Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 2 - 2015

  • Diyakonov K.N., Snytko V.A. To the 100 Anniversary of Nikolay Ivanovich Mikhaylov

Theory and methodology

  • Kasimov N.S., Vlasov D.V. Clarkes of chemical elements as comparison standards in ecogeochemistry

The environmental pollution assessment is usually based on the use of the following three main comparison standards: threshold values or other hygienic limits, geochemical background levels of pollutants an clarkes of chemical elements. Clarkes of chemical elements in the upper continental crust differ significantly from author to author. Therefore a geochemical range of the clarkes of chemical elements calculated as a ratio of the maximum and minimum clarkes values of the same element is a quantitative measure of the difference. Basing on the geochemical range of clarkes chemical elements were organized into four groups: with high (>5) for Cd, Hg, B, Bi, Br, C, Cl, N, Pd, S, Te; medium (2,5-5,0) for As, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Sb, Au, Be, I, Sn, Tl; low (1,5-2,5) for Zn, Co, Ba, Mn, Sr, V, W, Ag, Ca, Cs, Fe, H, La, Mg; and very low geochemical range (<1,5), for F, Pb, Al, Ge, K, Na, P, Ti. The highest geochemical range is typical for the most dangerous pollutants and for other chemical elements commonly studied during the ecological and geochemical investigations. It could be recommended to apply K.H. Wedepohl’s estimates as clarkes for Cl, Br, C, N, S, Tl and Sn; R.I. Rudnick and R. Gao’s estimates for Cd, Pd, Mo and Au. Estimates of Z. Hu and S. Gao could be used for Te, Bi and Cu while those of N.A. Grigoriev are recommended as clarkes for B, Hg, Ni, Cr, As, Sb, I and Be.

  • Vemich M. Aesthetic and logic codes of cartographical signs

The language of cartography is a sign language, therefore every mapping starts with coding cartographic signs which function as a genetic support to the reality existing between the two opposing requests for constituting and founding the meaning, by the way of their esthetics and logic codes. This makes it generally possible for the language of cartography to be articulated and transmitted, primarily through visual images and subsequently as reflective contents. The esthetics code is an esthetic relationship that coordinates the construction of cartographic signs with the ruling cultural and esthetic criteria contemporary to the act of mapping. This functions in such a manner that from the perceptive-sensual (visual and kinetic) ideas about objects that are the subject of mapping, a constructive-artistic presentation is created with a balanced form of existence, as well as a from of action in a functional mode, pertaining not only to every single cartographic sing, but also to the cartographic key as a whole. Furthermore, from a subjective point of view, the esthetics code is related to esthetic needs, esthetic taste and esthetic sense of its author, the cartographer, which generates a feedback reaction effectuated as an esthetic impression, esthetic pleasure and esthetic delight of the reader or the user of the map. The logic code consists of basic logical operations posed in an interactive system of relations which relies on immediate sensual notions that make an autonomous measure of semantics of individual cartographic signs. Departing from comparison, identification of and discrimination between separated sections, the logical meaning of cartographic signs is established, on one side by modeling (through analysis - synthesis) and by comprehension (through generalization - specialization) which confirms their logical scope while, on the other side, shaping (typization) and expressing (classification) determinate their logical context. Cartographic textualization gives a full expression to the style and the purpose of cartographic signs in depicting the geographic-cartographic image of the world, since it is embedded in their esthetics and logic codes.

Geography and ecology

  • Bancheva A. Assessment of the efficiency of environmental policy (case study of the Hokkaido University)

The experience of the Hokkaido University in realization of the sustainable development principles is discussed; the efficiency of environmental policy is evaluated, as well as the anthropogenic load of the University over the environment. The Action Plan aimed at the creation of a sustainable campus which was considered by the International Association of Sustainable Higher Education to be an innovation in university management is analyzed in detail. Environmental initiatives of the University cover three basic lines, i.e. optimization of resource use, environmental education and relations with administration and business. To evaluate the anthropogenic load of the University over the environment the ecological (carbon) footprint of the campus was calculated basing on the annual University reports information (resource consumption, CO 2 emissions), statistical data of the Hokkaido prefecture (areas of coniferous and broadleaved forests) and materials of Russian publications (volume conversion coefficient values). The carbon footprint of the Hokkaido University is about 1.07 gha per 1 student. The results were correlated with available data on the universities of the USA, China, Great Britain and Canada.

Methods of geographical studies

  • Tikunov V.S., Belozerov V.S., Shchitova N.A., Panin A.N., Cherkasov A.A. Geoinformational monitoring as an instrument of the spatial-temporal analysis of population migrations

There are some changes in migratory processes during the post-Soviet period, namely the intensive repatriation processes, the interchange of the roles between the receiving and the providing regions, changing urban-rural system, etc. The importance of finding out spatio-temporal features of migration processes is shown at the different territorial levels, i.e. national, regional, local, individual (settlement). Application of geoinformation technologies for the monitoring of migration processes proves to be particularly useful. Conceptual approaches to the organization of the geoinformation monitoring of migration processes (GMM) including the adaptation and integration of migrants into the receiving communities are suggested. Key tasks of the GMM are formulated, i.e. determination of the long-term tendencies of migration processes in a region, municipalities and settlements, identification of the centers and zones of migratory activity, assessment of migration influence on the ethnic and demographic structure of the population, revealing the inter-ethnic tension within particular territories, etc. Stages of the GIS-monitoring of migration processes are as follows: creation of the conceptual scheme of the GMM, elaboration of its logical structure, formation of the geo-database, creation of spatio-temporal models, assessment and examination of migration processes at different territorial levels. The GMM includes hardware, software, the executors and the methods. Main elements of the GMM, i.e. geo-database, modeling and visualization of migration processes, are described. Expert opportunities of the system of geoinformation monitoring are discussed

  • Vasilenko E.V., Tarasova L.L. Application of ASCAT/MetOp data for soil moisture monitoring

The ASCAT/MetOp data on the relative humidity of the upper soil layer were verified using the information provided by the Planeta State Research Center and the Hydrometeorological Center of the Russian Federation. The satellite data adequately reflects the humidity of the top 10-cm thick soil layer. If the agricultural properties of soil, such as its volume weight, maximum field moisture capacity and the permanent wilting point, are known they could be recalculated into the productive moisture reserves. The resulting estimates allow using these data for the operative agrometeorological monitoring of soil humidity during the sowing season. The ASCAT/MetOp data provide for the correct diagnostics of the over-moistening of upper soil layers which is particularly important to improve the operative monitoring of field work conditions during the sowing season.

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.

  • Stont Zh.I., Demidov A.N. Variability of air temperature over the South-Eastern Baltic Sea by the OIFP D-6 data (2004-2013)

The recent decade variability of air temperature was studied using the hourly observation data of the OIFP D-6-based environmental monitoring. The mean annual temperature is higher now than during the second half of the 20th century. The monthly values are the most variable in winter and the least variable in August. The diurnal variations are also analyzed. Both general regularities and regional features of the long-term variability of mean annual temperature were identifies. It was found that the mean annual temperature in the Russian sector of the South-Eastern Baltic Sea is higher now than in the middle of the 20 th century (8.7 °C and 7.4 °C respectively). Minimum values shifted from January (-2.0 °C) to February (-1.1 °C). Winter months are January and February with diurnal variations of temperature below zero (-0.3 °C and -1.3 °C respectively), with March values being rather close to them (1.5 °C). It was proved that the seasons tend to shift one month forward under the marine conditions. The highest variability of monthly means is typical for August and the lowest for January and February, mainly because of often thawing and surges of the Arctic air masses. The results are of regional importance and characterize the Russian sector of the South-Eastern Baltic Sea about 22 km from the Curonian Spitz coast.

  • Ivlieva O.D. Contribution of highly qualified migrants to the economic development of Germany (basing on the International Patent System data)

Migration of highly qualified people is analyzed using a wide range of theoretical approaches. Structure and dynamics of the immigration of the so-called «inventors» to Germany are described and their contribution to the innovative sphere of the German economy is evaluated. Citation indices and patenting activity data were used to conclude about the input of each group of researchers (immigrants, emigrants and re-migrants) to the innovative development of the country and the position of Germany in the international system of highly-qualified migration.

Regional studies

  • Alexeev A.I., Safronov S.G. Changes in rural settlement patterns in Russia during the late 20th - early 21st centuries

Transformation of the rural settlement patterns in Russia is discussed both from traditional settling point of view and considering the changing functions of rural settlements. The dynamics of rural population numbers during late-Soviet and post-Soviet periods was analyzed using 1970, 1989 and 2010 Censuses data, as well as the spatial density and population numbers of rural settlements. The general trend of the rural settlement patterns is the overall decrease of rural population numbers and concentration of rural dwellers in larger settlements. These processes were not simultaneous in different regions of this country and were combined with diverse changes in population numbers of rural settlements. Gradual decrease was typical for rather well-going regions of the forest-steppe zone, while the Non-Chernozem region experienced a rapid failure with medium-size settlements turning into the smallest-size ones. Permanent increase in rural population numbers and preservation of the overall settlement network pattern is typical just for few regions of Southern Russia. These processes started in the Soviet period under the influence of the external factors, mainly the urbanization development. During the post-Soviet period the internal factors became more important. These are the changes of the rural economic basis and the functions of many rural settlements which lost their positions as subdivisions of collective agricultural enterprises. Another factor is the rapid growth of suburban settlement pattern which has other functions, is influenced by other factors and produces other type of rural dwellers than traditional rural country.

  • Bezrodnykh Yu.P., Sorokin V.M., Yanina T.A. About the Atelian regression of the Caspian Sea

The Atelian regression is well pronounced in the structure of the Pleistocene deposits of the Northern Caspian Sea which were studied by seismoacoustic profiling, static sounding and opened with engineering-geological wells to the depth of 80 m. It is seen on the seismoacoustic profiles by the depressions under the reflecting horizon in the base of the Khvalynian deposits. The Caspian Sea level was 100 m below the actual one at those times. The regression strata are not lithologically uniform, taking a stratigraphic position in between the Girkanian and Khvalynian transgression deposits. The Aelian deposits are the alternating loams and clays in paleodepressions, while the uplands are formed of sandy loams in association with loams. They are characterized with high densities (2.10-2.15 g/cm 3), low humidity (<25-26%) and pronounced fracturing, which suggests that they were transformed in the open air. They have individual inclusions and layer accumulations of plant detritus and mollusk shells. The palaeontologic material proves the fresh-water or slightly brackish-water conditions of shallow basins filled with biogene-poor but carbonate-rich water. The radiocarbon datings of the humic acids extracted from the Atelian deposits from the palaeodepressions are within the range of 36 680±850-40 830±100 years; the calibrated age is 41 191±750-44 390±180 years. The results of dating performed by the radiocarbon method modifications at different laboratories (Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA) match together. The maximum of the Atelian regression and the formation of erosion depressions within the Northern Caspian Sea area coincide with the global cooling during the Kalinin (MIS 4) Ice Age. The final stages of the regression (filling of depressions with the fresh-water deposits) took place during the initial stages of the interstadial (MIS 3) epoch. The maximum of the Atelian regression correlates well with the maximum of the post-Karangatian regression of the Black Sea. And the accumulation of the upper part of the Burtass (Gudilov) strata composed of subaerial carbonate loams with soil-formation traces corresponds with the Atelian regression within the Manych depression.

  • Grechushkina M.G., Lomova D.V., Efimova L.E., Vishnevskaya G.N. Exchange processes at the contact of water and bottom sediments in the Istra reservoir during the summer period

The article presents the results of complex field investigation of exchange processes at the contact of water and bottom sediments which were for the first time carried out for the Istra reservoir. The role of stable stratification in changing the values of sediment oxygen demand (SOD) is revealed. The SOD was evaluated both in the channel depression and on the floodplain in different parts of the reservoir. The mineral phosphorus flux from the bottom sediments into water was also estimated. The study was carried out in order to parameterize the exchange processes for tuning the ecological block of the GMV-MSU model on the Istra reservoir.

  • Nefedova T.G. Employment of population and a phenomenon of seasonal work in the Stavropol Krai

Burning problems of population employment in the southern region of European Russia caused by the closing of industrial enterprises, changes in agriculture (shifting to less labor-consuming production) and reduction of cattle numbers. In the Stavropol Krai these problems are augmented by specific features of settlement (large settlements in the mono-specialized rural country). Another important factor is the increasing share of non-Russians who appeared to be more competitive in several spheres of economic activities under the complicated institutional situation of the post-Soviet period. Methodics of studying the employment and identification of population looking for jobs outside the Stavropol Krai are described. Different levels of unemployment in particular regions of the Krai relate to urban size and functions, the state and specialization of agriculture, small business development and the ethnic composition of population. Correlation of seasonal labor migration and permanent emigration was analyzed. Several maps and the graph illustrating the changing attractiveness of particular regions and towns of the Stavropol Krai during 1990-2013 are presented.

  • Bukharitsin P.I., Ogorodov S.A., Arkhipov V.V. Impact of ice bodies on the seabed of the Northern Caspian Sea under sea level fluctuation and ice coverage changes

Sea ice can execute direct mechanical, thermal and physical-chemical impact on the coasts and bottom. Among these processes, the most dangerous is ice gouging - mechanical destruction of bottom grounds by sea ice, connected with ice cover dynamics, hummocks and stamukhi formation under the influence of the hydrometeorologic factors and topography of the coastal zone. In the last two decades, exploration of carbohydrate reserves was reactivated within the Northern Caspian Sea region. It includes the planning, design and construction of stationary drilling platforms, underwater pipelines, and other objects of oil and gas infrastructure. For the development of underwater pipelines in freezing seas, reliable assessment of the intensity of the ice hummocky formations’ impact on the bottom is necessary; the depths of their penetration into the bottom grounds should be known. In connection to this, the assessment of the ice impact, which can be referred to the category of dangerous processes, is a key element for the geotechnical safety of oil and gas objects, as well as for the ecological safety of the water area. In the present work, features of ice cover dynamics and its impact on the seabed for the northern Caspian Sea are observed. Their main particularity is great interannual and centennial variability. The temperature regime of the cold season determines the conditions and the number of ice hummocks in the ice cover, and therefore influences the intensity of the ice impact on the shores and bottom. With all the other ice forming conditions being equal, current sea level position is an important factor, determining the intensity of ice gouging process. Fluctuations of the sea level reaching several meters during the expected functioning period of the hydrotechnical facilities can lead to significant depth changes and sea bottom relief rework and can accordingly change the conditions of ice hummocks’ forming and of the ice gouging of the bottom and shores. At present, the question of the intensity of the ice cover impact on the bottom of the Northern Caspian Sea remains open and requires a solution. The difficulty of the problem is determined, on the one hand, by the lack of studies of the ice cover interaction with the bottom grounds of the Northern Caspian, and, on the other hand, by the complexity of the problems to solve and high variability of the sea level and ice cover extent of the Caspian Sea.


  • Jubilees of L.V. Smirnyagin, S.D. Nikolaev

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