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Volume XVIII |

Aridity risk in the west of the Oltenia Plain: natural factors and human impacts on land degradation

Abstract: The lands of southern Oltenia had different evolution stages in the last century being influenced by the climatic factor but especially by the anthropic factor. From the extensive areas of ponds and marshes in the pre-war period to drainage, embankments, irrigation systems and planting of the windbreakers and shelterbelts in the 50s – 60s (reflected in the agricultural peak of the 70s – 80s) and to the present day, we are witnessing the aridization of the lands and the extension of the predominantly sandy areas, impracticable to the current type of agriculture.
After 1990, agriculture in the southern part of the Oltenia Plain had an accelerated decline caused by the destruction of the irrigation systems, the deforestation of the windbreakers and shelterbelts, the situation of land ownership and the failure of the adaptation of the crops to the soil types. In 2012 the percentages of irrigated areas reached 0% capacity used out of 76,820 ha in the Blahnița Plain and 1% capacity used out of 299,621 ha in the Oltenia Plain. All these have led to land degradation and amplification of geomorphological processes, especially on sandy surfaces, where the lack of vegetal layer together with the wind process lead to destabilization and movement of sand dunes. This article aims to conduct a spatial-temporal analysis of several types of lands exposed to drying, whose surface has increased considerably to almost 50,000 hectares. Another 50,000 hectares are predisposed to this phenomenon in the Oltenia Plain, on the western part of Jiu. An environmental management strategy for a sustainable development could be made for the protection of the lands against the winds by planting windbreakers and shelterbelts of fast growing species (acacia, hybrid poplar, wild pine, walnut tree). The research methodology involved the processing of the annual average data on temperature, precipitation and wind direction from the weather stations in south-west Oltenia, the processing of the data from the Landsat, Corine maps, as well as the analysis of the data provided by the examination reports on the occupation of land offered by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Administration. In the analysis of land degradation as a result of the aridization process, the situation of the current vegetation layer was taken into consideration using the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and data taken from Corine Land Cover between 1990 and 2006 regarding the change of the land use in the Oltenia Plain.

Volume XVII |

Lateral migration of the Jiu river course between 1864 and 2018. Case study: Craiova – Zăval sector

Abstract: During the last 154 years, the Jiu river course that stretches from its confluence with the Amaradia down to the outlet has undergone serious lateral and length changes. The main purpose of this article is to highlight these changes, to determine their magnitude, and to understand the future evolution of the Jiu course.
The results of our analysis showed that from 1864 until 2018, the Jiu river became shorter in the lower section, decreasing with 38.1 km, from 134 km to 95.9 km. The shorten-ing of the course happened gradually. Thus, between 1864 and 1910, the length of the course decreased by 25.6 km, from 134 km to 108.4 km. From 1910 until 1970 there was a shortening of 11.9 km and between 1970 and 2018, the river shortened its course by about 0.6 km. The greatest lateral distance between its historical and present channels showed a maximum of 11.22 km on the outlet.

Volume XVI |

The impact of the urban expansion on the Jiu floodplain. Case study –Craiova, Romania

Abstract: The urban expansion of any settlement implies changing natural environment and gradually transforming it into an anthropogenic one to assure the needs of the community. A first step in urban planning is to identify the changes that have been made, and this study reconstructs the anthropogenic changes induced to the Jiu floodplain in the last 150 years, through multi-temporal spatial comparisons, geomorphological characteristics and anthropological and environmental transformation indicators. The processing of historical cartographic materials and current satellite imagery highlights the dynamics of the wetlands and the built-up area in the Jiu floodplain between 1864 and 2017. The urban expansion required flood protection works that were carried out along the canals and lakes resulting from the drainage of the ponds and marshlands. On the course of the Jiu hydro-technical works of straightening, embankment and regularization were achieved, which led to the transformation of the course from a highly meandered one as it was in the second half of the 19th century into a sinuous one in 2017. The study is a useful tool in urban planning, by centralizing the changes in the floodplain, the anthropogenic works carried out and the changes of the Jiu course within the analyzed sector.

Volume XII |

The Characteristics of the Ski Domains from the Romanian Carpathians

Abstract: Most of the Romanian ski tracks have been equipped in the mountain areas, at altitudes lower than 1500 m, in the proximity of human areas. The most relevant indicator of the development of ski lands in Romania is given by the total length of the ski tracks which, in 2010, was 168 km. Without any further references to other constituents of the tourism infrastructure from this field, one can say that the Romanian ski area is characterised by an insufficient development of ski tracks. In the Romanian Carpathians, the average density of the ski tracks is about 2 m/km2, with important variations in different mountain areas. The most equipped and developed ski domain from Romania (26% from the total length of the ski tracks) is located in the Curvature Carpathians area, in the territory of Prahova and Braşov counties. The development of this area was initiated and supported during the Communist regime through the layout of several mountain resorts of national importance within which the length of the ski tracks is noticeable. The main factor that influenced the development of the ski lands in this area is related to the proximity of the capital city, but also of several important towns, such as Braşov, Ploieşti and Piteşti that have provided the resorts with a large and constant flux of tourists. In the years to come, the development prospects of this field are considerable taking into account the growing interest shown by the Romanian tourists in the practice of winter sports, but also the availability of the local authorities towards earning European funds in order to lay out new ski tracks equipped at European standards.

Volume X |

Indicators of the Human Pressure on the Environment in the Bălăciţa Piedmont

Abstract: The Bălăciţa Piedmont represents the western subdivision of the Getic Piedmont, being located in south-western Romania. The unit under study is an early inhabited space and, at the same time, an area of active development of numerous geodynamic phenomena. The man-induced changes had significant influences upon the environment and especially upon the relief, the increased vulnerability of the terrains to the dangerous geomorphologic phenomena being one of the most important problems that the local communities have to face nowadays. The present study aims to assess the human influence upon the emergence of environmental unbalances and especially the human actions that influence the risk geomorphologic processes. A relevant means in the process of evaluating the type and dimension of the human intervention within a given territorial unit concerns the computation of certain synthetic indicators that characterize the degree of landscape transformation. The assessment has been realized through the analysis of statistical data at the level of the administrative-territorial units that overlap the Bălăciţa Piedmont. The general research regards an interval of thirty years (1977 – 2007), while the focus was laid upon the transition period (1992, 2002, and 2007).