Loess-Scape in the Dobrudja Plateau (Romania). Landforms and Updated Typology

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Abstract

The study of loess and loess-like deposits in Romania has developed considerably, over the years. C14 dating determined that the last three glaciations (Mindel, Riss, Würm) and, at least, two interglacial periods were recorded in the Dobrudja Plateau. Five other paleosol layers indicate the succession of the Quaternary interglacial stations. The loess of Dobrudja, is about 50 m in thickness. The term loess-scape is comprised of all the processes and forms specific to these deposits, which create a unique landscape, with local peculiarities. Natural and anthropic conditions created loessoid microforms (clastokarst) specific to the Dobrudja Plateau. The friability of loess-like deposits, the heavy rains, the lack of vegetation, the existence of a steep slope and of a low basic level, led to the development of a marginal (border) clastokarst on the western and northern side of the plateau (on the right of Danube bank). The aim of this study is to rename the microforms specific to loess-like deposits and to highlight new ones: solution clastic dolines, collapse clastic dolines, clastic resurgences (intermittent karst springs), piping clastic glacis, collapse clastic glacis, proluvial clastic glacis, clastic micro-waterfalls with clastic micro-cauldrons, clastokarstic curtains (drapes), and so on. Consequently, the loess-scape in the Dobrudja Plateau is distinct, just like the karstic, volcanic, glacial landscape, and so on. New clastokarstic microforms were highlighted and efforts were made to establish a proper terminology.

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