Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 3 - 2015

Theory and methodology

  • Klimanova O.A., Kozlov D.N. Formal approaches to the evaluation of non-uniqueness of the delimitation of geographical regions

Possible application of formal approaches for the evaluation of certainty of particular regions which are the result of flexible delimitation procedures is demonstrated. The scheme of the geoecological regions of Africa compiled through the complex multi-criteria analysis with both definite and flexible indicators was the object of study and certainty control. Regular grid cells of 0,5° 0,5° are the operational territorial units of study which are described by various parameters (in nominal or interval scales) from available thematic databases. A region is a territorial combination of adjacent grid cells characterized by similar values of region delimitation criteria. Three typical situations of the mathematical intersection of indicators for cell combinations (regions) are discussed which correspond to high, medium and low nonuniqueness of region delimitation. The results are interpreted in terms of the individual features of the regions; limitations of mathematical methods applied for their analysis are discussed. The most significant variables (criteria of the delimitation of regions) are determined. Possible application of the above-discussed methods for localization of the typical cores and peripheral parts of regions is described.

Geography and ecology

  • Krechetov P.P., Koroleva T.V., Chernitsova O.V. Soil cover of the Baikonur Cosmodrome area and its resistance to the technogenic impact

Soil cover of the Baikonur Cosmodrome area is studied. Basing on the field and chemicalanalytical investigations, as well as the Earth remote sensing data the medium-scale (1:300 000) soil map of the cosmodrome area was updated. Soil resistance to chemical and physical impacts related to the rocket-and-space activities was evaluated which allowed zoning the Baikonur Cosmodrome area regarding the potential resistance of soils. The integral assessment of potential resistance of soils to chemical pollution depends both on the realization of buffer mechanisms of their physical-chemical properties and the catalytic reactivity of the chemical elements. Soils with low potential resistance to chemical impact host about 65% of the cosmodrome operation facilities. These data should be taken into account while planning measures for the environmental risks mitigation and choosing soil decontamination techniques in emergencies. Factors influencing the resistance of soils to physical impacts were also analyzed. The cosmodrome facilities are located within areas with medium (85%) and low (15%) soil resistance to physical impacts. If the environmental standards for particular types of activities are met at the cosmodrome facilities the anthropogenic transformation of natural landscapes in their vicinity could be scaled down.

  • Isakov V.A. Temperature regime of road basements in the permafrost

The main trends and causes of the transformation of geocryological situation in the basements of road embankments within the permafrost zone are discussed. The temperature fields in the basements of 11 road embankments were modeled using the WARM software with due account of particular climatic and geocryological features. The modeling results made it possible to identify four principal types of the long-term quasi-steady state of the temperature field in the road basements, namely stable, semi-stable, semi-unstable and unstable. The main causes of their formation, i.e. additional heating of artificial surfaces, redistribution of snow cover and road embankment morphology preventing the uniform freezing of ground at its bottom, are discussed. Specific irregularities of the temperature field influence seasonal and long-term dynamics of the geocryological conditions in the natural-technogenic system of road embankment. The modeling results were tested against the results of field observations and the data from publications with high degree of convergence. The regions with stable and semi-stable types of computed quasi-steady temperature field are also subjected to the deformation of road embankments as a result of the seasonal melting of ground at their bottoms and the intensification of thermokarst and frost heave processes.

  • Dekhnich V.S., Dronin N.M.. Estimate of greenhouse gases emissions from the municipal sector sources in the town of Astana

The contribution of different types of residential houses to the total greenhouse gases emission in the town of Astana was calculated basing on the author’s calculation procedure. The results show that specific emissions of the greenhouse gases due to the production of electricity and heat for the public sector significantly exceed the world averages because of a long heating period and the use of coal as a principal fuel. We suggested a set of measures for the reduction of the GHG emissions from the municipal sector. Part of them deals with the reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions by producers of heat and power (CHP plants) while other are aimed at the end users of these services within the municipal sector. It is shown that the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions down to the world averages is only possible by replacing coal with natural gas as a principal fuel for the urban GHP plants and realizing the most cost-effective measures for saving heat and electricity at the municipal sector.

Methods of geographical studies

  • Ivanova A.A., Arkhipkin V.S., Myslenkov S.A., Shevchenko G.V. Modeling of storm surges in the coastal zone of the Sakhalin Island

The 1990 and 1995 storm situations in the Sea of Okhotsk were modeled using the ADCIRC model adapted for the Sea of Okhotsk by producing the irregular computation grid of 500 m resolution basing on the absolute heights of bottom topography. Wind and air pressure data of the NCEP/GFSR reanalysis were used as constraining forces. Computed values of the sea level were correlated with the data of instrumental observations at several sites of the Sakhalin Island. The results of numerical modeling made it possible to evaluate the role of air pressure in the formation of storm surges and compute a number of statistical parameters (correlation, standard deviation, systematic error, etc.). The spatial pattern of the maximum water levels for the whole computation period showed the highest water rise in the Sakhalin Bay and the Terpeniya Bay for both cases.

  • Khristoforov A.V., Yumina N.M., Belyakova P.A. A One-day lead time flood forecast for the rivers of the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus

Methods of forecasting water levels and discharges for Mzymta, Sochi, West Dagomys, Kuapse, Tuapse and Vulan rivers were developed in order to provide for the early warning of theriver flood risk at the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus. The methods take into account the advancesin the modeling of hydrological processes and forecasting of the mountain rivers discharge,as well as the natural conditions of the region and virtually all hydrometeorological informationfor the basins of the above rivers. A technique of rather accurate and efficient forecastingof maximum discharges and water levels with a lead time of one day was elaborated basing on theregional model of snowmelt and rain runoff formation. A scheme for the computation of a dailyprecipitation amount which could cause the excess of critical flow rates and water levels with agiven probability during the next 24 hours was suggested for the meteorological stations. Methodsof computation of the dangerous flooding probability during the next day using the availableactual hydrometeorological information were elaborated. The proposed techniques are implementedat the Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia using the computer-aided procedures andare applied for the early warning of dangerous floods on particular rivers of the Black Sea coast ofthe Caucasus.

  • Kozhin M.N., Ershova E.G., Smyshlyaeva O.I., Popova K.B. Modern pollen spectra of the White Sea islands (case study of the Poriya Guba bay)

The article discusses the relationships between the actual local vegetation of the White Sea islands and their modern surface pollen spectra. Surface soils and peat were sampled on the islands and the mainland coast of the Poriya Guba Bay under different geographical conditions and plant communities. The obtained spectra were analyzed using the cluster analysis and the principal component analysis. The results show that the modern pollen spectra adequately reflect both the zonal vegetation, i.e. the northern boreal forests, and its local features. The typical treeless communities located on the open-sea islands and dominated by Empetrum are the most clearly identified by the surface pollen spectra. Other plant communities have less specific pollen spectra. The surface spectra from forests, open woodlands and dwarf shrub communities in the inner part of the bay are rather similar in composition. This suggests their common formation as different stages of a single succession. Surface spectra of bogs and waterlogged Empetrum communities are also quite similar. It is shown that the openness to winds and humidification are important factors for the formation of modern pollen spectra of the islands. The results prove that within the boreal forest zone the treeless islands with dwarf shrub vegetation have specific surface pollen spectra, which agrees with the previous studies in other sub-Arctic regions. The patterns revealed in the course of the study could be used for interpreting the results of the pollen analysis of fossil deposits of the White Sea islands.

Regional studies

  • Medvedev I.P., Arkhipkin V.S. Sea level oscillations in the Golubaya Bay (the town of Gelendzhik)

Sea level oscillations in the Golubaya Bay (the town of Gelendzhik) were studied using the  data of the acoustic wave recorder that registers level fluctuations with 5 Hz frequency. Analysis of the continuous series of observations made it possible to identify principal daily and semidaily tidal components in the spectra of the Black Sea level oscillations. A peak with about 4,8 hour periodicity probably results from the resonance of the sea level oscillations themselves and the shallow-water components of a tide. The harmonic analysis was used to evaluate the amplitudes and phases of the main daily and semi-daily harmonic constants of tides in the Golubaya Bay. The spectral analysis identify the following frequencies of the sea level oscillations themselves in the range of 2 min to 1 hour: 17,6 min, 15,5 min, 13 min and 6 min. Peak values at the frequencies below 5 cycles per hour depend on the frequency-selective characteristics of the Golubaya Bay shelf and the sea level oscillations in the nearby Gelendzhik Bay. Spectral peaks at f>7 cycles per hour are formed by the sea level oscillations in the Golubaya Bay itself.

  • Shustov E.A. Geography of banking in Germany

The banking system of Germany is among the oldest ones in the world. Its well-developed territorial structure which includes different types of banking institutions is characterized with a pronounced asymmetry. The institutional approach to the investigation of the national banking systems in the world is not adequate enough to describe all features of a banking system, particularly its interrelations with the spatial distribution of productive forces and the economic potential of the population within the area of operation of a banking institution. The banking system of Germany has the so-called three-sector structure and each sector has its own clients, sets of banking services and assets. Their spatial distribution is therefore governed by different factors which should be analyzed in order to forecast and plan the strategic development of the banking system in Germany and find the economic niches for foreign banks eager to expand their activities in Germany. Spatial distribution of credit and financial institutions of Germany in terms of their legal forms, size and numbers was analyzed. Parameters of the interrelation of the banking institutions and the social-economic situation in their standorts were calculated and interpreted.

  • Wongtui B., Alekseeva N.N. The present-day deforestation of mountain regions in Thailand (on the basis of land use dynamics studies)

The analysis of land use dynamics in a mountainous Nan province for the period of 1995–2012 made it possible to identify the principal factors leading to deforestation in Northern Thailand. The land use was monitored through interpreting space imagery from the Landsat 7 ETM and the Thai Theos/Thaichote satellite and using land cover data granted by the Land Development Department of the Kingdom of Thailand. Compared to the FAO conclusion about the suspension of deforestation it is shown that profound changes in land use took place in several mountainous regions of the country, namely sharp reduction of forest areas and the increase of perennial plantations, fields, orchards and pastures, as well as the urban areas. The main types of land use changes in mountainous and lowland regions of the Nan province were identified. The deforestation was particularly intensive during 2009–2012. As a result, the destructive natural-anthropogenic processes, i.e. erosion and landslides, became more active within mountainous landscapes provoking the increase of sediment discharge and the risk of floods. Key factors of deforestation in the mountainous regions of Thailand which is a vibrant economy nowadays are the transformation of traditional environmentally sustainable systems of subsistence economy and their substitution for the intensive systems typical for the market economy.


  • Mazurov Yu.L. Nagoya Conference by Training in Interests of the Sustainable Development


  • The 75th anniversary of Andrey Aleksandrovich Lukashov


  • Nikolay Ivanovich Alekseevsky's memories

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