The mainly calcareous geology of the Piatra Craiului massif is characterized by the impossibility to retain infiltration or running waters thus to create phreatic water reserves and, in the end, to form streamflows. This is why while the valleys crossing the massif’s body are dry; the only water valleys are located at the foot of the mountain: Barsa, Dambovita, Dambovicioara, with some of their tributaries.

The rivers inside the national park belong to two main watersheds: The Olt river watershed to the North and the Dambovita watershed to the South, separated by the following route: La Umeri - Grindu Peak - La Table - Sasu Hill - Sterghiori Peak. Inside the national park there are four independent watersheds:

1. Barsa watershed - Located in the northern part of the massif, this is a tributary for the Olt river, and also the main collecting watercourse and the northern border of the park.

2. Raul Mare al Zarnestilor watershed - The main collecting river for the streams running on the eastern side of the massif is the Raul Mare al Zarnestilor (The Gorges Valley), a tributary of the Barsa Mare River. This stream collects all the temporary waters streams running on the eastern side of the massif, the Zanoaga, Curmatura and Vladusca pastures. These streams may dry during the summer, especially in the gorges area, or increase their water flows during the snow melting and spring rain periods (May - June).

3. Dambovicioara watershed - The Dambovicioara river flows along a part of the national park’s eastern border, collecting several water streams, namely Grindu Valley, Capatanelor Valley, Steghii Valley, Apa Valley, Muierii Valley etc. The water flow is greatly increased down the river after the Galgoaie karstic streams are collected (300 l/s). These streams are in fact the source of the Dambovita river.

4. Dambovita watershed - The main watercourses collected from the park territory are: Dragoslovenilor Valley with its tributaries Tamasului Valley and Padina Lancii, Ivan Valley, Urzicii Valley, Larga Valley, Speriata Valley, Gruiului Valley and Berila Valley.

The underground waters, characteristic for this massif, are separated into two hidro-karstic watersheds: the Zarnesti Gorges Watershed to the north and the Dambovicioara Watershed to the south.

Viitura Prapastiile Zarnestilor

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