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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 9, No 3 (2016)
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GEOGRAPHY

4-24 1120
Abstract
The paper summarises stable-isotope research on massive ice in the Russian and North American Arctic, and includes the latest understanding of massive-ice formation. A new classification of massive-ice complexes is proposed, encompassing the range and variability
of massive ice. It distinguishes two new categories of massive-ice complexes: homogeneous
massive-ice complexes have a similar structure, properties and genesis throughout, whereas
heterogeneous massive-ice complexes vary spatially (in their structure and properties) and
genetically within a locality and consist of two or more homogeneous massive-ice bodies.
Analysis of pollen and spores in massive ice from Subarctic regions and from ice and snow cover of Arctic ice caps assists with interpretation of the origin of massive ice. Radiocarbon ages of massive ice and host sediments are considered together with isotope values of heavy oxygen and deuterium from massive ice plotted at a uniform scale in order to assist interpretation and correlation of the ice.
25-38 415
Abstract
The maps of naturally determined geomorphologic tension, scale 1:8 million, for the territory of the Russian Far East and the central fragment of the mountain system of the Andes (between 5°S – 19°S) were compiled. We are using the term “tension” to define predisposition of the territory for the development of catastrophic processes. Tension was
evaluated in nominal scores accordingly to the regional level of generalization.  Assessment was based on the analysis of seismicity, amount of precipitation, the depth of the relief dissection and the spectrum of the dominant geomorphologic processes. The value of geomorphologic tension in the Russian Far East region ranges from 3 to 16 conventional points: in the Western Okhotsk Sea coast area it was estimated at 7–10 points, in the Sakhalin – 10–12, in the Eastern Kamchatka – 13–15 and in separate Kuril Islands – 16 points. Thus, the study results confirmed the formerly stated supposition about the increase of nature-defined geomorphologic tension of the NW Pacific Ocean sector from the west to the east. The zone of maximum potential development of catastrophic processes in the SE sector of the Pacific Rim is situated at the western mega slope of the Peruvian Andes between 9°S and 13°30’S and in the band width of 100 km along the Pacific coast. The geomorphologic tension of this area reaches 15–16 points due to natural causes. The tension on the eastern mega slope of the Andes ranges from 9 to 12 points, except for some areas where it increases to 13–14; on the Altiplano it decreases to 6–10 points. An important feature of the study area is the asymmetric distribution of geomorphologic processes, so the geomorphologic tension, which significantly different at the oceanic and the inland (continental) slopes of the mountain chain. Comparison of data obtained for the two segments (NW and SE) of the Pacific Rim allows reaching a conclusion about the general regularities of the distribution of geomorphologic tension in the territory of marginal mountain belts around the Pacific Ocean with more confidence. The areas of potential catastrophic processes are located near the edge of the continent in either case.

ENVIRONMENT

39-52 383
Abstract
This article is based on long-term research of aquatic landscapes in the Volga
River delta which was held in 2010–2012 and included investigation and sampling of bottom sediments in deltaic lagoons, fresh-water bays, small channels, oxbow lakes, and part of the deltaic near-shore zone. Contrasting hydrological regime and suspended matter deposition together with huge amount of water plants in the river delta provide for the formation of different types of subaquatic soils. The purpose of this research is to reveal the properties of the subaquatic soils in the Volga River deltaic area and to propose pedogenetic approaches to the diagnostic of aquazems as soil types. It is suggested to name the horizons in aquazems in the same way as in terrestrial soils in the recent Russian soil classification system, and apply symbols starting with the combination of caps – AQ (for “aquatic”). The aquazems’ horizons are identified and their general properties are described. Most typical of aquazems is the aquagley (AQG) horizon; it is dove grey, homogeneous in color and permeated by clay. The upper part is usually enriched in organic matter and may be qualified for aquahumus (AQA) or  aquapeat (AQT) horizons. In case of active hydrodynamic regime and/or strong mixing phenomena, the oxidized (AQOX or aqox) horizon, or property could be formed. It is yellowish-grey, thin, and depleted of organic matter. The main types of aquzems specified by forming agents and combinations of horizons are described.
53-73 396
Abstract
Coastal dynamics monitoring on the key areas of oil and gas development at the Barents and Kara Seas has been carried out by Laboratory of Geoecology of the North at the Faculty of Geography (Lomonosov Moscow State University) together with Zubov State Oceanographic Institute (Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring) for more than 30 years. During this period, an up-to-date monitoring technology, which includes direct field observations, remote sensing and numerical methods, has been developed. The results of such investigations are analyzed on the example of the Ural coast of Baydaratskaya Bay, Kara Sea. The dynamics of thermal-abrasion coasts are directly linked with climate and sea ice extent change. A description of how the wind-wave energy flux and the duration of the ice-free period affect the coastal line retreat is provided, along with a method of the wind-wave energy assessment and its results for the Kara Sea region. We have also evaluated the influence of local anthropogenic impacts on the dynamics of the Arctic coasts. As a result, methods of investigations necessary for obtaining the parameters required for the forecast of the retreat of thermoabrasional coasts have been developed.
74-87 250
Abstract
We conducted a field study on light conditions in a small boreal Karelian Lake Vendyurskoe over two years. Albedo of ice-covered lake varied from 0.9 to 0.1, and the euphotic zone depth exceeded 3.5 m during the melting stage. The Secchi disc depth changed from 2.5 m after ice-break to 3.7 m at the stage of early summer. The vertical distribution of the photosynthetically active solar radiation (PAR) attenuation coefficient for water Kw was characterized by high spatial (vertical) and temporal (seasonal and interannual) variability
which can be connected with the dynamics of plankton cells. The highest values of Kw  eached 2–2.8 m–1 in the upper 0.5 m layer of a water column, and decreased to 0.5–1.5 m–1 with increasing depth. The highest values of Kw were marked in the end of ice-covered period.

SUSTAINABILITY

88-105 536
Abstract
The Pamir region supplies water for most countries of the Central Asia. Discussions and arguments with regard to reduction of water resources related to climate change are popular today among various governmental and international institutions being a great
concern for modern society. Probable decrease of the Pamirs runoff will affect downstream
countries that can face water deficiency. However, there is no scientific rationale behind
such disputes. The Pamir region is a remote, high-mountainous and hard-to-access area with scarce observation network and no reliable data. It is not sufficiently investigated in order to perform any assessment of climate change. This article represents results of study of climate parameters change (such as temperature, precipitation and river discharge) in the Pamirs. The study area covers all countries included in this mountain region (Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan). Observation records, remote sensing data and GIS modeling were used in the present work. Chronological data series were divided into two equal time intervals and were treated as climatic periods. Further analysis of climate change helped to estimate its influence on change of water potential in the Pamirs. The paper considers issues of liquid and solid precipitation change in the study area.
106-116 307
Abstract
This study examines flood risk propensity of communities in Edu Local Government
Area of Kwara state, with a view to classifying the area into risk zones for better and proper management of the environment for the sustainable living of the people. The three administrative districts of Edu Local Government area were identified as pragmatic areas for the study. In each of the districts, Geographical Information System data capture and analytical tool were used to harvest and treat the data for subsequent interpretation. The coordinates of various locations of interest were taken, contour and slope maps of the area were generated to produce flood risk map for the area. The results revealed three distinct risk zones; High, Moderate, and low-risk areas. Three settlements fall into a low-risk area with elevations above 196 m, two settlements located at between 110 m and 196 m are within moderate risk zone and six settlements in High-risk area with elevations below 110 m. This paper concludes that the people of the riverine communities in Edu LGA are culturally attached to the environment. The study, therefore, recommends public enlightenment on the trend in climate and weather about the flood and its implications, environmental education and then resettlement of these communities. When and where resettlement scheme proves very difficult due to strong cultural attachment, flood prevention mechanism via engineering construction such as dykes, embankments and ditches should be adopted.


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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)