Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 3 - 2014

Theory and methodology

  • Yanina T.A., Sorokin V.M., Bezrodnykh Yu.P., Romanyuk B.F. The Girkan stage in the Pleistocene history of the Caspian Se

Materials of seismo-acoustic profiling of Quarternary deposits within the Shirotnaya structure of the Northern Caspian Sea region are presented, as well as the results of lithological, biostratigraphical, pollen and geochronological analyses of drill samples to the depth of 100 m. A complex stratum of Caspian sediments up to 28 m thick lies between well-defined layers of regression sediments (Chernoyar and Atelsk). The stratum includes deposits of two transgression basins, i.e. Late Khazar and Girkan, with different faunal complexes. The Late Khazar complex is characteristic of a shallow to moderately deep transgression basin. Presence of semi-desert grass associations and almost total absence of forest communities speak for the arid climate of that epoch. The Girkan sediments are typical to a higher transgression. Larger percentage of tree species and presence of both xerophytes and herbs indicate a certain climate cooling and humidification. Finding of Corbicula fluminalis in basin sediments speaks to the higher temperature of the North Caspian Sea and the influence of fresh water within the Shirotnaya structure. The results of the study confirm G.I. Popov’s ideas of the Girkan transgression during the Late Pleistocene evolution of the Caspian Sea. The Girkan basin was formed during the warm Mikulin epoch and its highest level and the largest water discharge through the Manych River dated to the transition stage between the Mikulin interglacial epoch and the Valdai Ice Age.

Geography and ecology

  • Korbut V.V., Tsekina M.V. Virtual tours in the environmental education

An innovative concept of virtual ecological trails is suggested as the most environmentally-safe form of ecotourism. It is also of importance for the preparation of the visits to nature protection areas. It is particularly useful for remote areas and fragile ecosystems. Virtual ecological trails based upon the modern technologies of information collection, processing and storage could become an important stage in forming the ecological world outlook.

Methods of geographical studies

  • Zyryanov A.I. Systematization of tourist classification units

The article deals with an attempt to systematize tourist-geographical classification units. Tourist-geographical terms, such as small place, place, center, zone, belt, node and region, are commented. Specific features of the tourist belts formation are discussed. Tourist nodes are described as key elements of the territorial organization of tourism both for Russia and foreign countries. Principles of tourist nodes formation in large towns are suggested. Possible applications of the classification system under discussion for tourism design are analyzed.

  • Toropov P.A., Shestakova A.A. Testing of the WRF model for forecasting the Novorossiysk bora

Possible application of a mesoscale non-hydrostatic version of the WRF-ARW model for forecasting the Novorossiysk bora is analyzed. Eight numerical experiments were carried out with different boundary and initial conditions, parameters of physical processes and resolution of computational grid. Large amount of data collected during field investigations of the Novorossiysk bora allowed thorough verification of the modeling results. Optimum configuration of the model for numerical modeling of the Novorossiysk bora was suggested basing on the evaluation.

  • Lyashenko E.V. New organization of passenger communication between Moscow and St.-Petersburg and its impact on their transport accessibility

Transformation of passenger transportation by different transport means which took place in Russia during the 2000-ies was the most pronounced for the communication between Moscow and St.-Petersburg. Therefore this could be regarded as a first stage of more profound changes in the territorial organization of passenger transportation in Russia. The analysis of transformation of the transport accessibility for Moscow - St.-Petersburg direction allows identification of new forms of communication, i.e. low-cost air transportation and high-speed railway service, as well as the changes in passenger traffic. The latter are due to both people needs under the expanding economic exchange between the “capitals” and the increasing commuter flows and the growing offer of transportation services whipping up the demand. Causes of the transformation and the first results in terms of the transport accessibility of the territory under study are discussed. The core of the study is the transport accessibility represented in both time and money aspects.

  • Baldina E.A., Grishchenko M.Yu. Interpretation of multi-temporal space imagery in thermal infrared band

Space imagery in thermal infrared band is relatively underemployed for geographical regional studies. A technique of interpretation of multi-seasonal thermal infrared images for ecological-geographical and landscape mapping based on a temporal image as an interpretation indicator was elaborated. The study was carried out for two territories with non-uniform thermal fields, i.e. a part of a large city (its industrial center) and an active volcano, using multi-temporal TM and ETM+/Landsat imagery (10.4-12.5 μm channel). Two approaches to imagery analysis are suggested, i.e. identification of thermal anomalies and revealing the thermal structure of a territory. The resulting maps demonstrate the application of suggested technique.

  • Malygin I.V. Forecasting of ice clogging in rivers using the theory of image recognition

A technique of solving the task of ice clogging forecasting using methods of the theory of image recognition is suggested. Possible database structure and content are described. The scheme of forecasting algorithm is presented, as well as the results of its application for the Severnaya Dvina River segment from the town of Kotlas to the town of Veliky Ustyug.

Regional studies

  • Kravtsova V.I., Mikhailov V.N. The Zambezi River delta and its changes due to reservoir construction

History of the Zambezi River delta development and investigation is analyzed. Delta transformation due to construction of large reservoirs within the river basin is described. Basing on the results of space imagery interpretation the delta morphology was studied and the map of the actual state of ecosystems was compiled. Maps of ecosystem transformation due to river flow regulation were also compiled for particular parts of the delta.

  • Dubovik V.O. Evaluation of transport accessibility of Uruguayan and Bolivian towns

Evaluation of transport accessibility of settlements with account of the road network parameters, physiographic features and the type of settlement is discussed. The method was tested for the settlements of Uruguay and Bolivia. Transport accessibility of the settlements was comparatively analyzed for these countries.

  • Ivanov M.M., Krasnov S.F., Belyaev V.R., Safarov Kh.N. Evaluation of sheet erosion rates within a small catchment area in the Karateginsky Ridge piedmont area (Central Tadzhikistan)

Possible scenarios of sheet erosion for the intensively developed small catchment area in the piedmont area of the southern macroslope of the Karateginsky Ridge are analyzed. Pastures are the predominant land use type in the area, thus the land degradation and badland formation are mainly because of overgrazing. Conservation of vegetation cover is of crucial importance for the protection of land resources under considerable amounts of rains and the high slope gradient. The estimation is based on the erosion model using the universal soil loss equation (USLE). Two extremes of pasture vegetation state are considered as input data, i.e. the optimum (closed herbal cover) and the critical (total reduction). The results of modeling clearly show that the current trend of overgrazing could pose a serious risk of considerable land losses.


  • Jubilee of Nina Ivanovna Glushankova

  • The 85th anniversary of Yuriy Firsovich Knizhnikov

New books

  • Malkhazova S.M. Fundamental publication “Atlas-book of the Voronezh oblast”

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