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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 6, No 2 (2013)

GEOGRAPHY

4-19 263
Abstract
All distinctions in the economic and nature protection policy of the neighboring states are well reflected and shown within trans-boundary river basins. The parts of trans-boundary geosystem of one country can experience an essential negative influence from rash decisions in the field of nature use and nature protection policy of the neighboring state. The Amur River Basin covers the territories of Russia, the Peoples Republic of China, Mongolia and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and occupies more than 2 million km2. The most intensive development of the basin territory has started since the middle of the 19th century. We compiled two maps of land use in the Amur River basin in the 1930–1940s and in the early 21st century. Results showed that, negative dynamics is marked for forest lands, meadows, wetlands and mountain tundra. The basic features in the change of land use within national parts of the basin in Russia, China and Mongolia are analyzed. The comparative analysis of land use peculiarities of the countries for the last 70 years has been done.

20-27 203
Abstract
The paper presents the results of a study on changes in the coastal line of the Yarki islands (North Baikal) using remote sensing data of the Earth. Vector shape files were generated from the automated classification of the multi-temporal Landsat data. The analysis suggests a systematic decrease in the Yarki’s sandbar area

28-33 160
Abstract
The concentrations and distribution of Fe, Ti, Zr, Mn, Cu. Ni, Co, Cr, Pb, and Zn associated with various particle size fractions have been analyzed in soils of two forested catenas located in the middle Protva River basin on the Smolensk-Moscow Upland. The results showed that concentration of metals in a particular size fraction was defined by a complex of factors: element chemical properties, soil type, genesis of a soil horizon, and position in the catena. A clearly defined relationship between the fraction size and metal concentrations was found for Ti and Zr. The highest levels of Ti were found in coarse and medium silt, while Zr had its highest values only in coarse silt and, in some cases, in fine sand. Such metals as Fe, Mn, Co, Cu and Pb had high concentrations in sand, fine silt, and clay fractions depending on a soil type and a genetic horizon. The maximum load of Cr, Zn, and Ni (in the majority of cases) was found in clay fraction. The minimum loads of Fe, Mn, Co, Cu, and Ni were found in the coarse silt fraction. Variation in concentrations of heavy metals differed depending on particle size. For most metals, the variations were decreasing from coarser to finer fractions.
Key words: soils, heavy metals, grain-size fractionation, vertical and lateral distribution patterns

ENVIRONMENT

34-48 153
Abstract
A mathematical three-dimensional model was developed by combining a physically complete block of circulation with modules of transport and transformation of detritus and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This z-coordinate model has a horizontal resolution of 5 × 5 km, 45 vertical levels, and a step of 5 minutes. The model considers gravitational sedimentation and decomposition of detritus, as well as its deposition and erosion on the bottom. To calculate the transport and transformation of PCBs in the Sea, the model uses three state variables: the concentration of PCBs in solution, in detritus, and in the upper layer of sediment. It also considers sorption, desorption, and reversible flows of PCBs at the bottom.
A 20-day model calculation was performed to simulate a potential accidental release of PCBs in the area of the Danube Delta in spring. The PCBs advection flows dominated and were comparable to the adsorption/desorption flows, while the diffusion fluxes were infinitesimal. Up to 20% of discharged PCBs were adsorbed by detritus in the first two days after the accident. There was a gradual accumulation of PCBs on the bottom; 16 days after the accident, 18% of the PCBs were bound to the sediments. The PCBs transport on detritus serves as a natural buffer mechanism that weakens the spread of PCBs in the sea. The paper analyzes the dynamics of PCB fields formed as a result of the application of an artificial active sorbent to minimize adverse effects on the ecosystem. An end-user oriented software application was developed; it allows forecasting the dynamics of potential releases of PCBs and planning counter-measures. A user-friendly interface allows tracking the field, visualizing the distribution of PCBs in the water column and sediments, and displaying the balance between dissolved and suspended phases.
Key words: multidisciplinary model, PCB transport, adsorption, desorption, sediments
49-62 214
Abstract
Distribution of technogenic radionuclides discharged by the Krasnoyarsk Mining and Chemical Combine (KMCC, Zheleznogorsk) in the period from 1958 to 1992 has been studied in floodplain landscapes of the Yenisey river. After shutting down the direct-flow reactors the radioactive contamination of the Yenisey river became dozen times lower. Performed landscape and radiometric studies revealed factors responsible for radionuclide differentiation and the character of radionuclide distribution within two landscape segments of the Yenisey river floodplain. The first segment characterized the impact zone from 16 km to 20 downstream the discharge, the second one was studied in the remote zone as far as 2000 km down the river. Artificial radionuclide contamination was most intensive in the 60-ies of the past century when it reached the Kara Sea. Traces of that contamination were registered in soils of both sites at the depth of 20–50 cm.
63-71 162
Abstract
The paper presents a new approach for risk assessment of impact of thermokarst processes on engineering structures; it is based on the methods of mathematical morphology of landscape. The paper presents the results of the investigation of irregular (non-circular shape) thermokarst lakes. Remote sensing images of reference plots with thermokarst lakes were digitized; then, theoretical assumptions were applied and the simulation results were compared with empirical data to prove convergence. The analysis of the obtained results showed general agreement of empirical and theoretical data.

SUSTAINABILITY

72-79 251
Abstract
The paper presents the results of a field investigation about sustainable development of Samani town—a rural area in Hidaka region, Hokkaido, Japan. Local activities, business, environmental, social and economic challenges that affect the town as well as the advantages were investigated. The research was done by means of field visits, questionnaires and interviews involving the local people and government. The main economic sectors: olivine industry, fishery, agriculture and tourism were targeted as well as the government sector and the local high school with a particular focus on rural-urban migration. Samani has quite unique natural features on hand but a few strong comprehensive challenges on the other hand. The authors focused on the citizens opinions and positions which were based on the uniqueness of Samani and their own local activities and initiatives for the sustainable development of the town in the future which can be replicated in other rural communities around the world.
80-93 424
Abstract
Nigeria is a disaster prone country. The disasters which often result into environmental emergencies like flooding are worsened by the degradation of the country’s environment and natural resources. Floods, rainstorms and droughts affect households each year in Ilorin and contribute to endemic poverty in most parts of Kwara State. Anticipated increases in extreme weather events will exacerbate this. Using data from both primary and secondary sources the study examines the urban vulnerability and adaptation to climate change among flood and rainstorm victims in Ilorin, Nigeria. The primary data include questionnaire administration to victims in the affected areas of the city. The secondary data on the other hand, include data from the Kwara State Emergency Management Agency on flood victims in the State between 2002 and 2007. This study brings out the important issue of vulnerability, coping and adaptation to weather induced disasters among the urban poor. The study revealed that the indigenous coping mechanisms employed by the poor may become less effective as increasingly fragile livelihood systems struggle to withstand disaster shocks. Also, many of these long-term trends are rendering indigenous coping strategies less effective and thus are increasing the vulnerability of the poor.

NEWS AND REVIEWS

94-100 117
Abstract
Science and Technology Foresight 2030 in Russia: Environmental Management


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