Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 1 - 2015

Methodical problems of geographical education

  • Alekseeva N.N., Klimanova O.A., Naumov A.S. Comparative analysis of higher geographical and environmental-geographical education in Russia and the countries of foreign Europe

Topical problems of organization and development of geographical and ecological-geographical education in foreign countries were studied basing on the inquiry of the leading European universities, questioning their professors and analysis of various informational sources. Principal models of education development in the countries under study were identified, systems of geographical and ecological training in Russian and foreign universities were compared and basic difference of domestic educational system was revealed. Best practices based on the advanced methodical and practical experience of organization of the university geography in European countries are recommended as a model for modernization of structure and content of the higher geographical and ecological-geographical education in Russia.

Methodic of geographical studies

  •  Medvedeva A.Yu., Arkhipkin V.S., Myslenkov S.A., Zilitinkevich S.S. Wave climate of the Baltic Sea following the results of the SWAN spectral model application

Application of the SWAN wind wave model (with input data Reanalysis NCEP/NCAR) for the Baltic Sea is discussed. High spatial resolution for the whole area of the sea and a longest period (over 60 years) of calculated wind wave parameters are characteristic of the study. The results of simulation are a good basis for further investigation of the climatic variability of wind waves. The results were compared with the data from the anchored buoys, available operative models of the Baltic Sea and the results of other researchers. High correlation of simulated and observed values was revealed, however the SWAN model on the average undervalue maximum wave height and peak periods. Statistical characteristics, such as correlation, mean regular error and standard deviation) were calculated to validate the model; their values are similar to those of other numerical experiments. The extremely severe storm caused by the Gudrun hurricane of 2005 is discussed more in detail. It was shown that the SWAN model adequately represents the real conditions, thus it is applicable for the shallow Baltic Sea. The storm situations were identified for the 63-year period, allowing the analysis of the climate variability of wind waves in the Baltic Sea. The overall trend of increasing storm intensity was revealed, as well as the 20-year periodicity with maxima in the 1970-s and 1990-s.

Geography and ecology

  • Vlasov D.V., Kasimov N.S., Kosheleva N.E. Geochemistry of the road dust in the Eastern district of Moscow

Principal physical and chemical properties and the geochemical specialization of the road dust in the Eastern district of Moscow were analyzed. Under the increasing intensity of traffic the percentage of sand rises in the dust, and the sand contains more heavy metals and metalloids. Concentrations of these elements became lower in fine, medium and coarse dust and show no changes in the silt fraction. At the small roads 93% Ag, 51-60% Cd, Bi, As, Sb and Sn, 31-50% Cr, Mo, Pb, Ni, Zn, Co and Cu, up to 30% W, V, Fe, Mn, Be, Ti and Sr are associated with the ecologically most hazardous PM 1 and PM 1-10. As compared to the upper part of the continental crust the road dust in the Eastern district is enriched with Cd 12Sb 10Sn 7Zn 6Cu 6Mo 6Pb 5Ag 5W 5Bi 5. The authors suggest using the integral index Z e to evaluate the enrichment of the road dust with heavy metals and metalloids. Under the increasing intensity of traffic the enrichment of PM 1-10, PM 10-50 and PM >50 with heavy metals increases, while that of PM 1 became lower, as a result of different chemical composition of emissions and traffic structure. According to their correlation with the transport load all elements could be classified into 5 groups. While assessing ecological-geochemical aspects of the environmental impact of transport it is important to survey both large highways and small driveways. Of priority monitoring are the concentrations of Cd, Sb, Zn, Ag and Sn which form the most contrasting geochemical anomalies in different particle-size fractions of the road dust.

  • Korznikov K.A. Mud volcanoes of the Sakhalin Island within the system of nature protection areas

Mud volcanoes support specific habitats and ecosystems; therefore they are of particular interest for both geology and environmental sciences. Mud volcanoes of Sakhalin Island are discussed in relation to nature protection areas management. All of them are regional nature protection areas and require the efficient use. Their nature protection function is combined with high tourist and recreational potential. The Maguntan, Maly Severny and Maly Yuzhny volcanoes of the Pugachev group have unique plant communities with local endemics, such as Artemisia limosa, Deschampsia tzvelevii, Gentianella sugawarae and Primula sachalinensis. Thus the Pugachev group of volcanoes should be managed as a valuable nature reserve. The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsky volcano could become an attractive excursion and tourist site - it is located close to the regional centre, is permanently active and has no rare and protected species. The Daginsky mud volcano is promising for medical and health-improving use because its area is rich in thermal and mineral springs.

Geography of the World economy

  • Faddeev A.M. Drivers and factors of siting gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants in Russia

The paper discusses the results of the analysis of factors and drivers of siting gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants which are new for the electricity production in Russia. Technical factors governing their location are identified and a review of their siting during 1970-1980-ies is presented. Basic causes and additional drivers contributing to the intensification of construction of such power generating facilities since 2000 are described. The start-up of gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants operation has resulted in slowing the increase of the generating equipment wear degree in Russia. The comparison of gas turbine and combined-cycle power plants siting in 1970-1980-ies and since 2000 showed that at present they are mainly located in large urban agglomerations of the European part of Russia, while in the Soviet period their principal area was in the Extreme North regions. Before 2011 the construction of new types of power generating facilities in energy-deficient regions led to the reduction of long-range power flows; since 2011 larger generating units are put into operation, mainly in the energy-proficient regions of this country.

  • Goncharov R.V. Geographic features of activities of the leading companies of the global oil and gas complex

The article deals with the geographical aspects of activities of the leading oil and gas corporations. A complex of factors has a pronounced effect on the spatial strategy of development of each company in this sphere, the principal one being its property status. According to these factors all oil and gas companies could be grouped into several types having specific spatial patterns of productive assets. Main zones of activities of the leading oil and gas corporations are described in detail basing on statistical and analytical data collected by the author. Special focus is on the specific spatial patterns of productive assets of the largest western companies, as well as the mechanisms of interactions between the companies of different types.

Regional studies

  • Bolikhovskaya N.S., Markova A.K., Faustov S.S. Evolution of environmental and climatic conditions within the Terek-Kuma Lowland during the Pleistocene

The article deals with paleogeography and stratigraphy of the Pleistocene in the Terek-Kuma Lowland, a most arid region of Russia (north-western part of the Caspian Lowland or the Eastern Cis-Caucasus). The results of detailed palynological, paleomagnetic and microteriologic examination of the Otkaznoye reference sequence (the Middle Kuma River valley) are for the first time analyzed in an integrated manner. The reference sequence composed of loess-soil, alluvial and proluvial-alluvial strata is unique in its depth (about 160 m) and stratigraphical completeness. As a result of its detailed climatic-stratigraphic subdivision the paleoclimatic stages were reconstructed and correlated with marine isotope stages. Climate and landscape changes and successions of plant formations within the Terek-Kuma Lowland during all ice ages and interglacial periods of the Middle and Late Pleistocene, as well as several stages of the Early Pleistocene, are described. The results of detailed palynological analysis of a deepest loess-soil sequence in Northern Eurasia, the reconstruction of landscape-climatic conditions of soil formation and loess accumulation during the Pleistocene and the climatic-stratigraphic schemes have no analogues in foreign scientific publications dealing with paleogeography and stratigraphy of loess-soil strata in loess areas of North and South America, Western and central Europe, Central Asia.

  • Voskresenskaya T.N., Leflat O.N. Paleogeographic evolution of the Issyk Kul Lake depression during the Neo-Pleistocene

Paleogeographical reconstruction of major natural changes between the Pliocene and the Pleistocene is based on the complex analysis of recent lacustrine deposits of the Issyk Kul depression. Main stages of sedimentation in the coastal zone of the lake are described, as well as the evolution of the lake during the Late Pliocene. The Paleo-Issyk Kul Lake was considerably larger during the Pliocene than the modern one. There were lakes in other mountain depressions too, but at the turn of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene most of them were emptied. At the same time the Issyk Kul became a deep-water lake. Several profound changes in the history of the lake evolution were identified. General trend of the Issyk Kul Lake evolution, i.e. the decrease in area and lowering of the water level, was analyzed using the data of deep wells and sections. The turn of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene was characterized by changes in the lake volume and oscillations of its level, as well as the profound transformation of surrounding landscapes. The mountain ridges became much higher, mountain glaciers were formed and the pattern of the river network changed considerably. Major transformation of the natural environment led to the formation of new Pleistocene landscapes quite different from the Pliocene ones.

  • Lvovskaya E.A., Chalov R.S., Rulyova S.N. Hydrologic-morphological analysis of divided channel of the Pechora River

Distribution of the morphodynamic types of channel is analyzed for the middle and lower courses of the Pechora River, a largest river of the European North, for which the channel processes were not yet studied. Channel braids of all known types, including those of 2-nd order, account for more than 80% of the river’s length. Hydrologic-morphological analysis of divided channel of the Pechora River was carried out for the first time. Interrelations between the relative width of islands and branches and the flow characteristics (channel-forming and specific mean maximum water discharge) were established. Close hydrologic-morphological correlations were obtained for meanders in the branches of floodplain-channel, singular and joint braids. It was demonstrated that correlations depend on the type of braids and the order of branches, while the values of coefficients are of regional character. The branches were for the first time ever classified according to their importance into main ones (with the principal one among them) and secondary

  • Ryazantsev G.B., Mnatsakanyan V.G., Myslivets V.I., Shipilova L.M. Background of gas formation in the bottom mud of the Azov Sea

Input of organic matter into the Azov Sea and its accumulation in suspended matter and bottom sediments are discussed. The anaerobic bacteria (Archaea) decompose the organic mud and the biogas is emitted. If the depth exceeds 1 m gas samples from water surface have high concentration of methane (more than 90%), low concentration of carbon dioxide (below 10%) and practically no sulphurated hydrogen. Thus the natural purification and concentration of biomethane take place while it passes through the sea water (due to higher dissolution of H 2S, NH 3 and CO 2 as compared with CH4). Total output of methane from the Azov Sea surface is preliminary estimated at about 100 billion m 3per year. Natural conditions of shallow bays of the sea are favorable for biogas production. The coastal mud has 7 to 14% of organic matter, while in the open sea its concentration is 2 to 3%. Inflow of gas from the deep layers is hardly possible, because chemical parameters of the surface and deep-earth gas are different. The biogas from the mud sediments of the Azov Sea could become a part of the alternative energy balance.

  • Myslenkov S.A., Zatsepin A.G., Silverstova K.P., Baranov V.I. Coastal dynamics of the Black Sea shelf zone investigated by drifting buoys and towed ADCP

The sea current monitoring system consists of drifting buoys with GPS receiver and GSM connection was created. The results of testing this system are presented in this paper. One of the main advantages is high temporal and spatial scale of the data furthermore there is option of real time observation due to GSM-connection. Surface currents of the Black sea shelf zone are studied near Gelendzhik. Data are obtained from drifting buoys and towed ADCP (Acoustic Dopler Current Profiler). Three experimental launches of buoys and result of comparison their trajectories with velocity field from ADCP are presented. Experimental time varies from hours to 2 days. There is also information about wind velocity and direction for each experiment. Buoys launched 30-40 m one from another were moving quasi-parallel for 5-10 hours during one of the experiments. Thus parallel jet currents were identified in the studied area. A dipole typical for sub-mesoscale eddy dynamics was observed during another day. The dipole was probably formed as a result from energy dissipation and destruction of eddy marked in the beginning of this experiment. There was no correlation between wind and currents in previous case. Third experiment shows that wind and current had the same direction. In conclusion eddies have temporary influence on coastal water dynamics. Coastal currents described by drifting buoys matches with ADCP data in general, but application of different methods leads to different interpretation of circulation. The experimental data prove the efficiency of presented monitoring system, which allows study coastal currents. There is a future research plan for extended experiments.

Short notes

  • Tikunov V.S. Subway for motor cars, or how can we reconstruct the Leninsky Avenue in Moscow

A model of two-level traffic organization is proposed for the case study of the Leninsky Avenue in Moscow. The concept of interchanges and combining subways and motor roads is discussed.


  • Jubilees of T.M. Belyakova, N.S. Bolikhovskaya, G.G. Matishov


  • A.N. Kosarev, N.S. Mironenko


  • Dobrolyubov S. A., Snytko V.A. Questions of a sustainable development of the Caspian region

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