Commune: Zawoja (pow. suski, woj. małopolskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Highest rocky range of the Beskidy Mts, Polish Outer (Flysh) Carpathians.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
The highest range in the Polish Outer Carpathians, the European watershed, typical thick-bedded Magura sandstones, largest rock slump and block field of the Polish Carpathians.

Comparative assessment justification:
The area of periglacial relief with huge rock slumps is in the zone of the thick-bedded sandstone which represent the Magura Unit wide spread. Unique landscape of highest Carpathians Mts. reflecting the geological structure and Quaternary morphological processes.

Protection status and accessibility:
The Babia Góra range is entirely protected within the framework of the Babia Góra National Park (1933, 1955), which was later recognised by UNESCO as a MAB Biosphere Reserve in 1977. Touristic - didactic trails; the nature museum.

Character of site: Mountain range.

Area: 3391.6 ha

Altitude: 830-1725 m a.s.l.

Lithology: sandstones

Discipline: Geomorphology, Stratigraphy of Quaternary, Stratigraphy of Phanerozoic

Process Age: Quaternary, Paleogene, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Paleogene, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
The Babia Góra range is situated within the asymmetric synclinal structure of the Magura Unit formed mainly of the thick-bedded Magura sandstones. The northern limb of the syncline plunges normally while the southern limb is overturned and limited by two narrow and steep folds. The Babia Góra range follows the orientation of a parallel of latitude (about 12 km). The upper part of the range rises above the timberline and is shaped by periglacial processes. In the summit area there are flattening and steps formed at the outcrops of the resistant Magura sandstones. Asymmetrical slopes are characteristic features in the range morphology. The northern slope is very steep and in the prevailing part covered with sandstone block fields. It developed as a result of a huge rock-fall (100-300 m high) which dates back to the Late Quaternary. Ridge trenches, enlarged fissures and talus type caves follow the edge of the top crest. Some under-summit depressions were interpreted as glacial cirque. The southern slope is gently inclined in agreement with the Magura sandstone bedding. The Babia Góra range is a watershed delimiting the Baltic Sea drainage basin in the north from the Black Sea drainage basin in the south. This range is also characterised by a dense network of springs of high outflow. The Babia Góra is the highest mountain range in the Polish Outer Carpathians. This massif is built of typical thick-bedded sandstone underlay by thin-bedded flysch. Asymmetry of slopes related to syncline structure of the substratum as well as to the huge rock slump is main features of the relief.


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