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.



Šumava is located within the area of a transitional Central European climate and according to the climatic map of the CR; the main mountain territory belongs to the cold climate area. The local climate is transitory, with oceanic and continental climate influences, i.e. throughout the year; there are only slight temperature variations and relatively high rainfall.

The temperature gradient is especially changing with the altitude (the average temperatures are approximately 6° C at an altitude of 750 m.a.s.l. and at an altitude of 1.300m.a.s.l. are about 3 ° C), but in terrain depressions and mountain valleys (e.g., the hill course of the Vltava and the Otava), the temperatures are influenced due to temperature inversion and are significantly lower than at the mountain peaks and ridges, i.e. above the inversion. The coldest month is usually January and the warmest is usually July. The period with average temperature <- 0 ° C starts at the highest altitudes in early November (late October) and finishes in late March, or in April (winter lasts five months, although the morning frost remains for another two months).

Total rainfall also increases with an increasing altitude, while the highest levels are detected in the central part of Šumava (Březník 1486-1552 mm on a thirty-year average) and of course this varies at the windward and leeward sides of the mountain.

The vegetation development is considerably influenced by the quantity of the snow and by how long the snow cover lasts. The quantity of the snow is influenced by the altitude and by mesorelief (most snow is in the highest altitudes of the border mountain ridge; the least snow falls on the north-east edge of Šumava). A permanent snow cover lies in the highest altitudes for 120-150 days (at the top of the Großer Arber for about 200 days a year). Moving snow (avalanches, creeping snow) which affects the formation of the vegetation, can only be found on the glacial cirque walls.
The highest points and the areas with temperature inversions are heavily affected by fog and the mountain ridges are affected by wind and frost.

  • Facebook
  • Send by e-mail
  • Print