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Past environments in mid-latitude mountain regions



Rok publikování 2018
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Quaternary International
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Přírodovědecká fakulta

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Klíčová slova mountains; mid-latitudes; past environment
Popis Reaching a unique definition of what a mountain is has been defined as a chimera (Ives et al., 1997), despite the generalized consensus that the definition of mountain must contain the relative relief, and probably the slope and volume of the landforms (Owens and Slaymaker, 2004). In fact, mountains are easily recognizable landforms distributed across all regions on Earth, from the Polar Regions to the tropics, and they constitute features that visually dominate the landscape. Some studies suggest that 24% of the Earth’s surface is mountainous terrain, with approximately a quarter of humanity living in and around mountain environments (Price, 2015). Mountains impose rapid climate and environmental changes at short distances, and therefore have historically conditioned the existence of profound social, cultural, political and economic boundaries within the same mountain ranges and with the surrounding lowlands. Mountains have been considered as sacred environments for many religions, being also a source of inspiration for art, literature, and mythological stories. Societies have historically benefited from resources available in mountains, first by mining, later for agriculture and grazing purposes, and more recently for recreation and tourism activities. They house immense natural resources, such as fresh surface water, timber and minerals, among others, as well as a high biodiversity and a large number of endemic species. However, the rough landscape shaped by tectonic and volcanic activity has also conditioned a wide range of geomorphic processes, which in some cases trigger natural hazards that can damage local and regional infrastructure and equipment.
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