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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Scientific and practical peer-reviewed journal

Aim of the journal “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY” published in English is to illuminate related interdisciplinary scientific fields, many new approaches and methods along with a wide range of their practical applications. This goal covers a broad spectrum of scientific research areas and also considers contemporary and widely used research methods, such as geoinformatics, cartography, remote sensing (including from space), geophysics, geochemistry, etc.

In the areas of “GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, and SUSTAINABILITY” a new challenge to structure accumulated knowledge, to describe inner relations, and to form spheres of influence between different disciplines has emerged. The scope of the GES is to publish original and innovative papers that will substantially improve, in a theoretical, conceptual or empirical way the quality of research, learning, teaching and applying geography, as well as in promoting the significance of geography as a discipline.

The main sections of the journal are the theory of geography and ecology, the theory of sustainable development, use of natural resources, natural resources assessment, global and regional changes of environment and climate, social-economical geography, ecological regional planning, sustainable regional development, applied aspects of geography and ecology, geoinformatics and ecological cartography, ecological problems of oil and gas sector, nature conservations, health and environment, and education for sustainable development.

Articles are freely available to both subscribers and the wider public with permitted reuse. The printed version contains color figures . Color reproduction in print is free of charge of all accepted articles. Journal publishes 4 issues per year, each issue 120–150 pages long. Manuscripts are  submitted and peer-reviewed in an on-line mode.

 

Current issue

Vol 13, No 1 (2020)
View or download the full issue PDF

Special issue: «Border and Coastal Areas of Greater Eurasia: Environmental and Socio-economic Challenges»

6-15 32
Abstract
Over recent years, it has become increasingly obvious that the countries, regions and individual systems are now developing within the framework of the emerging technological paradigm. The key elements for their development are knowledge and capabilities, being transformed into the products exported by a given country, these constitute the core of the economic complexity theory. In this article, the authors attempt to assess the long-term correlations between economic complexity and transboundary intensity drawing on the example of European countries. The authors developed a European Countries’ Typology according to their transboundary cooperation intensity. The paper establishes that the influence of the transboundary factor weakens as the economic complexity increases, and under certain conditions, it has a negative impact. It substantiates that the revealed relationships are due to the increasing role of global processes rather than transboundary ones as the economy becomes more complex and oriented towards the global market.
16-20 26
Abstract
The authors explore the main trends and regional peculiarities of ethnic transformations during the post-Soviet period in the Russian and Estonian borderlands. Special emphasis is placed on the dynamics of the share of two dominant ethnic groups – Russians and Estonians. It is argued that the main trend of ethnic transformations is an increase of the share of the dominant ethnic groups in the structure of population. The almost Russian-speaking Ida-Viru county in Estonia is an exception, where together with a small growth in the share of Estonians, there was growth in the number of Russians. The authors analyse the dynamics of smaller Baltic-Finnic nations – Ingrians and Setus (Setos), living in the Russian border area with Estonia.
21-28 26
Abstract
The problems of the formation of international regions on the borders of Russian Federation and EU countries after the deterioration of relations between them in 2014 became more complicated due to the reduction of mutual economic, social, political and other cross-border ties. However, such links remain, especially at the local level, as both sides benefit from them. Polish and Russian authors are trying to find common approaches in assessing the situation and explaining the need in the development of relations between cities, territories and businesses located on both sides of the border, which contributes to the formation of cross-border regions. The authors use literature, materials of cross-border cooperation programs and their own research experience, identifying factors and features of cross-border interactions at the Russian-Polish border. The article presents a SWOT analysis of the formation of the Russian-Polish cross-border region – a comparison, on the one hand, of strengths and weaknesses, and on the other, opportunities and threats to its development. It is shown that in 2014–2019 political factors prevailed over socio-economic ones, which negatively affected the development of the regions along the border. Nevertheless, in 2018 the implementation of joint projects within the framework of the Russia-Poland cross-border cooperation program co-financed by the EU and both countries continued. Although the number of mutual crossings of the border has decreased, it remains quite important. In Kaliningrad, there is a Polish visa center that promptly issues Schengen visas, free of charge for scientists and teachers, students and some other categories of the population. In the summer 2019, free electronic visas were established in Kaliningrad region, which increased the influx of tourists, including Polish. The authors hope that the objective laws of the world market will lead to the intensification of mutual relations and the formation of the Russian-Polish cross-border region, which would contribute to increasing the international competitiveness of its parts on both sides of the border.
29-36 25
Abstract
The paper is devoted to ethno-cultural landscapes of the Republic of Tuva. Ethnocultural landscapes (ECLs) are specific socio-environmental systems that developed as a result of the interaction of ethnic groups with their natural and social environments and are in a constant process of transformation. An attempt is made to identify the mechanisms of the formation, functioning and dynamics of ethnocultural landscapes in the specific conditions of the intracontinental cross-border mountain region, as well as to establish the main factors-catalysts of their modern changes. For the first time an attempt is made to delimit and map the ethnocultural landscapes of Tuva. For this, literary sources, statistical data and thematic maps of different times are analyzed using geoinformation methods. The results of 2014-2018 field studies are also used, during which interviews with representatives of different ethno-territorial, gender, age and social groups were taken. It is revealed that the key factors of Tuva’s ethnocultural landscape genesis are the natural isolation of its territory; the features of its landscape structure; the role of government; population migrations from other regions and the cultural diffusion provoked by them. 13 ethnocultural landscapes are identified at the regional level. Their modern transformation is determined by the shift of climatic cycles, aridisation, globalisation of sociocultural processes, changes in economic specialisation and ethnopsychological stereotypes.
37-45 22
Abstract
The resource potential of the oceans has historically had a fundamental impact on the development and spatial organization of mankind. The role of the «marine factor» in economic activity and the formation of settlement systems has increased even more in the modern period, including in Russia, which has long sea coasts that fulfill the country’s most important transport, communication, economic and resource, residential and military infrastructure functions. Since the mid2000s, in Russia there has been a steady increase in foreign trade activity and the marine economy. The author summarizes and develops theoretical concepts created in Russian science about the functions, boundaries, structure of coastal zones as special geographical areas. Based on GIS analysis and the study of a vast array of demographic and economic statistics, the coastal zone of post-Soviet Russia was delimited. Particular attention is paid to the innovative potential of coastal zones, the features of its localization and formation. It is shown that coastal zones and large cities act as a significant environment for building cross-border interactions in the scientific and innovative sphere. The author argues that a further «shift to the sea» of economic activity and the population of Russia is inevitable. It is provoked by geo-economic and geopolitical changes in modern Eurasia which include the processes of integration and disintegration in the Baltic, Black Sea basin, and the Caspian region, the intensification of geopolitical rivalry in the Arctic, and implementation of the Chinese initiative «One Belt - one Road». However, the development of the country’s coastal zones will be unstable, not universal and will be accompanied by a further concentration of socio-economic potential in the few leading coastal centers - St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Makhachkala, etc.
46-56 22
Abstract

When studying Arctic entrepreneurship, the researcher encounters many paradoxes. Against the background of a powerfully developed topic of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in regional science, the layer of work on the entrepreneur in the Arctic is extremely thin. What is even worse – well-known mainstream theories turns out to be unsuitable for the study of Arctic entrepreneurship.

Under these conditions, the only way out for a researcher is to attach to a zonal paradigm and recognize the Arctic as an anti-mainland, and Arctic entrepreneur as the full antipode of a continental fellow. The adherence to the zonal paradigm removes contradictions and equips the researcher with a comparative method to elaborate all facets of the Arctic exceptionalism in the figure of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur here is understood as a close «relative» to the indigenous peoples and the entire Arctic economy, the Arctic environment, and their specific behavioral traits and adaptation strategies to natural and economic extremes.

The most important factors in the development of entrepreneurship in the Arctic, which create a mosaic picture of situations in the Arctic territories, are: the geographical location – an island or quasi-mainland position; the presence of large resource corporations and a specific stage of their exploitation of the resource field; the institutional structure of the local economy in terms of the degree of nationalization. The cumulative impact of these factors creates a multi-faceted picture, when the Murmansk oblast is at one pole of the extreme favorable conditions for business, and the Chukotka autonomous okrug is at the other extreme hardness.

However, the favorable factors themselves do not guarantee the active development of entrepreneurship. The example of the Murmansk oblast demonstrates the opposite: the conditions for entrepreneurs here are so comfortable that they prefer to slip to the south, where there is no need to bear the burden of northern guarantees and compensations for the employee, and from there to conduct their business activities.

57-63 17
Abstract
The contradictory integrity of globalization and regionalization processes in the modern world has been embodied in the formation of specific spatial areas – multiscale cross-border regions, whose functioning and development are determined both by the interactions between neighboring countries and by the totality of external geopolitical and geoeconomic circumstances. The article is devoted to the factors and features of cross-border processes and socio-economic development within one of the largest and most dynamic structures of modern Eurasia – the Greater Macro-Region of East Asia, embracing the northeastern and eastern territories of Russia, eastern China, Japan, and both Korean republics, Vietnam, and a number of other countries facing the seas of the northwestern Pacific. The integrity of this vast and very heterogeneous macro-region ranging from Chukotka to the Philippine Sea is based on relatively stable cross-border relations, which, in turn, are one of the determinants of these territories’ development. The role of geographical prerequisites (geographical location, climatic conditions, natural resources of land and sea) and geopolitical factors (geopolitical location and crossborder features) in the long-term development of this macro-region is assessed. It is shown that both favorable and negative prerequisites are associated with the cross-border nature of the integrated geosystems, including the marine ecosystems. Various types of cross-border regions with two-, three-, and four-link territorial segments belonging to different countries have been identified. The geopolitical potential of countries and regions is assessed, and the zones of geopolitical tension are revealed.
64-73 20
Abstract
National neighbourhood have a significant influence on the life of people living along the state borders. They shape human interactions across borders and border residents’ attitude towards neighbours. Many concepts like ‘neighbourhood’, ‘proximity’, ‘trust’, ‘(un)familiarity’, and ‘otherness’ are usually used to explain this processes in border studies. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the comparing of perceptions, life strategies and everyday life of borderland population depends on neighbouring policy, border regime and neighbourship. Here we focus on different Russian borders with Ukraine (the new contested border in Crimea), Kazakhstan (the EAEU`s internal border), and China (old international and contact border) using different sources of information, including expert interviews as well as field observations and focus groups conducted with locals. We find that people differentiate between the neighbors they know and the neighbouring state they do not trust. Significant differences between neighbouring territories, unfamiliarity, and otherness are not allowed to get in the way of contact, because it is this contact that allows local residents to make a living. In conclusion, our results suggest that while the objective differences between the various sections of Russian borders serve to diversify the neighbourhood situations, their subjective perceptions and social representations serve to unite them.
74-83 21
Abstract

Cooperation across the Russia-EU border has been drawing much attention in recent years. The majority of studies point out programs’ efficacy, high density of border institutions and resistance to geopolitical risks among other factors. These advancements can be explained by the theory of multilevel collaboration which implies that diverse and multiple cooperation institutions can effectively distinguish matters of high politics from practical issues concerning interests of those living along the external borders.

The article aims to analyze the impact of cross-border cooperation programs (CBC Programs) on the thematic, institutional and spatial structure of the cross-border relations.

The research is grounded in the overview and analysis of a large volume of empirical data including reports and descriptions of cross-border cooperation programs, data provided by the regional governing agencies, as well as 76 semistructured interviews obtained from regional experts as part of several research expeditions by the Laboratory of Geopolitical Studies of the Institute of Geography RAS taken place over the period from 2011 to 2018.

Main characteristics and long-term trends of the cross-border program approach are examined as follows: growth in governmental coordination on various agency levels aimed at development and implementation of mutually beneficial partnerships, creation of joint program management bodies, development of uniform policies and joint funding sources for projects, and interest in maintaining an equal level of collaboration.

It is revealed that gradual rise of the programs’ role in cross-border cooperation in the area contributed to the restructuring of its institutional systems, launching selection process for the existing border institutions (euro-regions, crossborder regional councils, and others), as well as triggering the synergy effect among them and the transborder forms of cooperation.

The main characteristics of spatial partnership structures are identified. These include those consisting of high concentration of project activities taking place within large urban centers along the external borders and those asymmetrical to cross-border interactions. The former is especially pertinent to the Russian side of the border where just a small number of such centers are involved in up to 70-80% of project activities. Even fewer number of Russian cities initiate their own collaborative projects. A gradual spatial shift of cooperative projects toward the areas immediately proximate to the borders, as well as the decrease in asymmetry of transborder cooperation are identified as the new trends by the author. 

84-91 15
Abstract
Though the agreement on ceasefire between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops in Nagorno-Karabakh was concluded more than 25 years ago, there is no progress in the negotiations between the sides. The conflict is intrinsically related to the partition of territory between the areas de facto controlled by the non-recognized Republic of NagornoKarabakh, boundaries of which do not match the administrative borders of Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region in the Soviet period, and Azerbaijan. This paper considers the geopolitical situation of Nagorno-Karabakh through the lenses of its cross-border interactions and bordering. This notion widely used in contemporary border studies means not only border delimitation and management, but also the constant process of change in their functions, regime, and social importance. Such change can result, for instance, from the transformation of political strategies, shifts on the international arena and bilateral relations, currency exchange rates and global market prices, as well as in the course of the everyday practice and interactions. The authors analyzed first the existing pattern of borders in the context of security. Then they characterized de-bordering and interactions between Nagorno-Karabakh and its patron state, Armenia, describing the adaptation of the Karabakhi population and economy to the lack of international recognition. The demarcation line with Azerbaijan remains one of the rare cases of a completely closed border. One of the main and potentially long-term obstacles in finding a solution is the cultivation of the «image of the enemy» on both sides of this border.

Special Issue "Spatiotemporal Analysis in Medical and Veterinary Geography"

92-98 51
Abstract
Medical and social environment is discussed for the southern part of the Russian Far East, in system “Quality of life and reproductive health” at different hierarchical levels; that are at the meso-level – Khabarovsk Krai and the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR); at the micro-level – Smidovichsky District in JAR and Nanai District in Khabarovsk Krai; at the local level – municipal settlements in urban and rural areas. The aim of the research is to identify the features of the social and medical environment affecting the quality of life, with an emphasis on the health of indigenous and non-indigenous population of reproductive age as the main criterion of quality of life. For subjective estimation of their health, well-being and quality of life, sociological surveys of women of reproductive age and pregnant women was conducted using a special questionnaire “Medical and social passport of future parents”. The region is characterized by low indicators of health and reproduction of the population, weak social infrastructure. The analysis of the quality of life in the region requires the establishment of priority groups of risk factors to improve the efficiency of medical and social control to minimize their impact.
99-106 19
Abstract
This study explores spatial distribution of adverse birth outcomes (ABO), defined as low birth weight (<=2500 g) and preterm deliveries (gestational age <37 weeks), in black and white mothers in the state of Massachusetts, USA. It uses 817877 individual birth records from 2000-2014 aggregated to census tracts (census enumeration unit with population of approximately 4500 people). To account for small numbers of births in some tracts, an Empirical Bayes smoother algorithm is used to calculate ABO rates. The study applies ordinary least squares (OLS) and spatial regression to examine the relationship between ABO rates, seven individual-level factors from birth certificates and nine population-level factors (income level, education level, race) from census data. Explanatory power of these factors varies between the two races. In models based only on individual-level factors, all seven factors were significant (p<0.05) in the black mothers’ model while only three were significant in the white mothers’ model. Models based only on population-level variables produced better results for the white mothers than for black mothers. Models that included both individual and population-level variables explained 40% and 29% of ABO variance for black and white women respectively. The findings from this study give health-care providers and health-care policy-makers important information regarding ABO rates and the contributing factors at a local level, thus enabling them to isolate specific areas with the highest need for targeted interventions.
107-114 9
Abstract
Wild boar populations have continuously grown over the last century. This increase has led to various conflicts, including damage to agriculture and disturbed population equilibrium in natural areas, and it is a health threat due to animal and zoonotic infectious diseases, all with a high economic impact (e.g. Classical Swine Fever, African swine fever, tuberculosis or brucellosis). Addressing these problems requires understanding the geographic, climatic and topographic tolerance limits of wild boar. In this work, we determine these limits in Eurasia by spatially comparing the most widely accepted map on wild boar distribution (International Union for Conservation of Nature ,IUCN, 2008) with georeferenced records of wild boar presence (n = 34,233) gather from ecological and health sources. Results suggest a geographical expansion of the wild boar in the Eurasian zone outside the traditionally area described by the IUCN map. The specie has entered new biotopes and ecoregions, such as the equatorial region, where its presence is mainly associated with the large Asian plant monocultures. These results will support the development of population models, identification of permanent populations and habitats, and more effective decision-making about health and natural resource management.
115-127 20
Abstract

This study considers an automated typological classification version by using the extensive factual material in analysis of emerging and re-emerging natural focal diseases of European Russia.

The typological classification of nosological profile (a set of diseases) and the incidence dynamics for five nosological forms (hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, ixodic tick-borne borreliosis, tick-borne encephalitis, tularemia, and leptospirosis) was created using the formal methods of mathematical-cartographical modeling. This classification of the incidence in 1997–2015 yielded five types of the nosological profiles. These types vary by years, which is associated with the dependence of the incidence on climatic conditions in each specific year and on extent of deratization and preventive measures. The results obtained can be used to forecast potential epidemiological outbreaks and to develop targeted and appropriate for each region measures. 

128-133 60
Abstract

During the last decades, important efforts have been taken to tackle cardiovascular diseases, which resulted in important mortality and disability decreases. Despite this, cardiovascular diseases are still one of the major causes of death in Portugal. Thus, the aim of this study is to analyse the evolution of the spatial pattern of deaths by cardiovascular diseases, between 1991 and 2017, identifying areas of high risk, and its variation, in the 278 municipalities of Continental Portugal.

Secondary data on annual resident population and deaths by cardiovascular diseases (International Classification of Diseases 10th revision: I00-I99) was collected from the Portuguese National Statistics for the municipalities of Portugal Mainland, from the period under analysis.

To identify areas with significant high and low risk of mortality by cardiovascular diseases, towards time and space, and areas with significantly high or low temporal trends, retrospective spatial-temporal cluster and a spatial variation in temporal trends analysis were conducted.

In the spatial-temporal analysis 3 clusters of high risk and two of low risk were identified; municipalities forming the clusters of high risk tend to have rural characteristics while the municipalities in the clusters of low risk are located in the two metropolitan areas. The majority of the municipalities forming the clusters of low risk also present higher decreasing trends than the country average.

The results presented can contribute to support the development of future interventions on cardiovascular mortality. 

134-144 48
Abstract

Rabies and anthrax, being natural focal diseases, are characterized by the ability to persist in areas with a certain combination of environmental factors without human intervention. These infections annually cause sporadic outbreaks in domestic, livestock and wild animals in the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK) receiving close attention of the veterinary service. In particular, targeted mass vaccination and surveillance are conducted, which requires zoning of the country according to the exposure to the diseases.

This paper presents a zoning approach based on the estimation of suitability to the study diseases using the Environmental Niche Modelling method. Retrospective data on animal rabies outbreaks in the RK for 2003-2014, as well as data on anthrax burial sites for 1933-2014 were used. The following environmental factors were treated as potential explanatory variables: 1) a set of climate data derived variables BIOCLIM; 2) altitude above the sea level; 3) land cover type; 4) the maximum green vegetation fraction and 5) soil type.

The modelling outcomes for both diseases indicate elevated risks along the northern and southeastern borders of the RK that not only follows the distribution of historic disease cases, but also accounts for potentially suitable environmental conditions. To comply with the requirements of the veterinary service, gridded risk maps were converted into categorical maps by averaging risk values within municipal districts and ranking according to four categories: low, medium, high, and very high.

The maps obtained may be used as recommendations to the veterinary service as a basis for developing regionspecific anti-epizootic measures. 

REGULAR ISSUE

145-158 23
Abstract
At the turn of the XX-XXI centuries, post-socialist cities of Europe experienced an active transformation of their socio-demographic and economic structure. A striking feature of post-Soviet cities was the preservation of the disproportionate weight of industry in the economy against the background of a long absence of the real estate market. This phenomenon highlighted the need to solve the problems of socio-economic inequality within the city and restructuring its economy. This is especially true for Russian cities experiencing the shifts in the territorial structure of the population under the influence of transition to market economy, the third industrial revolution and the change of economic- geographical location. This study focuses on identifying trends in the social segmentation of the urban space of St. Petersburg as the second largest city in Russia and a socio-economic center of national importance. The social stratification of the city was studied at the grassroots administrative and territorial level based on the assessment of spatial distribution and the formation of territorial groups of the population with certain qualitative characteristics. The object of the study was 111 municipalities of St. Petersburg. The dynamics of their five most important indicators of demographic, social and economic development in 1989–2018 was analyzed: real estate tax on individuals per capita; the proportion of entrepreneurs; own incomes of municipalities per inhabitant; the proportion of people with an academic degree; cost of housing. Using the rank method, a social welfare rating was compiled. Information for the study was taken from the materials of the general urban planes of St. Petersburg in 1966, 1987 and 2005, the All-Russian population censuses of 2002 and 2010, the databases of the Federal State Statistics Service and the Federal Tax Service, and from the real estate «CIAN» company. The increasing social segregation by income was revealed. The existing differentiation of municipalities in terms of welfare is shown. The poorest are the municipalities of the southern part of the city (Kolpinsky, Nevsky, Krasnoselsky districts and Kronshtadt), while the most prosperous are the municipalities of Petrograd and Central districts, as well as certain territories of the municipal district of Moskovskaya Zastava, the villages of Komarovo, Repino and Solnechnoe.
159-171 19
Abstract
Urban living style is associated with various negative impacts on human health, e.g. connected with the environmental problems. Thus, promoting health of urban population is nowadays one of the most challenging issues of the 21st century together with the growing needs for sustainable development and establishment of the biophilic or livable cities. It is increasing awareness among researchers and health practitioners of the potential benefits to the health from activities in natural settings and especially from regular contact with nature, which can be perceived as a preventive medical tool. This paper discusses the close relationship between the concepts of health-supporting landscapes and sustainability in modern cities based on literature review and case studies from EU, Russian and Australian projects. We first review the historical and modern paradigms (of the various disciplines) which determine the discourse in nature – human health and well-being research. This includes examination of Hippocrates «naturalistic history», Humboldt’s concept of natural garden design; Oertel ‘s ‘Terrain Kur’; «salutogenic approach» of Antonovsky; McHarg’s Design with Nature; Ecopolis programme, Wilson’s biophilia and some other approaches. Then there is a comparative analysis of structural similarities and differences in the past and current scientific schools devoted to understanding human – landscape interaction. One of the principal arguments is that nature also has another value for health, regardless of natural remedies. It includes, for example, the healing of space, outdoor training trails in parks, everyday use of urban green spaces and peri-urban recreation areas for sport and exercises. We provide an analysis of some examples based on the modern concepts of biophilic cities, therapeutic landscapes, healing gardens, green infrastructure and nature-based solutions. This article also discusses the main types of healing gardens and therapeutic landscapes and suggests the framework of design principles of healing and therapeutic landscapes. The analysis proved that healing gardens and therapeutic landscapes provide multiple benefits and can be regarded as nature-based solutions. These essential aspects of multifunctionality, multiculturality and social inclusion are well intertwined with the approach of biophilia.
172-182 222
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the stable isotope composition of the snow cover of the Elbrus Mountain – the highest mountain in Europe. Snow sampled in the middle accumulation period in January 2017, February 2016, January 2001 and during snowmelt in July 1998 and August 2009. Snow sampled at the south slope of Mt. Elbrus at different elevations, and the total altitude range is approximately 1700 m. A significant altitude effect in fresh snow precipitation was determined in February 2001 with gradient –1.3‰ δ18O/100 m (–11.1‰ δ2 H /100 m) at 3100-3900 m a.s.l. and inverse altitude effect in February 2016 with gradient +1.04‰ δ18O /100 m (+8.7‰ δ2 H /100 m) at 3064-3836 m a.s.l. There is no obvious altitude effect of the δ2 H and δ18O values in snow at the Elbrus slope in 2017, except for the height range 2256-3716 m a.s.l., where altitudinal effect of δ18O values was roughly -0.32‰/100m. The δ18O values in the winter snowpack in some cases decrease with increasing altitude, but sometimes are not indicating a temperaturealtitude effect. Post-depositional processes cause isotopic changes, which can result from drifting, evaporation, sublimation, and ablation. The study of altitude effect in snow is important for understanding the processes of snow-ice and snow-meltwater transformation and the snow/ice potential to provide paleo-environmental data.
183-194 19
Abstract

The net of dry valleys, gullies and shallow hollows is typical for the East European Plain. Dense vegetation usually covers their bottoms and slopes, so the modern erosion there is negligible in the pristine conditions. This erosion landscape formed in periglacial conditions during the terminations of the last two glaciations. The same kind of the erosion landscape is typical for the Arctic regions, especially for the Yamal, Gydan, and Tazovsky peninsulas. The size and the density of such valleys and gullies are quite similar to those existing on the East European Plain, but these erosion features are active there, especially in the conditions of natural or anthropogenic deterioration of the vegetation cover. As the density of dry valley network is an indicator of hydrological conditions in the river basin, the landscapes of the Arctic regions can be used as the modern analogs of the territories with the past periglacial erosion.

The recent hydrological characteristics of the west-central Yamal Peninsula were used to estimate the parameters of erosion network at the Khoper River basin, formed in periglacial conditions. For these purposes gully erosion and thermoerosion model GULTEM was verified and calibrated based on the observation of the modern processes on the Yamal Peninsula. The meteorological characteristics were taken from ERA-Interim Reanalysis grid. To calculate the flow characteristics a synthetic hydrological model was used. These verified and calibrated models were used to find the most suitable characteristics of climate and vegetation cover, which can explain the structure and density of the Perepolye dry valley in the Khoper River basin. This dry valley with the main trunk length of 6400 m was formed at the end of the Late Valdai Glaciation (MIS 2). The conditions required for the formation of a periglacial gully of such length were estimated with the GULTEM model. The critical velocity of erosion initiation was within the range 0.8-0.9 m/s, and the surface runoff depth was close to the recent one on the Yamal Peninsula (330 mm). The system of shallow hollows in the Perepolye catchment (the gullies formed at the end of the Moscow Glaciation, MIS 6) is denser and longer than the dry valley system, and the modelling estimates showed that the surface runoff during that period was almost 3.3 times more than the recent one on the Yamal Peninsula. 

195-199 27
Abstract
The paper gives results of the digitization of the status and spatial position of a cliff in the Western Crimea coastal zone. The modern equipment and methods accelerate the survey from the time perspective and improve the quality of the outcomes; namely a high precision GNSS receiver in RTK mode and PHANTOM-3 PRO copter. The digital terrain model was generated with used the Agisoft Photoscan software. The paper shows that the precision of the mathematical model of the relief constructed by aerial photographs provides more detailed data in comparison to those obtained in the field observations. Furthermore, aerial photography makes it possible to calculate the number of spatial characteristics of hazardous for surveying and latent natural objects out of reach for an on-location investigation. As a result, the very detailed data about current condition of dangerous cliff were obtained. The paper also evaluates the linear and volumetric characteristics of cleavages that are prone to collapse.
200-213 15
Abstract
The objective identification of landscape cover units is very important for sustainable environmental management planning. The article proposes a method-algorithm for describing the formation of landscape structures, which is based on the classic landscape analysis and applies the parameters of geophysical fields. The main driving forces of all structure-forming processes are the gradients of gravitational and insolation fields, parameters of which were calculated using the digital elevation models and the GIS-technologies. A minimum number of principal parameters are selected for typological and functional classification of landscapes. The number and importance of parameters were identified basing on the results of numerical experiments. Landscape classifications elaborated on the basis of standard numerical methods take a fundamental geophysical value. In this case, a concept of polystructural landscape organization is logical: by selecting different structure-forming processes and physical parameters, different classifications of landscapes could be elaborated. The models of geosystem functioning are closely related to their structure through boundary conditions and relations between parameters. All models of processes and structures are verified by field experimental data obtained under diverse environmental conditions.
214-223 13
Abstract
This paper aimed to characterize urbostratozems (Urbic Technosol, WRB) of Saint Petersburg located in industrial (“Electrodepo” railway station) and residential (region Polish Garden) zones. These soils were also compared with background (natural) soddy podzol soil (Umbric Albic Gleic Podzol, WRB) sampled in recreational zone (suburban park “Oranienbaum”). Soil samples were collected from soil horizons for chemical analysis and from top of soils for microbialogical analysis in June of 2012. Chemical properties (pH, total organic carbon, mobile forms of K and P) and content of heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni) in soils were determined. Culturable forms of microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) were studied. Assessment of the enzymatic activity of the soil was carried out by culturing of microorganisms-producers of protease, amylase, cellulase and lipase on special media. Biotesting using cress (Lepidium sativum L.) seeds had been carried out for assessment of soil phytotoxicity. It was found that chemical properties of urban and natural soils differ greatly. Heavy metal pollution was evident in both urban soils, but maximum concentrations of heavy metals were found in the soil of the industrial zone. Phytotoxocity had been also most pronouncend in the soil of the industrial zone. The natural soil exhibited significantly higher respiration activity than urbostratozems. The greatest difference in the structure of the bacterial and fungal communities was observed between the natural soil of the recreational zone and the urbostratozem of the industrial zone. Algae had been present in the urban soils of the residential zone that was not observed in the natural podzol. The minimum number of producers of all enzymes, except for cellulase, was observed in the soddy podzol in the recreational zone. The maximum number of protease and amylase producers was found in the soil of the industrial zone. Lipolytic activity was almost the same in all samples. It was found that more sensitive biological methods are needed for environmental assessment of urban soils. The results of the article can be used by soil scientists and environmental engineers for a comprehensive environmental assessment of the condition of urban soils and for creating new urban green spaces.
224-232 16
Abstract
Accumulation of chemical elements by leaves of trees and shrubs in urban (Central District of St. Petersburg) and background habitats were studied. To determine proportion of pollutants accumulating on the surface of leaves, chemical content of washed and unwashed leaves were analyzed. The results of the study showed that big part (19-62%) of pollutants is deposited on the surface of leaves of urban lindens, and only 10% on the surface of leaves from background places. Average difference between quantity of particulate matter for them is 4 times. Tilia cordata and Ulmus laevis has the highest value of ash content between washing and washing leaves. The level of contamination (Kk) showed high values for Fe (8.83), Co (7.47), Cr (5.62), Pb (4.31), Zn (3.04) for unwashed leaves of urban lindens; for the washed leaves this index slightly increased only for Fe (3.12) and Pb (2.13). Accumulative ability depends on the structure of leaf blade of each species, and the ecological situation of the habitat. Ulmus laevis, Tilia cordata, Populus sp., and Rosa rugosa accumulate more pollutants, and can be recommended for protective green plantings. Tilia cordata, as the most common species in the city green spaces, can be used as an indicator of the level of atmospheric pollution.
233-243 15
Abstract
Air quality in megacities is recognized as the most important environmental problem. Aerosol pollution by combustion emissions is remaining to be uncertain. Measurements of particulate black carbon (BC) were conducted at the urban background site of Meteorological Observatory (MO) MSU during the spring period of 2017 and 2018. BC mass concentrations ranged from 0.1 to 10 μg m–3, on average 1.5±1.3 and 1.1±0.9 µg/m3 , in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Mean BC concentrations displayed significant diurnal variations with poorly prominent morning peak and minimum at day time. BC mass concentrations are higher at night time due the shallow boundary layer and intensive diesel traffic which results in trapping of pollutants. Wind speed and direction are found to be important meteorological factors affected BC concentrations. BC pollution rose identifies the North as the direction of the preferable pollution. A negative correlation between BC concentrations and wind speed confirms the pollution accumulation preferably in stable weather days. Relation of BC pollution to a number of agriculture fires is distinguishable by air mass transportation from South and South-Est of Russia and Western Europe. Mean season ВС concentrations at rural and remote sites in different world locations are discussed.
244-250 21
Abstract
At the turn of 21st century global beauty and personal care industry underwent dramatic changes in its territorial structure. The main factors of that changes were world economics institutional changes, primarily – the international trade liberalization, as well as the R&D progress. During abolition of tariffs or tariff cut the competition in beauty and personal care ratcheted up sharply. That was accompanied by sea changes in its macrogeography, particularly, by the manufacturing transnationalization (mainly, in the form of its «drift» to developing countries) and the general expansion of the range of countries specializing in the beauty and personal care production. The main drive-forces of beauty and personal care transnationalization and the resulting territorial changes in the industry are discussed.
251-259 18
Abstract
Modern approaches to urban planning assume the dualistic nature of urban green infrastructure (GI). On the one hand, green infrastructure is as an integrated network of natural and semi-natural areas, featuring a delivery of various benefits to humans. On the other hand, GI is multifunctional and provides the residents by complex of ecosystem services to be user-oriented. Most official reports and programs use common indicators that do not characterize distribution, dynamics or state of GI. In our research, we assessed the quality of GI in 15 largest Russian cities by using an integrated assessment of 13 indicators that make up three groups: the ones 1) characterizing general GI availability; 2) supporting a comfortable urban environment («recreational indicators»); and 3) forming a stable ecosystem («integrity indicators»). The cities were ranked by values of every indicator from 1 to 15 and then the results were summed and normalized to get a total mark (max. 100). To assess the development of GI elements of each group, we also ranked cities separately by values of different groups indicators. Thus, our study revealed that satisfactory marks for both recreational and integrity indicators have Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Perm and Voronezh. In contrast, Saint Petersburg, being a densely built-up city in an auspicious natural zone, got the worst result. According to the final assessment, the quality of green infrastructure in Krasnoyarsk, a large industrial city, and four cities from the steppe zone (Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Omsk, Novosibirsk) is also unsatisfactory. Our method does not cover all GI aspects (like vegetation health) and since it is based solely on remote sensing data and statistics data, there is definitely a room for improvement. However, this method, while being relatively quick and simple to accomplish, allows to assess not only general availability of GI, but its quality and distribution as well, which are essential for urban spatial planning.
260-271 20
Abstract
Partitioning of metals in soil particles of various size classes has been receiving greater significance due to the necessity to predict the behaviour and pathways of the potentially toxic elements in the environment. In this study the analysis of metals’ distribution in various particle size fractions was performed to characterize and compare geochemical features of the topsoil horizons of two small erosional landforms located in uncontaminated area of the central part of European Russia (the Middle Protva basin, mixed forest zone). The landforms represent two typical lithological types of gullies in the study area. Soil samples were fractionated and the concentrations of Fe, Mn, Ti, Zr, Ni, Co, Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb were determined in five particle size fractions: 1–0.25, 0.25-0.05, 0.05−0.01, 0.01–0.001 and <0.001 mm. The metals’ concentrations and their distribution in various particle sizes were found to be related to gully litho-type. The contribution of the clay to the total amount of metals was the greatest for Mn, Zn, Ni and Co in both systems. The highest mass loading for Ti, Zr and Cr came from the coarse silt, while for Cu and Pb it was made by different particle size fractions: the medium and fine silt or the coarse silt. The highest contribution of Fe also came from different fractions, either from the coarse sand or the clay depending on the system.


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