Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 5 - 2015

Theory and methodology

  • Kasimov N.S., Golubeva E.I., Lurie I.K., Zimin M.V., Samsonov T.E., Tutubalina O.V., Rees W.G., Mikheeva A.I., Alyautdinov А.R. Library of spectral characteristics of geographical objects within the structure of the Lomonosov Moscow State University Geoportal

Structural framework of the MSU Geoportal spectral library is discussed. A part of the library includes information about northern plants (of the Kola Peninsula). The spectra are referred to the topographic map and placed over multi- and hyperspectral space images and thematic maps resulting from imagery interpretation. Primary attention was given to the spectra of typical plant species. The collection of spectra considers the variations of spectral parameters of a certain species due to different site conditions, such as humidity, slope aspect and gradient, soil properties, etc., and the type and degree of technogenic impact. Each item of the designed spectral library of northern plants provides the description of the object, spectrometry data (textual file and graph), geographic coordinates and photo of a sample plant.

  • Baburin V.L., Badina S.V. Evaluation of the social-economic potential of natural hazard- subjected territories

A methodology of assessing the vulnerability of socio-economic territorial systems of municipal level to natural hazards is suggested. A complex index of the density of socio-economic potential was designed for this purpose. Correlation of the index values with the degree of natural hazards exposure of a territory (both in space and time) will help to identify areas of the maximum risk. The methodology could be useful in territorial development planning or locating the investment projects, industrial and civil construction, infrastructure, etc. It could also help to ensure the safety of population and existing economic facilities taking into account the risk of natural hazards. The methodology provides for calculation of the socioeconomic potential of economically developed area rather than the administrative-territorial unit as a whole, thus contributing to the adequate evaluation of the natural hazards risk with due consideration of the spatial concentration of socio-economic potential. We also suggest a technique of calculating the gross municipal product (an analogue of the gross regional product) as a part of the methodology. The suggested methodology was tested for municipalities of the Northern Caucasus regions.

Geography and ecology

  • Gribok M.V., Tikunov V.S. Natural-environmental component of the imaginative space of Russia in mass media (case study of the RIA-Novosti agency)

Distribution of the RIA-Novosti agency news dealing with environment and nature management over the regions of Russia is analyzed. The increased attention of mass media to environmental news is characteristic if the events are directly related to political or economic developments of both regional and federal levels; cause a pronounced public response (discussions, large-scale protects, etc.); result in fatalities or serious injuries; threaten the existence of unique natural sites or rare animal species. Regions where the same natural events occur from year to year are also of particular interest for journalists. The maps compiled on the basis of collected data provided for the identification of the principal focuses of mass media attention in 2006-2012 and allowed concluding on their uneven geographic distribution and possible reasons of these irregularities. The resulting maps show the imaginative space of Russia emerging in mass media, rather than the real features of sub-federal units of the country. It is important that it is this environmental portrait of the country that is perceived by the audience of the federal mass media which includes, among others, individuals and institutions responsible for environment-oriented decision-making aimed at the development of the information policy within the Concept of transition of the Russian Federation to sustainable development.

  • Ukashova S.S., Krechetov P.P. Evaluation of admissible impact of pollutants on the ecosystems of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Approaches to the quantitative assessment of admissible impact of pollutants on the ecosystems of the Republic of Kazakhstan are discussed. Regional analysis of the anthropogenic load over the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan showed very high degree of the territorial localization of chemical pollution. A database of soil properties and parameters used for the assessment of critical load was created. A balance model was used to determine critical loads of acid depositions and nitrogen compounds. Admissible depositions of heavy metals were evaluated with due account of organic matter content, sorption capacity and availability of carbonates. The resulting maps and large amount of data make it possible to analyze in detail soils of the territory under study. The spatial analysis has revealed zonal distribution of the critical loads of acid rains and heavy metal depositions. Critical load is an indicator of ecosystem vulnerability and allows evaluating the risk of ecosystem damage. Regional assessment of critical loads contributes to the optimization of the strategy of pollutant emission reduction and the mitigation of their transboundary transport for the maximum environmental benefit.

Methods of geographical studies

  • Gabdullin B.S., Zhogolov A.V., Savin I.Yu., Otarov A., Ibrayeva M.A., Golovanov D.L. Application of multi-spectral satellite data for interpretation of soil salinization of the irrigated areas (case study of Southern Kazakhstan)

Possible application of Landsat and Pleiades satellite data for interpretation of soil salinization of the irrigated areas in Kazakhstan is analyzed. Heterochronous images were used to reveal how the accuracy of interpretation depends on the time of photo survey. Regressions between the conductivity values and predictors were calculated for all field survey sites. Fields with different crops were studied separately. Indirect interpretation of soil salinity by the state of vegetation in the first half of the growing season proves to be the most informative. The most reliable regressions are based on the Landsat satellite data. The most important regression models were used to compile maps of soil salinity within the Akdala irrigation area for a series of depths (0–20 cm, 20–50 cm and 50–100 cm).

Regional studies

  • Semenkov I.N., Kasimov N.S., Terskaya E.V. Vertical geochemical structure of soils of the forest-steppe loamy catenas of a balka water catchment area in the centre of the Srednerusskaya Upland

Chernozem soils of gully-balka catenas in the centre of the Srednerusskaya Upland have the following parameters of the humus horizon: 50–60% of coarse silt, 4–9% of clay fraction, 4–6% of humus and pH 5–6. The soils showed typical total concentrations of Fe, Sr, Cr, Zn, Ni, Cu, Co and Pb. Concentrations of exchangeable and organo-mineral metal compounds, as well as those specifically absorbed by Fe and Mg hydroxides are in line with background values characteristic for Russian chernozems. Total amounts of mobile compounds as percentage of the total concentrations are 30-90 for Mn, 10-100 for Pb, 10-30 for Co, 10-25 for Ni, 5-25 for Sr, 7-20 for Cu, 5-15 for Zn, 2-4 for Fe and 0.5-2.0 for Cr. In leached and podzolic chernozems the concentrations of Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, Co, Cu, Pb and Sr are mostly without variation; those of Ca and Mg increase and of Mn decrease down the soil profile. Total concentrations of metals show no differentiation in meadow chernozem soils. Organo-mineral metal compounds accumulate in the upper layers of chernozems and are evenly distributed in meadow chernozem soils. Exchangeable and specifically absorbed metal compounds have no predominant type of vertical distribution. The contrasts in metal distribution along the soil profile decrease from leached chernozems to podzolic chernozems and meadow chernozem soils. The main factor governing the vertical distribution of metals in soils is the concentration of Fe and Mn.

  • Surkova G.V., Sokolova L.A., Chichev A.R. Long-term regime of extreme winds in the Barents and Kara seas

Results of evaluation of the long-term variability of daily wind speed extremes in the open parts of the Barents and Kara seas for the period of 1950–2012 are discussed. Despite the pronounced climate changes in the Arctic just a slight increase in wind speed maximum is obvious since 1970. The long-term periodicity of wind extremes and their daily regimes are characterized. According to the results the parameters of wind probability distribution function did not change significantly during recent decades. The analysis of the directions of extreme winds havesshown that in the open parts of both seas the extremes are observed mostly for southern winds and in the Barents Sea also for the westerlies.

  • Myslenkov S.A., Arkhipkin V.S., Koltermann K.P. Estimation of the height of swell in the White and Barents seas

The SWAN spectral wave model was realized for the White and Barents seas, as well as for the northern part of the Atlantic. A new irregular grid was used for calculation with 1° interval for the Atlantic, 0.5° for the Barents Sea and 0.2° for the White Sea. The input wind data were the NCEP CFSR reanalysis data of high resolution (about 0.3°). The results of numerical experiments made it possible to estimate the influence of swell originating from the Northern Atlantic on the White and Barents seas, thus contributing to the solution of the problem of open boundaries while simulating wave processes in the seas. In the process of three numerical experiments the wind field over the White and Barents seas was «switched off» in order to isolate the influence of swell originating from the Northern Atlantic. The impact doesn’t exceed 0.25 m within the White Sea, while it is above 5 m for the Barents Sea. The height of swell coming from the Barents Sea into the White Sea is about 1 m. The results provide for the estimation of possible errors in the process of wave simulation for the White and Barents seas under the situation of open boundaries and in the absence of waves coming from the Northern Atlantic. The accuracy of simulation was verified by comparing the results with remote sensing data about wave heights. Correlation of results with the data of satellite altimetry and the WaveWatch3 model showed that in general both models simulate near-real wave heights. The simulated wave height values are 2–3 m above the satellite data, mainly because the averaged remote sensing data represent a largely smoothed wave field. During storms with the waves higher than 6–7 m the swell from the Northern Atlantic has the period of 15–16 s and to the central part of the Barents Sea the peak period changes for 18 s.

  • Chalov R.S., Zhao Yean, Volkova T.I., Liu Shuguang, Chalov S.R., Zavadsky A.S. Influence of waterworks facilities on channel processes in the lower reaches of the Huang He and Yangtze rivers

Specific features of channel transformation are discussed for the largest rivers of China downstream the Three Gorges and Gezhouba waterworks on the Yangtze River and Sanmenxia and Xiaolangdi waterworks on the Huang He River which were put into operation during the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. They differ from the rivers of Russia in reservoir regimes (decrease of storage during the summer high-water period and accumulation during the winter low-water period), high sediment yields, partly retention of bed load in reservoirs, practically total damming of rivers downstream the waterworks and other large-scale flood-control regulations. Different rates and forms of river incision, e.g. the absence of sediment accumulation in front of channel scour, were identified, as well as different stream-bank erosion processes and resulting channel widening typical mostly for the Huang He River. This is mainly the result of the narrowing channel-forming zone limited by the flood-control dams and the removal of meanders (on the Yangtze River). Positive effects of incision succeeding the sediment accumulation typical for the rivers before the waterworks construction are the reduction of dam failure risk and the lower probability of inundation of developed areas.

  • Kipkeeva P.A., Potapenko Yu.Ya. Principal factors of sustainable tourism in the Karachai-Cherkess Republic

The concepts of sustainable tourism, sustainable development of tourism and sustainability in tourism are discussed. The indicators of sustainable development of tourism in the Karachai-Cherkess Republic are suggested. The state of tourism in the context of actual requirements is analyzed. The study allowed concluding that the principal factors governing the location of recreation areas are the transportation network and the landscape features. Among the landscape features (natural conditions) relief, hydrographic network and vegetation cover are the most important. Different groups of recreants have specific principal factors of localization: availability of roads and sanatoria for those requiring treatment; a complex of landscape features for tourists; unique alpine relief of high aesthetic value for mountain-climbers; hotels and engineering facilities for alpine skiers. Localization factors for individuals going for short-term (1-2 days) recreation are transport accessibility, forests with berries and mushrooms and good river banks. The overexploitation of the natural complexes of the Karachai-Cherkess Republic for tourism has formed the zones of conflict situations in the upper reaches of Teberda, Great Zelenchuk, Aksaut and Kuban rivers. The sustainable development of tourism will contribute a lot to the progress of the Karachai-Cherkess Republic. It will help to increase the life standards of local people and the economic self-support of recreational areas, create new jobs, involve general public into decision-making, improve economic, social and legal bases for nature protection, and promote the environmental education and the general environmental culture of local people and visitors.

  • Nosova A.N. Localized knowledge spillovers and the development of high-technology clusters of Bavaria

Evolution of high-technology clusters influenced by the localized knowledge spillovers resulting from migration of highly skilled professionals who established their companies in Bavaria is discussed. The case study is the biopharmaceutical cluster centered in Munich. The study revealed that the changing role of the sources of localized knowledge spillovers correlates with location of high-tech companies. In 1950–1970s when large high-tech enterprises were moved to Bavaria from other federal states the external knowledge of experts from other regions and countries, as well as Bavarians who studied or worked abroad was critical. Then more and more firms were established by entrepreneurs who acquired knowledge in Bavarian companies. In the 1990s when the technology and cluster policy started the access to specialized infrastructure and financing and subsequently to a wide range of the innovation actors for obtaining specialized knowledge gained in importance. The increasing number of companies was established by the representatives of Bavaria’s research institutes and universities and the role of the «local» knowledge acquired within the region increased too. Among the main problems there are still recent decline in startups (since 2011), reduction of venture capital, as well as catching-up development of biotechnologies in Germany.

Methods of teaching

  • Serapinas B.B., Prokhorova E.A. Geoinfographics as an actual trend in the process of cartography students training.

Progress of higher education requires a smooth incorporation of new modern trends into the traditional forms of education. Therefore the innovative cartographic training involves the use of new technologies, application of new techniques for producing maps and other geoimages and mastering modern methods of information visualization. Geoinfographics is among these methods and it is increasingly on demand in social networks and mass media, as well as in science and education. Geoinfographics is a graphic way of presenting information quickly and accurately. Such presentation is based on text fragments, drawings, photos, as well as various symbols, graphs, diagrams, etc., and it must include a map, an image or any other map-like image, i.e. geoimage. The article discusses the target and the objectives of the course Socioeconomic maps and geoinfographics. It will present the state-of-the-art, the potential and the prospects of this new trend of training. The course will supply students with knowledge of how to process actual information into sought-after product. The course is designed to be delivered to cartography students during one semester. The analysis of current studies proved that at present no other specialized projects in this field are developed.


  • Jubilee of Galina Nikolaevna Ogureeva.
  • Jubilee of Yelena Iosifovna Nezval’.
  • The 85th anniversary of Pavel Alekseevich Kaplin.
  • The 80th anniversary of German Sergeevich Anan’ev

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