Vitaliy Brusak, Ihor Gnatiak, Viktoria Shtuhlynets


Recreation is one of the anthropogenic factors of negative impact on the natural environment of the Ukrainian Carpathians and, above all, on the natural complexes of the national parks of the region. In this regard, the Carpathian NPP with a developed recreational infrastructure – a network of tourist routes and stationary recreation areas is an indicative example. Excessive recreational load causes recreational digression and activation of erosion processes on tourist routes. It was established that different tourist routes have different general state of recreational digression and different length of sections with signs of erosion processes. The greatest degradation of natural complexes is characteristic in Chornagora for trails – “To Hoverla Mountain” and “To Lake Nesamovyte”, and in Skibovy Gorgany – for the "Dovbush Trail” and part of the route of the trail “To Makovytsia Mountain”. On the trail “To Hoverla Mountain” dominate strong and catastrophic V stage of recreational digression (over 90% of the trail's length). On the Dovbush Trail V stage prevails on the slope and transition types of the trail and IV stage of recreational digression prevails on the subhorizontal type of trail. On the path “To Lake Nesamovyte” there is mostly strong and medium degree V stage of digression. On the route “To Makovytsia Mountain” the weak and moderate degree of V stage of digression prevails in the forest belt, on the climb to the top of the mountain with meadow vegetation there is a medium and strong degree of V stage of recreational digression. On the path “Prutu Valley – Maryshevska Ridge – Shpytsi Ridge”  prevails the weak grade of V stage. On the trail “Prypir – Zaroslyak” there is a gradual transition of separate sections from the V to the IV and III stages of recreational digression due to the sharp decrease in the recreational load.

Monitoring of the microrelief state of four routes using erosion groove measurement method for 46 cross-sections shows that among the key sections with subhorizontal relief  the smallest changes were for the path on the forest weather site of the Chernogorsk Geographical Station of the Ivan Franko LNU, the watershed and valleyside parts of the trail “Prypir – Zaroslyak”. The largest changes were monitored for the micro-relief of the path “To Hoverlu Mountain”. Among the slope parts of the key areas, the maximum groove (58–73 cm) was recorded above the forest boundary of the route to “To Hoverla Mountain”. In the forest zone this value does not exceed 16 cm. A large number of outcrops of massive sandstones caused minimal changes in the microrelief of the slopes of the route in key sections of the Dovbush Trail, and the dense root system of trees contributes to the accumulation of washed material.

The analysis of signs of erosion and denudation processes on the routes shows that the main reason for their occurrence is the excess of anthropogenic loading during massive climbing to the top of Hoverla in combination with rainy periods and the conformity of the trail to relief elements with different steepness. During the comfortable period (May – September) the trail “To Hoverla Mountain” is visited by 94.1% of the annually recorded number of vacationers. The greatest changes in the microrelief of the trails occurred after three rainy periods with increased duration (3, 5 and 12 days) and rains during summer of 2008, which caused a catastrophic flood in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Significant intensification of erosion processes on tourist trails was noted in the summer of 2010 and 2013 as a result of long (10–20 days) rainy periods.

The effect of vegetation cover is manifested in the width and branching and formation of parallel trails. The widest tourist routes are in the belt of high mountain meadows, the narrowest – within the krummholz. The complex of organizational, management and engineering measures is proposed, which will allow to bring all investigated trails to proper operational condition and minimize the signs of erosion processes.

Keywordsmicrorelief; erosion process; recreation digression; Carpatian national nature park.

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