Commune: Klucze (pow. olkuski, woj. małopolskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Natural and anthropogenic processes in the widespread sandy area.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
The transformation of the eolian type relief.

Comparative assessment justification:
The Błędów Desert is a unique intercontinental area of Central Europe and the phenomena of the Polish landscape permanently changed by human impact and natural processes.

Protection status and accessibility:
Protected site of Ecological Use (1995) encloses a fragment (683.91 ha) of the Błędów Desert in its southern part near Klucze. The total area of Błędów Desert is situated in the complex of Jurassic Landscape Park. A idea of the renaturalisation and revitalisation of eolian processes, especially in the northern part of the desert is considered.

Character of site: Landscape forms.

Area: 1850 ha

Altitude: 302-325 m a.s.l.

Lithology: limestones, sands

Discipline: Geomorphology, Stratigraphy of Quaternary

Process Age: Quaternary, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Quaternary, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
The Błędów Desert is situated at the eastern periphery of Silesian Upland. The area of about 17 km2 spreads at the foot of the cuesta bordering the elevated Cracow-Częstochowa Upland from the west. This cuesta is well distinguished in the landscape as the range of rocky hills formed by limestones of Upper Jurassic age. During the Middle Polish Glaciation (Riss) fluvioglacial sediments originated from the periglacial zone of Cracow Upland were deposited at the bottom of this range. . The geographic name – Błędów Desert – is associated with the large open sandy field modified by aeolian processes. On the other hand features of this area are not joined with the dry climate typical for the contemporary deserts. The human activity in the Medieval accelerated during the later period by strongly development industry caused the deforestation of this area. In the background of Quaternary sediments occur their Triassic mineral deposits with zinc, lead and silver. The wood has been used in blast furnaces and mine workings. The landscape of large uncovered surface of loose sand was changed during several years up today. The desert consists of two parts separated by the Biała Przemsza River Valley running westward actually wooded. The smaller northern part near Chechło is a deflation field bordered by banks of dunes, developed mainly in its fragment parallel to the predominant direction of the wind. The southern part of the desert situated between Błędów and Klucze is characterised by the varying relief with deflation fields and dunes of different shape and size. Only limited fragments of the Błędów Desert are submitted recently to aeolian processes.


ALEXANDROWICZOWA  Z. 1962–Sables et dunes du desert de Błędów (French sum.). Ochrona Przyrody 28: 227-253.     KWIATKOWSKA A. 1962–Cochlearia polonica - a vanishing endemic species (English sum.). Chrońmy Przyr. Ojcz. 18, 3: 5-18.     SZCZYPEK T., WACH J., 1989–Accumulation phases of the Quaternary deposits in the Błędów Desert based on lithological studies. Quaestiones Geographicae. Univ A. Mickiewicza, Poznań, Special Issue 2: 137-145.     SZCZYPEK T., WACH. J., WIKA S. 1994–Changes of landscapes in the Błędów Desert (Silesian Upland - Southern Poland) (English sum.). Publ. Univ. Śląski. Sosnowiec, pp 87.     SZCZYPEK T., WIKA S., CZYLOK A., RAHMONOW O., WACH J. 2001–Błędów Desert – phenomena of Polish landscape (English sum.): 1-72. Publ. Kubajak, Colonel s.c., Kraków.