ASGP (2017), vol. 87: 275–300


Milena RÓŻYCKA & Piotr MIGOŃ

Institute of Geography and Regional Development, University of Wrocław, pl. Uniwersytecki 1, 50-137 Wrocław, Poland; e-mails:,

Różycka, M. & Migoń, P., 2017. Tectonic geomorphology of the Sudetes (Central Europe) – a review and re-appraisal. Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae, 87: 275–300

Abstract: The Sudetes are a mountain range in Central Europe, which owes its emergence to the Cenozoic rejuvenation of an old Variscan orogen, subject to stresses from the Alps and the Carpathians. The gross morphological features of the Sudetes are typically explained as reflecting the superposition of the effects of long-term, rock-controlled denudation and Late Cenozoic differential uplift and subsidence. In this paper, early conceptual models, developed in the 1950s and 1960s and emphasizing alternating uplift and planation phases, are presented first. A review of more recent work focused on tectonic landforms and geomorphic indicators of tectonic movements follows, with special attention to fault-generated escarpments, valley morphology, stream longitudinal profiles, terraces and fans, drainage basin characteristics and regional geomorphometric studies. Attempts to provide a timeframe of tectonic relief differentiation are also summarized. In the closing part of the paper, the existing approaches and findings are re-evaluated in order to identify challenges and perspectives for future work. The availability of high-resolution digital terrain models creates a unique opportunity to quantify relief features and detect even the subtle topographic signatures of recent tectonics. A need to reconcile the results of geomorphological analysis with those emerging from other studies focused on faults is highlighted.

Manuscript received 30 June 2017, accepted 19 December 2017