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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 6, No 1 (2013)

GEOGRAPHY

14-28 180
Abstract
Antarctic subglacial aquatic environment have become of great interest to the science community because they may provide unique information about microbial evolution, the past climate of the Earth, and the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. Nowadays it is generally recognized that a vast network of lakes, rivers, and streams exists thousands of meters beneath Antarctic Ice Sheets. Up to date only four boreholes accessed subglacial aquatic system but three of them were filled with high-toxic drilling fluid, and the subglacial water was contaminated. Two recent exploration programs proposed by UK and USA science communities anticipate direct access down to the lakes Ellsworth and Whillans, respectively, in the 2012/2013 Antarctic season. A team of British scientists and engineers engage in the first attempt to drill into Lake Ellsworth but failed. US research team has successfully drilled through 800 m of Antarctic ice to reach a subglacial lake Whillans and retrieve water and sediment samples. Both activities used hot-water drilling technology to access lakes. The main troublesome of the implemented and planned projects for accessing of Antarctic subglacial lakes is connected with the hydrostatic unbalance resulted in the upwelling of water into the hole with subsequent difficulties. The proposed RECoverable Autonomous Sonde “RECAS” would measure and sample subglacial water while subglacial lake is reliably isolated from surface environment, and at the same time the sonde is able to measure geochemical signals in situ throughout the depth of ice sheet on the way to the bed. All process is going on in semi-automatic mode, and the estimated duration of subglacial lake exploration at the depth of 3500 m is 8–9 months. The general concept of the sonde as well as proposed power-supply and performance are given.
29-36 161
Abstract
We applied geothermal method for paleoclimatic reconstruction of the ground surface temperature history during the Little Ice Age and contemporary warming. We analyzed 83 borehole temperature profiles and estimated warming amplitudes and warming start dates after the Little Ice Age. The studied boreholes are situated in the Urals and Eastern Europe (Finland, Ukraine, and Belarus). Our investigation shows high degree of spatial variability of climatic changes in 18–19 centuries. Spatial distribution of amplitudes of paleoclimatic changes and warming start date testifies that warming following after the Little Ice Age was in progress in several steps and for different regions it started at different times.

37-54 142
Abstract
The lack of integration and communication of various geographic information services (GI services) has resulted in many duplication collection of earth observation data, and challenges of semantic interoperability. This paper proposes an ontology-based multi-agents platform, called MAKOCI (multi-agent knowledge oriented cyberinfrastructure), which acts as GI service one stop to manage, publish, share, and discover GI services semantically. By ontologies, formal meanings of concepts are defined to annotate and discover GI services on a conceptual level for semantic interoperability. With the assistance of multi-agents, the processes in MAKOCI can be divided into various modules and be communicated based on the same semantics in ontologies. A prototype was implemented to test MAKOCI. Finally, we conclude the advantages and disadvantages of MAKOCI and point out several future works.

ENVIRONMENT

55-66 196
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the spatial and temporal characteristics of the spring-summer atmospheric drought using various indicators from the meteorological station observations in the European Russia in May–August 2010.
Drought indicators suggest that the drought 2010 was not the most extensive. Weather conditions in the winter and spring of 2010 contributed to the occurrence of dry conditions in the central part of European Russia in May. It has been found that the most impact of the severe drought was on the territory of the Volga region. Drought began in May and lasted for 4 months. The intensity of severe and extreme drought increased from May to August. In the south of European Russia, severe and extreme drought was observed.
Analysis of the macrocirculation conditions of the drought formation has shown the likelihood of its occurrence in the European Russia in the near future.
67-79 166
Abstract
On August 8, 2010 in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu, rainstorm-triggered debris flow devastated the small county of Zhouqu. A modeling study, using a new multiple-phase scalable and extensible geo-fluid model, suggests that the cause is the result of an intersection of several events. These were a heavy rainstorm, not necessarily the result of global warming, which triggered the landslide and followed a drought that created surface cracks and crevasses; the geology of the region, notably the loess covering heavily weathered surface rock; and the bedrock damage, which deepened the surface crevasses, inflicted by the 7.9 magnitude Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008. Deforestation and topsoil erosion also contribute. The modeling results underscore the urgency for a high priority program of re-vegetation of Zhouqu county, without which the region will remain exposed to future disastrous, “progressive bulking” type landslides.

Sustainability

80-88 261
Abstract
A potential of Crimea for ecotourism development is discussed and the key stakeholders are defined. The main obstacles for the implementation of the ecotourism concept are analyzed and recommendations are provided based on integration of institutional, infrastructural, marketing, and educational components. Prospective regions for pilot projects on ecotourism development are outlined and priority actions defined.
89-97 174
Abstract
The emergence, formation, and development of the city are largely connected with its landscape position. The first stage of Samarkand’s existence may be referred to as “river civilization.” Over the course of development of the city, the nature and intensity of interaction of the population and economy with its landscape have undergone changes; there is a distinct general pattern: dependence on the landscape. This was largely the reason for its sustainable development for many centuries. This fact should be considered in future activities in landscape and spatial planning.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

4-13 80
Abstract
VLADIMIR IVANOVICH VERNADSKY
(on the 150th anniversary of his birth)
98-100 85
Abstract
The National Committee of Russian Geographers and its association with the International Geographical Union
101-103 107
Abstract
About the publication of the joint Russian-Chinese monograph “Sustainable Development and Cyclic Economy Informatization”


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