WURM GLACIER FORMATIONS AND MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPES IN RILA MOUNTAIN, BULGARIA
References: 15th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2015, www.sgem.org, SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-31-5 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 18-24, 2015, Book1 Vol. 1, 529-536 pp
Rila Mountain is the highest mountain in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Its highest peak Musala is of 2,925 m altitude. It is situated in part of the Rila-Rhodopean Massive in southwest Bulgaria, the Balkans’ oldest land. Rila is a dome-shaped horst mountain, composed of various metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks. Many of the high-grade metamorphic rocks are of Precambrian age. It is believed that the oldest rocks in the area are the metamorphites of the Ograzhden Supergroup, composed of amphibolites, amphibole-biotite schists, gneisses and migmatites of Early Precambrian age. The younger Rhodopean Supergroup is composed of migmatites, gneisses, metaultrabasites, marbles and distene-silimanite schists and amphibolites. The Late Precambrian and Early Paleozoic are represented by low-grade metamorphic rocks – green schists, phyllites, metadiabases and diorites. They are intruded by the granitoids of the Eocene Rila-West Rhodopean batholith. During the Cenozoic basin-range fault blocks were formed, filled with sedimentary rocks. The modeling of the fault-block structure of the mountain started during the Late Alpine stage. Rila’s alpine relief was formed during the Plio-Pleistocene by a series of glaciations. During the most recent Würm glaciation, the lower boundary of the glaciers was at 2,200 m. Above this line they radically changed the existing relief, carving out deep cirques, pyramid-shaped peaks, glacier valleys, moraines and other typical glacial formations. More than 200 glacial lakes disposed between 2,000 and 2,700 m altitude are among the most remarkable remnants of the Quaternary glaciations. At the foot of the mountain there are many hot mineral sources, associated with the surrounding faults, the most famous of which is the only geyser in the Balkans with water temperature 101,4ᵒC. All these advantages are a good basis for developing a National Geopark, which will boost the local economy through geotourism and winter sports.
Keywords: glacier valleys, peaks, cirques, moraines
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