Commune: Czorsztyn (pow. nowotarski, woj. małopolskie) , Krościenko nad Dunajcem (pow. nowotarski, woj. małopolskie)

Framework element or context represented:
The most characteristic features of the whole Pieniny Klippen Belt.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Jurassic-Cretaceous sequences of facial-tectonic units with main stratotypes of the Pieniny Klippen Belt, picturesque rocky landscape reflecting geologic structures, famous Dunajec gorge.

Comparative assessment justification:
The area represents the highest tectonic and lithostratigraphic rank in the Pieniny Klippen Belt. Geological and geomorphological values of the set-sites in Pieniny National Park are supplemented in nature reserve enclosing other parts of Pieniny Klippen Belt in Poland.

Protection status and accessibility:
Pieniny National Park (1932, 1955) proposed as Geopark; numerous touristic-didactic trails; the nature museums in Krościenko and Sromowce.

Character of site: Natural outcrops.

Area: 2 346.2 ha

Altitude: 526-982 m a.s.l.

Lithology: limestones, marls, shales, other sedimentary rocks

Discipline: Palaeobiology, Geomorphology, Palaeoenvironment, Stratigraphy of Phanerozoic, Tectonics

Process Age: *all periods

Bedrock Age: Paleogene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
The Pieniny Mts embody a mosaic of well-recognised, diversified lithostratigraphic units consisting of the Jurassic-Cretaceous deposits with complicated structures such as steep folds, thrust faults and overthrust nappes, strongly dislocated. Steep, upright limestones of the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous separate in places inserts of soft rocks (shales and marls). The Lower and Middle Jurassic and the Upper Cretaceous are mainly represented by shales and marls. Many stratotypes of the Pieniny Klippen Belt are represented in the referred area. Deposits belonging to the Pieniny and Branisko successions are most important here. The thickest (100-200 m) are white limestones with cherts known as the Pieniny Limestone Formation (Tithonian-Berriasian). These limestones, very resistant to erosion, build major summits. Another characteristic feature of the Pieniny geologic structure is a narrow belt of steep, upright outcrops of the resistant, Middle Jurassic crinoid limestones of the Czertezik Unit. The extent of the outcrops of the resistant crinoid limestones of the Czorsztyn Unit and of the Niedzica Unit is limited. Particular successions of the units comprise sediments differing as to resistance that is clearly reflected in the Pieniny relief. A very peculiar element of the Pieniny relief is the antecedent gorge of the Dunajec river. In the main range of the Pieniny Mts there is a dense network of springs, which are sometimes accompanied by Holocene calcareous tufa.


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