Inanimate nature

Inanimate nature is imprinted on the unforgettable character of Šumava and influences the diversity of the species and the richness of the animated nature. The geological process fundamentally conditions the topography of the landscape, creates richly shaped surfaces and together with the climate conditions also creates the water conditions and various types of soil.

The hundreds of million years of geological history are the main reason for the diversity found in Šumava. The surface has been repeatedly raised through orogenetic processes and aligned several times only to be broken down by erosion. Many kilometres of the earth's crust have been removed and the present day rock surface, created deep inside the earth, emerged with the help of soil erosion. In particular we can find different types of gneisses and granites, representing the two dominant groups of Šumava rocks, i.e. metamorphic rocks and deep-seated eruptive rocks.

The more resistant rocks, which could better resist weathering and erosions, currently stand out above the surrounding surface, as bizarre rock formations or massive terrain elevations, enriching the Šumava landscape.
In the most recent geological periods, many of the glaciers disgorged their contents down into the valley, leaving behind the steep cliffs of glacial cirques and mountains of material in the form of morainic mounds which still retain water from the lakes. The force of the glaciers also shaped Plechý Mountain, the highest peak on the Czech side of Šumava. The glaciers are also responsible for the massive pyramid shaped mountain of Velký Javor in neighbouring Bavaria, near our border.

The gneissose Boubín with its famous virgin forest has a sea of rock on its hills, created from broken rocks, separated by alternate freezing and defrosting.
The Vydra and Křemelná Rivers cut into the Šumava massif, creating deep canyons. On the flat and slightly undulating surface of the Šumava plains, an area with water accumulation and vast peat bogs, we can find plant species which have survived from the Ice Age.
For a perceptive observer, inanimate nature can be an interesting textbook that provides an overview of its own, long development, continuing through to the present times and in many cases, it is the key to understanding the process rules, identifying what is happening in that specific part of nature, where organic life plays the principle role.

Chapters

Pedology

This area of great interest, despite its overall mountainous character with predominating acidic substrates, features some peculiarities which distinguish this territory from other mountains in the Czech Republic. These curiosities are than significantly reflected in the characteristics of the soil.

The indicated characteristics include the extensive medium altitude of the territory, which drops slightly below 600 m.a.s.l. in only a few locations and therefore excludes the soils which normally appear at lower altitudes. Furthermore, the surface is relatively levelled, especially in the central part of the territory, and which is favourable to the extensive development of the hydromorphic and semi-hydromorphic soils. Finally, in comparison with other Bohemian and Moravian mountains, the territory has a relatively more moderate climate. The climate is probably conditioned by the orientation of the mountains to the south, and is also probably influenced by the Alpine föhn. The result of this influence is the slightly altered soil zoning in the territory, where the individual bands extend to higher altitudes than in other mountains.

The geological, pedological and geomorphological conditions create the basic preconditions for the development of vegetation and for the regime of the underground and surface water systems. The study of these conditions in relation to the vegetation is the main objective for the determination of the protection of water as well as the protection of the vegetation as a whole.

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