To the 150th anniversary of the birth of V.I.Vernadsky
The article reasons the concept of life as a mode of bio-inert substance existence. The elementary physical media of bio-inert substance is a biogeocenosis. It is at the biogeocenosis level that a new quality of bio-inert substance appears, i.e. the possibility of theoretically eternal coexistence of living and non-living matter due to the biotic cycle under the stable external factors. Within the geochemical concept of life it is not limited by the bodies of the organisms; it goes beyond them to include the abiotic environment which is in direct contact with the biota. Functioning of bio-inert substance results in the formation of biospheric “exo-metabolites” (sedimentary rocks), which are recycled beyond the sphere of organisms’ existence in the metamorphic cover. The biosphere together with its immediate surrounding forms a larger geosystem, i.e. the ecosphere.
The article reveals the role of V.I.Vernadsky’s theory in the progress of biogeomorphology. The importance of V.I.Vernadsky’s ideas and conclusions for the evolution of concepts dealing with the role of living matter in relief formation is discussed.
To the centennary of the birth of A.I.Popov
Alexander Iosifovich Popov – the founder of the cryolithogenesis theory
Theory and methodology
Nucleation of ice crystals in the atmosphere is a result of freezing of the over-cooled water micro-aggregations of the surface of aerosol particles. The habit (3m) and the size (15.32 nm3) of a crystal ice nucleus are determined by the ratio of surface energy of its facets. The growth of facets or crystal as a whole is possible if the equilibrium concentration of water vapor over its facets doesn’t exceed water vapor content in the atmosphere. A diagram of atmospheric ice crystals morphology in relation to the absolute and relative supersaturation of the atmosphere with water vapor is suggested. The great variety of atmospheric ice crystals forms is classified into four principal types, i.e. solid lamellar, solid columnar, skeletal columnar and skeletal lamellar. Formation of any type of ice crystals in the atmosphere depends on its absolute and relative supersaturation with water vapor.
Geography and ecology
The authors define the comfort of living conditions of the population and suggest a new method of its evaluation for the Vladimir oblast as an example. At the regional level the comfort of living conditions of the population could be evaluated using three groups of factors, i.e. natural-anthropogenic, social and medical-environmental. In order to calculate the comfort of living and output the maps an integrated information database was developed for the Vladimir oblast and a software using the object oriented Avenue language was designed and tested within the ArcView GIS to create and visualize maps of comfort and maps of each factor for a particular territory. This approach makes it possible to identify areas which are the most comfortable for living for different age and sex groups of the population.
Basins of 118 watercourses where formation of mudflows is possible were identified at the Caucasian coast of the Black Sea between Novorossiysk and Adler cities. The following parameters were used for mudflow risk evaluation: probability of death as a result of mudflow event during a year at a particular territory (individual mudflow risk) and possible number of mudflow victims per 1 year at a particular territory (collective risk). The results are presented on the map and show that the individual risk doesn’t exceed the acceptable level within any basin. The values of this parameter differ greatly from one basin to another. The collective mudflow risk for the territory under study is 0.86 persons per year, i.e. on the average less than 1 person is annually killed by mudflows there.
Methods of geographical studies
Methods of non-parametric statistics are used to analyze data on the height of wind waves for the regions where the satellite observations record the decreasing surface temperature as a result of the intensive wind waves in the coastal areas. For the majority of coastal areas under study wind waves were higher in the “squares” with the coastal line segments than in those without them. This is probably indicative of a certain regional process. Temporal analysis of the data shows the uniformity of the heights of wind waves for the majority of the areas under study.
In order to study the cultural flora of the world aiming at the efficient use of the global plant resources N.I.Vavilov organized expeditions to more than 50 countries and visited 42 countries himself. Of particular importance was the international correspondence of N.I.Vavilov which contributed to the addition of the foreign cultural plants to his world-wide seed collection.Regional studies
The results of field measurements of suspended matter within the Selenga River basin (in Mongolia and Russia) during July-August 2011 are discussed. Spatial variability of water turbidity, grain texture and percentage of organic matter in suspended matter, and daily discharge of suspended matter is analyzed. Smaller average diameter of suspended particles and lower percentage of organic matter is typical of rivers affected by mining enterprises. During the summer flood period average daily accumulation of suspended matter within the Selenga River segment from the Khilok River mouth downstream to the delta is 2445 t. The discharge of suspended matter is predominately silty (particles from 0,001 to 0,05 mm).
Concentration and distribution of light (La, Ce, Sm, Eu) and heavy (Tb, Yb, Lu) lanthanides in soil matter and the silt fraction of genetic horizons of sod-podzolic soils (forest and meadow elementary landscapes) and peat-humic-gley soil (bog elementary landscape) were studied in the Middle Protva River basin (the Smolensk-Moscow Upland). The majority of lanthanides are uniformly dispersed within the upper part of the soil profiles, because they only slightly participate in the biogenic accumulation processes. It is possible that Eu, Sm and Lu participate in the podzolization process. Concentrations of lanthanides in the silty fraction of soil-forming cover loams are higher that in organogenic horizons of related soils. Relative chemical passivity of lanthanides during soil formation under humid climate conditions was proved.
The article deals with the investigation of soil catenas on the slopes of karst sinkholes in a steppe region. Morphological, chemical, physical and physical-chemical properties of soil are described. Soil of karst sinkholes are compared with those of adjacent non-karst steppe regions and those of karst sinkholes in forest regions. It is shown that soil formation within a karst region is quite different from that of adjacent non-karst regions. Soils of the top and middle parts of the slopes are the most vertically differentiated within the steppe soil catenas.