Emil MARINESCU Sidonia MARINESCU 10.52846/AUCSG.24.01 10.52846/AUCSG.24.01


We are publishing this article in 2023, the year when the 150th anniversary of the birth of the French geographer is celebrated, the article being a tribute to Emmanuel de Martonne’s work in Romania, especially for his contribution to the research of the Transylvanian Alps (the Southern Carpathians). Of the two doctoral theses that the French geographer elaborated on the territory of Romania, the last one, defended in 1905 and published in 1907 at the Sorbonne University in Paris, was dedicated to the geomorphological evolution of the Transylvanian Alps (the Southern Carpathians). Of the 14 field campaigns that Emmanuel de Martonne carried out in Romania, eight were carried out in the Southern Carpathians (Banat Massif, Transylvanian Massif) and in the neighboring regions closely related in their paleogeographical evolution to the Transylvanian Alps (the Subcarpathian area of Oltenia, the Subcarpathian area of Muntenia, and Mehedinți Plateau). For the French geographer, the transverse valleys of the Southern Carpathians were examples indicating the extensive tectonic movements that affected the territory of Romania in the Paleogene and Neogene. Glacial influences and relief forms in the high part of the Southern Carpathians became the main concern of the French geographer for at least a decade of research in Romania. More obviously, in some parts of the Southern Carpathians, the action of glaciation cut out specific shapes within the platform of the high peaks (Borăscu planation platform). In the research in Parâng Mountains, Emmanuel de Martonne aimed to identify some key evidence of glaciation: glacial cirques, lakes, valleys, thresholds, glacial grooves, glaciated knobs, and moraines. Above all, the French geographer believed that the general topography of the valleys and cirques is the fundamental element that certifies glaciation and the presence of lateral cirques justifies the succession of glacial periods.

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