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THE CARPATHIAN RIVER SYSTEM IN ROMANIA – GENESIS AND EVOLUTION

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Author(s): MIHAI IELENICZ | LAURA TÎRLĂ

Journal: Revue Roumaine de Géographie
ISSN 1220-5311

Volume: 56;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 21;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: landform evolution | stream piracy | antecedence | palaeogeography | superposition | drainage system

ABSTRACT
The present Carpathian valley network is the result of a long and complex process synchronous to the evolutionof the Carpathian orographic system during the Cretaceous – Quaternary period. Among other issues, this studyfocuses on the genesis of the great defiles shaped by the rivers that cut across (partially or totally) the mountains (theDanube, Olt, Jiu, Prahova, Crişul Repede, Bistriţa, Trotuş, Buzău, Mureş, Someş, etc.), also explaining lowerordervalleys, of limited length (the Bistricioara, Ilva, Tazlău, Teleajen, Cuejd, Strei, etc.). The specialist literaturecontains a diversity of opinions on two evolutionary concepts – antecedence and stream piracy, but the conclusionshave not always been accepted. In establishing the formation stages of different generations of Carpathianvalley systems, some general conditions have been taken into consideration (formation of the mountain systemby tectonic movements; the evolution of marginal base levels, significantly influencing the intensity of linearand headward erosion; the orographic structure – a relatively ring-like mountain system built of groups of massifs andtectonic basins; the evolution of morpho-climatic systems). At the same time, some regional conditions (partialor total transversal corridors, erosion levels and terraces along the valleys, piedmont glacis, etc.) have beentaken into account. The analysis of these elements allowed us to highlight two main evolution stages: Miocene –Middle Pontian (preserving the traces of the oldest valleys) and Dacian – Holocene (when many different generationsof valleys were formed, preserving the most numerous morphological evidence), revealing the formation byantecedence and superposition of defiles and gorges, of the four generations of the valley system, and theirvaried local structure determined by tectonics, volcanism, geological patterns and changing role of the base levels.
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