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The Don River is the largest river in the southwestern part of European Russia and the second largest river system in European Russia. The Don River basin is one of the most water deficient regions in Russia and the long term average water usage in the basin amounts to 45%.

The period 2007-2016 was the longest long-term low-flow period observed, with an estimated total water resources deficit of 40.4 km3 over 8 years. The main reason for this deficit were anomalously warm winters (2-4 degrees over average) with a low degree of soil frost penetration. This resulted in low spring flood volume (37% of the average) due to heavy seepage losses combined with thin snow cover.

A similar low-flow situation was observed in 2014, when the drought caused great damage to ecosystem of Tsimlianskoye water reservoir and the River Don. Most of the fish breeding grounds had dried up by May 2014. This caused the number of round fish whitebait to drop 5-10 times below the 2002-2014 average. Inland shipping and hydropower industry also sustained losses of 42 million euro (according to interview from State Shipping company) due to low water level.

This study shows that the main reasons for the 2007-2016 extreme hydrological drought are exceptional hydro-climatic conditions and anthropogenic transformations in the watershed, such as urbanisation growth and afforestation. The analysis shows that the main cause in water deficit is associated with the left tributaries of Don – Khoper and Medveditsa, while the flow in Upper Don remained more or less normal. The results can be interpreted as a “warning sign” to reduce water consumption in these sub-basins to avoid similar drought situations in future. 

Ground-based levels of important biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), isoprene and monoterpenes, as well as NOx and O3 measured simultaneously along the Trans-Siberian railway on a mobile railway laboratory in TROICA-12 campaign in summer 2008 are analyzed. It was shown that the highest isoprene (≥2.5 ppb) concentration was observed in the daytime in the Far East region where several favorable factors for its emissions occurred: a large amount of deciduous forests, high temperatures (>28°C) and light conditions. Maximum levels of monoterpenes (up to 3-9 ppb) along the Trans-Siberian railway were observed during the nighttime in the Ural region and in Central Siberia where coniferous vegetation is located. To evaluate the relative importance of isoprene and monoterpenes in ground-level ozone formation in Russian cities along the Trans-Siberian railway, where high NOx concentration leads to tropospheric ozone generation, daytime ozone-forming potential (OFP) was calculated. The chemical losses of the studied BVOCs during their transport from sources to the measurement point were taken into account. Calculated OFPs due to isoprene (OFPiso) and monoterpenes (OFPmono) along the Trans-Siberian railway are in average 15±13 and 18±25 ppbv of ozone, respectively. The highest OFPiso (up to 40 ppbv) were estimated in Central Siberia and in the Far East. OFPmono was the highest in the regions of coniferous vegetation, Ural and Central Siberia, and reached 80 ppbv. In the most cities along the Trans-Siberian railway, where high NOx concentration (10-20 ppbv) along with high daytime temperatures (>25°C) were observed, monoterpenes made a main contribution to tropospheric ozone formation. Only in the Far East cities, where the largest deciduous vegetation area of the Trans-Siberian railway is located, isoprene played the main role in tropospheric ozone generation. It was also noted that OFPiso increases with the population-size of the cities. It can be either due to the greater proportion of deciduous vegetation in the large cities along the Trans-Siberian railway or due to the impact of anthropogenic isoprene source. OFPmono was the lowest in the medium cities and the highest in the small ones.
This paper analyzed land cover changes in Gazipur Sadar – an important urban fringe of expanding Dhaka City, Bangladesh, by leveraging remotely sensed imageries between 1973 and 2017. Landsat images of1973, 1991, 2006, and 2017 were classified using widely-preferred supervised classification method. Compared against groundtruth data, the reported classification accuracy ranges from 85% to 89%. Our classified land cover maps reveal that built-up areas in Gazipur Sadar increased by 312.9%, mostly replacing vegetation cover. An overall 199.7% decrease of vegetative covers highlights on the degree of urbanization process and increasing population pressure faced by Gazipur Sadar over the past decades. The rapid decrease of vegetative cover only 57 sq. km remains out of 344 sq. km throughout the region, including the Sal (Shorea robusta) forest and other floral species – invaluable resources for biodiversity and ecosystem health, should be taken as ‘alarming’ situation by the local authority responsible for promoting and managing sustainable development goals. In that light, this study emphasizes on the need for a critical assessment of future development initiatives in the Gazipur Sadar area and suggests for maintaining acceptable tradeoffs between development and environmental protection.
The paper reports on the results of the pollen, plant macrofossil and geochemical analyses and the AMS 14C-based chronology of the «Rüdersdorf» outcrop situated east of Berlin in Brandenburg (Germany). The postglacial landscape changed from an open one to generally forested by ca. 14 cal. kyr BP. Woody plants (mainly birch and pine) contributed up to 85% to the pollen assemblages ca. 13.4–12.5 cal. kyr BP. The subsequent Younger Dryas (YD) interval is characterized by a decrease in arboreal pollen (AP) to 75% but led neither to substantial deforestation nor spread of tundra vegetation. This supports the concept that the YD cooling was mainly limited to the winter months, while summers remained comparably warm and allowed much broader (than initially believed) spread of cold-tolerant boreal trees. Further support for this theory comes from the fact that the relatively low AP values persisted until ca. 10.6 cal. kyr BP, when the «hazel phase» of the regional vegetation succession began. The postglacial hunter-gatherer occupation is archaeologically confirmed in Brandenburg since ca. 13 cal. kyr BP, i.e. much later than in the western part of Germany and ca. 1000 years after the major amelioration in the Rüdersdorf environmental record.
Measurements of summer mass balance Bs, made over the period 1946- 2016, on 56 continental glaciers, located in the basins of mountain rivers in 14 countries, were analysed for the purpose of resolving several tasks: (a) constructing physically based interrelations between river flow Wbas and Bs ; (b) estimating the representativeness of local measurement of Bs for enhancement of hydrological computations and for control of modelled values Wbas; and (c) use of time series of Bs for the evaluation of norms and extrema of Wbas. Results of the study of the outlined problem serve as the basis for making the transition of local glaciological characteristics to the basin-wide level by using the relationship between runoff and summer balance of glaciers. It includes also analysis and conclusions on the spatial and temporal homogeneity of averaging glaciological mass balance data by the sampling method.

Building of scientific basis for harmonious exploitation and spatial organization of the economy (land use) is one of the key issues of present-day geography. The study of land resources includes consideration of the relations between economic development, profitability and potential opportunities for further development of the territory, possibility of disturbed lands recovery and returning to the economic turnover, and preservation – all of those things which are necessary for human life worth living. Identification and analysis of land use types and forms is a necessary step of any economic-and-geographic study of a certain territory on the basis of statistical data and field survey. The creation of optimal land use schemes, taking into account the assessment of the conditions for certain types of management placement in given territory, has practical importance.

Geomorphic assessment of territorial resources is based on the theoretical concepts of the anthropogenic-and-geomorphic system as a special morpholithodynamic system consisting of natural and anthropogenic components (mineral and biological) that are interrelated not only by natural flows of matter, energy and information, but also by the structures of socio-technical management.

The problem of land valuation is particular important in old-cultivated areas, as it requires solutions to ensure rational use of territorial resources, with the greatest effect for the economy and with the least harm for nature, and preservation of the engineering, ecological and historical-and-cultural potential of the territories.

A “second nature” is formed on the urban territory with its own microclimate, vegetation, relief and soils, surface water and groundwater, and, what is highly important, with the elements of management. Both natural and natural-and-anthropogenic geosystems operation modeling, as well as the forecasting, is the basis for the territorial resources and natural-and-anthropogenic risks management.

This paper presents the logical model of the area natural conditions influence on the evolution of urban land, shows the ways of creating the model of comfortable environment, where all types of the place attractiveness – ecological, social and economic – should be balanced.

A constructive formula for the geomorphic assessment of territorial resources includes the synthesis of benefit and profit. That is an engineering and ecologic-and-geomorphic assessment of lands in terms of the convenience for some sort of economic activity, taking into account the ecologic-and-geomorphic restrictions, as well as the economic evaluation of the engineering site preparation, taking into account the availability of recreational and specially protected areas, as well as environmental insurance against adverse processes and phenomena – maintaining of favorable living conditions. 

In this paper we focus the attention on the micromorphology of the Late and Middle Pleistocene paleosols exposed in twelve loess-paleosol sequences sections in the central part of the East European Plain. Every studied paleosol complex known as Mesin (MIS 5), Kamenka (MIS 6 (8) - 7 (9)), and Inzhavino (MIS 8 (10) - 9 (11)) pedocomplexes (PCs) consists typically of two members, the earlier – main – phase of the soil development taking place during an interglacial, and the later one – at the subsequent interstadial time. Interglacial paleosols formation is associated with the thermal optimum of climatic macrocycles and corresponds to conditions close to modern in the territory under consideration. Interstadial paleosols formation characterizes the intervals within the glacial period, accompanied by an increase in heat and moisture. However, the heat supply of such intervals did not reach modern level in this region (Velichko and Morozova 2015). As follows from the analysis of the soil micromorphology over the studied area, the soil microstructure experienced notable changes under changing latitudinal zonality. During the interglacial periods clay coatings and Fe-Mn pedofeatures dominated the soil microfabric; in the south loess-paleosol sequences coatings are in negligible quantities, Fe-Mn pedofeatures decrease in amount, and carbonate pedofeatures appear instead. In the microfabric of the interstadial paleosols, Fe-Mn pedofeatures are abundant, but unlike interglacial paleosols, the coatings are rare. Basically, the coatings are humus-clayey in composition, but in the more southern sections coatings are absent.

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