those resulted from digitizing in both number of objects and spatial agreement of the class of objects. There was a very good fit in case of the number of objects and total area of objects. The method could be improved if we apply on high resolution DEMs and also on more case studies with different topography and existing vector database.

Volume XI |

Patterns of winter tourism activity in the Bucegi Mountains – the Prahova Valley (the Southern Carpathians)

Abstract: The Bucegi Mountains and the Prahova Valley represent the most important destinations for winter tourism activities, of great heritage value in the Southern Carpathians – Romanian Carpathians. A number of resorts have developed here over time, currently enjoying great popularity among those keen on such activities. This article aims at presenting, on the one hand, the natural features (terrain factors and climate variables) favourable for winter tourism activities, and on the other, our results concerning the statistical analysis of the accommodation infrastructure, ski amenities and tourist flow. The expansion of the ski area and the development perspectives of the existing infrastructure as much as the local, regional and national authorities’ interest represent the premises for hosting the winter edition of the European Youth Olympic Festival, in 2013 and the Winter Olympic Games in the year 2020 in the outlined area.

Volume X |

Features of the Ski Area from the Romanian Banat

Abstract: The Romanian Banat is endowed with an important mountain area composed of the Banatului Mountains and the north-western part of the Retezeat-Godeanu Range, i.e. Ţarcu – Muntele Mic. The purpose of our paper is to make an account of the features of the two important ski areas within this mountain area: Ţarcu – Muntele Mic and Semenic. Their structure evolved over time according to the local and regional interest, but also due to more recent activities of the Romanian investors. Our research concluded that both ski domains have a great natural potential to sustain winter-sports and to further develop what today are two very small resorts. They have a low capability of attraction due to the small capacity of the pistes and to the fact that each resort has only two ski-lifts. In both cases the access is rather limited and as far as accommodation is concerned in both cases it is disproportional in relation with the provisioned capacity of the ski pistes. Having these aspects in view, we conclude that these resorts do not represent as yet a major attraction, especially due to the fact that there are undercapitalized and underdeveloped for the raising demand of the regional market for winter-sports. On the other hand in both cases projects have already been blue-printed by the aforementioned investors which are waiting to be undertaken for development.

Volume IX |

The Use of the Digital Terrain Model in Analyzing the Natural Potential of the Muntele Mic – Poiana Mărului – Ţarcu Mountains Tourist Area to Extend and Plan the Ski Domain

Abstract: The present study aims at examining the natural potential of the region as a prerequisite for the planning and the expansion of the ski domain, in order to reinvigorate the resorts Muntele Mic and Poiana Mărului. The factors taken into account to identify the best areas for planning new ski tracks are: the altitude, the slope, the orientation of the slopes to the solar radiation, the duration and the thickness of the snow layer, the land use, the risk of snow avalanches occurrence and the degree of accessibility. Because the factors considered don’t have the same importance for the favorability, before the combination of the factors, we used the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) implemented by the IDRISI Andes software to assign for each factor a relative weight to use in the analysis. The risk of snow avalanches occurrence was considered as restrictive factor (Boolean factor). The combination of factors by Weight of Evidence method resulted in the creation of the final model, which presents the probability map for new ski tracks. The probability degree varies continuously in space, from a very high probability (255) to a very low probability (0) depending on the combination mode in a certain area of the considered factors and their weight. We considered as optimal areas only the areas with values above 200. The best areas to expand the ski domain are the detached secondary peaks of Muntele Mic towards north and the northern slopes of the Nedeia Ridge. These areas could allow for the development of certain ski tracks at least the same size as the ones of the Prahova Valley. The development of the ski domain in these areas will connect the two resorts, Muntele Mic and Poiana Mărului, and could increase the touristic potential of the study area.