About project  •   Location of the Kampinos Forest  •   Environmental protection  •   Geographic description  •   Animated map
This project has been realised by Tomasz Opach in the Division of Geomatics of NTNU as part of the YGGDRASIL grant founded by the Research Council of Norway (grant no. 195755)
Scientific supervisor of the project is
prof. Terje Midtbø
from the the Division of Geomatics of NTNU


About project

Landscape of the Kampinos Forest was formed during and after the last glacial period – between 20 000 and 10 000 years BP. That time this part of Poland teritory was a component of glacial drainage system.
Cartographic presentation of genesis of the Kampinos Forest is crucial for understanding high environmental value of this site. Unique character of region's landscape – parallel zones with dunes divided by two parallel zones with swamps, is the most valuable and specific feature of the Kampinos Forest.
Due to necessity of collection and homogenisation of data covering several time stages, design of genesis map is difficult and challenging task. Collected data must also be standardised and prepared for inclusion in an interactive animated map. Of course animated map should be useful and effective tool for investigating nature of Kampinos Forest.

Location of the Kampinos Forest

The Kampinos Forest is situated in the central part of Poland, in Masovian Voivodeship. From the point of view of physico-geographical regionalization of Poland, the Kampinos Forest is located in Warsaw Basin.
It is one of the most famous Polish forest complexes. It encompasses not only forests but also swamps, meadows and different forms of cultural landscape. It has approximately 240 km² but in time past it was a part of a big forest covering large part of Masovia region
The Kampinos Forest has a rich history. Here many important events concern Polish history took place. The most important the Palmiry cemetery where lay many inhabitants of Warsaw, secretly killed here by the Germans during the II world war.
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Environmental protection
in the Kampinos Forest

Most of the Kampinos Forest is covered by the Kampinos National Park. The idea of creating a park here appeared for the first time in the 1920s. In the 1930s the first three forest reserves were opened: “Granica”, “Sieraków” and “Zamczysko”. The National Park was created in 1959, covering a total area of 407 km². Today, after 50 years, the Park is slightly smaller than originally. It covers 385,4 km², of which 46,4 km² is strictly protected. Moreover Kampinos National Park is surrounded by protective zone that covers 377,6 km².
Due to the high environmental values of Kampinos Forest, in January 2000 this region was added to UNESCO’s list of biosphere reserves. The Biosphere Reserve "Kampinos Forest" is bigger than the Park and it includes Kampinos National Park and park’s protective zone as well. The Reserve is divided into three zones: the first covers strictly protected areas, the second covers buffer areas and the third one covers transitional areas.
Kampinos Forest is an important area for many animals. According to biologists, there are 16 000 species of animals, of which the most numerous are insects (2 030 species) and birds (200 species). National Park’s experts have an experience in the field of reintroducing animals, i.e. moose (since 1951) and beaver (since 1980) but still 83 species of animals are regarded as endangered.
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Geography of
the Kampinos Forest

The Kampinos Forest covers a large part of the ancient valley of pra-Vistula, between Narew river and Bzura river. Among the distinctive features, this part of Poland is a combination of dunes, swamps, dense pine forest and different form of cultural landscape (photo below).
Relief of the Kampinos Forest has been formed by the glacial, fluvial, eolian, limnic and denudation processes.
Kampinos Forest climate differs from climate of neighbouring agricultural and urban territory through its localization in a river valley and terrain covered with forests, meadows and swamps.
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Relief of the Warsaw Basin
source of data: SRTM 3

Kampinos Forest is located at the biggest river junction in Poland. Here valleys of Vistula, Bug, Narew, Wkra and Bzura meet together. There are no lakes, the biggest river of the Park is the Lasica, a tributary to the Bzura, which acts as a water canal.
During the last glaciation, the glacier did not reach the area of the present-day Kampinos Forest, but this glaciation had the biggest influence on the relief features of this area. This was the period of recurrent infilling of the Warsaw basin with sediments transported from the north, east and from the south.
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Relief of the Kampinos Forest
source of data: SRTM 3

For displaying map without cities’ urbanized zones move the cursor over the figure
Average elevation of central part of the Kampinos Forest is 80 m above sea level (light green on the map), although there are dunes with elevation up to 105 m. From north and south the Kampinos Forest is framed by the escarpments of the glacial plain with elevation up to 150 m (dark yellow and brown).
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according to J. Kobendzina

For displaying map without cities’ urbanized zones move the cursor over the figure
Kampinos Forest is a good example of drainage channel landscape with different types of dunes.
Relief of this region is a result of several overlapping morphogenetical cycles. At the beginning, the main factor was the glacial waters. Next fluvial processes reshaped landscape during the flood events. Simultaneously eolian processes took place. The consecutive stage of relief development were limnic-swampy processes.
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Kampinos Forest and Warsaw

Kampinos Forest borders on the capital of Poland – Warsaw. For this reason it plays an important role in long-term strategy of balanced development of Warsaw agglomeration, especially in the field of natural environment. However, coexistence of Kampinos National Park and a big city is a cause of numerous conflicts. Dynamic and non-controlled development of housing threatens stability of the Kampinos Forest's ecosystems. Moreover gradual progress in investments in transport infrastructure leads to isolation of the Kampinos Forest from other Polish natural complexes, what is unfavourable for bio-diversity.
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Division of Geomatics · NTNU Trondheim 2010