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Geography and Natural Resources

2022 year, number 2

The concept of "landscape" in Russian legislation

Institute for Complex Analysis of Regional Problems, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Birobidzhan, Russia
Keywords: landscape, landscape policy, management, environmental protection, Russia

Abstract >>
It has been revealed that in spite of the absence of a state landscape policy in Russia the regulation of several kinds of economic activity includes requirements for rational use of landscapes. The landscape concept is used to manage resource-oriented activities in Russia. Environmental protection, and also the Russian natural and cultural heritage preservation were determined as the key lines of activity. It was found that approximately 40 types of landscapes were regulated by Russian legislation. Nevertheless, only three definitions of them have been legally approved: landscape, natural landscape and anthropogenic landscape. Federal legislation regulates landscape management for almost all types of economic activities listed in this paper. At the interregional and regional level, attention is paid to the use of geosystems in tourism, agriculture, natural heritage conservation and environmental protection. At the local (municipal) level, the landscape concept is used to manage urban planning, the zoning of settlements and classification of lands and to assess their cadastral value. Integral geosystems (rather than individual natural and cultural-historical resources) are the objects for management within the framework of the functioning and development of specially protected natural areas as well as of the protection of cultural heritage. The objectives of their use are mainly mentioned in strategic documents. It is pointed out that a number of features in the state regulation of the use of geosystems in Russia relate to several principles of landscape planning. Among them are hierarchical nature (management of geosystems at all levels ranging from the federal to municipal level), the focus on the environmental aspects of regional policy (landscape management is basically used for the environmental protection), reliance on the ecological framework of the territory (the establishment and management of specially protected areas for the conservation of unique and typical natural complexes which form part of the ecological framework).

Protected natural areas of Siberia and Mongolia: comparative analysis

1V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia
2Institute of Geography and Geoecology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Keywords: territorial nature conservation, legislative framework, institutional differences, systems of protected natural areas, classification of categories of protected areas, spatial relationship of protected areas

Abstract >>
The large inland territory, including Russian Siberia and Mongolia, as discussed in this article, has similarities in physical-geographical, and socio-demographic parameters, as well as in the attitude to them as the resource colonies. The Siberian and Mongolian components significantly differ politically thus affecting the institutional and managerial characteristics and the formation of territorial nature conservation, which is implemented in the activities of specially protected natural areas. The article provides an analysis of the existing systems of protected areas in Siberia and Mongolia, and of their structure and legislative basis. The similarities and differences of the laws of Russia and Mongolia are consistently considered: on land, on specially protected natural areas, and on territories of traditional nature management. The analysis of the legislation revealed a difference between similar categories of protected areas, management features as well as some aspects of law enforcement. Based on statistical information as of the beginning of 2021, summary tables of protected areas by category and by administrative units have been compiled. On the basis of databases collected by the authors and previously published thematic atlases, maps of protected areas have been compiled, demonstrating their distribution in Mongolia and Siberia. In spite of the differences identified, a converging aspect is shown: the presence and planning of interstate transboundary protected natural areas. It is concluded that the existing system of Mongolian protected areas is more effective. It is characterized by a greater representativeness of landscape diversity, more evenly distributed across administrative units of the country, developed in terms of areal indicators, more homogeneous in terms of representation of various categories of protected areas, and more peculiar due to the presence of transboundary protected areas between aimags. The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) is a positive exception in the Russian part of the system.

Interregional interaction in tourism - a strategic framework for the economic recovery of the sector in the Far East

Institute for Water and Environmental Problems, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Khabarovsk, Russia
Keywords: crisis, development prospects, tourism cluster, tourist activity revitalization centers, model of an interregional tourism scheme

Abstract >>
The consequences of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) for tourism and the states attention to the revival of this segment of the economy are briefly outlined. It is shown that the current crisis is the strongest in the entire history of the industry, while crises open up additional opportunities in its functioning, and innovative solutions are used to meet the requirements of consumers. The main trends of post-crisis measures in our country are highlighted. In Russia, the strategic basis for improving the recreation sector is the strengthening of domestic tourism; in this regard, regional strategies for its development are of particular importance. This direction is declared in the industry program and in the Development Program of the Far East into 2035, supported by measures and targets for the creation of its own tourism cluster in each Far Eastern region. It is shown that for the first time in the socio-economic program the Tourism subprogram is allocated for the region. The prerequisites for its implementation are outlined, and the centers of tourist activity revitalization are presented. Taking into consideration the geographical location and size of the region, the formation of cluster policy emphasizes the importance of developing interregional relations, which are currently poorly represented. Even the conditions of the territories of advanced development, which are distinguished by a special mode of doing business, are not used in their establishment. The model of the federal tourist interregional scheme of territorial and spatial planning, with a focus on the creation of a comprehensive tourist development plan, is proposed. The prerequisites, structure, content and conditions of its formation are pointed out. The implementation of the tasks outlined in the scheme is focused on combining the common efforts of all market players in order to form a tourist region as an integral competitive unit.

The distribution of metals in the coastal zone of Lake Onega depending on the shore type

1Zubov State Oceanographic Institute, Roshydromet, Moscow, Russia
2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Keywords: water quality, abrasion, solid river flow, heavy metals, correlation

Abstract >>
This article presents the results of a study conducted in the coastal zone of Lake Onega. The research is devoted to studying the influence of coastal (abrasion in particular) processes and inflowing rivers on the quality of surface waters of the lake. In October 2019, 47 samples of water (from the surface and bottom horizons), 26 samples of bottom sediments and 16 samples of shore-forming sediments with further determination of metal concentrations were taken on the eastern coasts of the lake in the area of the abrasive (Andom Mountain key area) and delta (Shalskoe Onego key area) coasts. The content of the following metals was studied: iron (total), manganese, aluminum, zinc, copper, nickel, chromium, lead, cobalt and cadmium. The emphasis in this study is placed on the determination of the dissolved form of metals in water and the mobile form in coastal and bottom sediments. The results showed that the concentrations of metals in the natural environment of the lake as a whole reflect the hydrochemical picture characteristic of this territory with an excess of the current standards of the quality of water up to 20 times for Mn, Fe, Cu, Pb and Al. The collected array of geochemical data made it possible to conduct a correlation analysis of the influence of coastal processes on the quality of coastal waters of Lake Onega in terms of metal content. The results showed the presence of different types of relationships between the content of metals in bottom sediments and water (from very weak to strong), which are statistically insignificant. In the area of the Andoma Mountain, the key area, there is a «strong (close) relationship between the Al, Cu and Pb contents in bottom sediments and in water.

Ecological state of water bodies within the Kuragan basin (Altai mountains)

Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia
Keywords: mass spectrometry method, heavy metals, Kuragan river, protected natural areas

Abstract >>
Results of quantitative determination of dissolved forms of 55 elements by mass-spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) in the water of small rivers, lakes and in the melt waters of glaciers and snowfields of the Kuragan basin are presented. The influence of climatic and hydrological conditions, the lithological composition of the rocks composing the Kuragan basin predetermine the formation of ultra-fresh, neutral to slightly alkaline calcium waters. In rivers and lakes, a mineralization is 28-7 mg/L, pH is 8.5-6.8; in melt waters of snow and firn, they are 14-2 mg/L and pH is 8.4-6.5, respectively. The total content of dissolved forms of elements does not exceed 11 mg/L in rivers and lakes and 35 mg/L in melt water of snow and firn. P, K, Ti and Ag accumulate in snowfields, while the river water is characterized by a high content of Si, Mo and Te. In some water bodies, the excess of the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of pollutants has been established. In rivers and lakes, the concentrations of Al, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Mo and Pb are higher than the MPC in the water of fishery reservoirs, and the content of Al, Fe, Ni and Pb is higher than the MPC in drinking water. In the melt waters of snowfields, the MPCs in fishery reservoirs are exceeded for Al, P, K, Mn, Fe, Cu and Zn, and the MPC in drinking water - for Al, K, Mn, Sb and Pb. A statistically significant correlation between all elements in the composition of the water of rivers, lakes (except for W), and melt water from snowfields indicates their input from a single natural source, mainly as a result of leaching from rocks and soils with a slight effect of atmospheric precipitation. High concentrations of toxic elements in water bodies are due to the runoff of substances from the catchment area and to the accumulation of weathering products in snowfields and are not associated with anthropogenic pollution.

Influence of ground fires on soil erosion in mountain forests of Cisbaikalia

Sukachev Institute of Forest, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Keywords: forest soils, soil morphology, water permeability of soils, surface liquid runoff, surface solid runoff, mathematical models

Abstract >>
Data of experimental studies on the influence of fires on the development of erosion processes in the mountain forests of Cisbaikalia are considered. The quantitative indicators of liquid and solid surface runoff formed on burns, depending on the steepness of the slopes and on the intensity and duration of the fires, are given. It is shown that the violation of the soil-protective plant and organogenic layer of soils on mountain slopes contributes to an intense development of sheet wash of fine-grained earth, which leads to a change in the direction and rate of soil formation under other conditions of the development of geochemical and biogeochemical processes. The water-physical and physico-chemical properties of soils are significantly transformed on burns, leading to a deterioration of their forest-growing properties. The morphological characteristics of pyrogenically transformed soils on the sites affected by fire of different intensity 5 to 8 years ago are given. In mountain conditions, during ground fires of high intensity, the processes of drift and redeposition of fine-grained earth on the slopes are observed, leading either to the formation of simple primitive profiles with thin horizons or to the formation of complex polycyclic profiles, often with buried (relict) horizons. Mathematical models are proposed, which describe the formation of liquid and solid surface runoff on the burns, depending on the main factors that determine this process. Pyrogenic destruction of forest ecosystems inevitably leads to the degradation of mountain soils, which take many decades to restore after ground fires.

Ecosystem functions of the atmosphere in sustainable development of urbanized territories (a case study of the city of Ulan-Ude)

V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Irkutsk, Russia
Keywords: impurity dispersion conditions, direct radiation income on slopes, microclimate, volume of pollutant emissions, relief, specific ecological and economic indicators

Abstract >>
The prerequisites for sustainable development of urbanized territories are considered, which are determined by the atmospheric air quality governed by a combination of microclimatic differences and anthropogenic impact. The city of Ulan-Ude, located in the conditions of a valley-basin relief, was studied. To clarify the features in the microclimate of the city, calculations of the amounts of direct radiation on the slopes of the surrounding ridges were performed. Spatial differences in the formation of the ecological and climatic state of the air environment on the upper surfaces, bottoms of the valleys of the Uda and Selenga rivers, and slopes with many valleys of different orientations and planate surfaces are revealed. It is found that the ecosystem functions of the atmosphere of valley-basin territories, limited by the natural and climatic ability to self-purification, impose increased requirements on the volumes of anthropogenic load. It is shown that the decrease in emissions from stationary sources from 2010 to 2018 contributes to the positive dynamics of specific ecological and economic indicators (kg/1000 rubles). Furthermore, specific total emissions (kg/person) are growing, and the atmospheric pollution index remains high and very high due to an increase in emissions from mobile sources and an increase in the concentration of aggressive impurities. To improve the living conditions of the population and sustainable development of Ulan-Ude, it is important to reduce emissions from stationary and mobile sources, which implies improving the quality of fuel and the technical condition of vehicles and road infrastructure, and it is also advisable to transfer existing green zones to protected ones.

Chemical composition and barrier functions of soils of the Utulik-Solzan valley (southern shore of Lake Baikal)

Vinogradov Institute of Geochemistry, Irkutsk, Russia
Keywords: soil, soil-geochemical barriers, elemental composition, forms of presence of elements in the soil, pollution resistance

Abstract >>
The X-ray fluorescence, atomic absorption and step-by-step extraction methods were used to obtain novel data on chemical composition of soils as well as on the forms of the heavy metals Cu, Pb and Zn residing in them. The key areas in the surroundings of the village of Utulik (southern shore of Lake Baikal) were surveyed. It was found that the contents of trace elements in these soils varied mainly within the regional background. However, the soils experiencing anthropogenic load are contaminated with Cu, Pb and Zn. The calculated coefficients of radial differentiation of elements in the soils of the conditionally background area showed an accumulation of lead (R > 1) in the O and E horizons, zirconium in the E horizon as well as chromium and iron in the B horizon. These soils are characterized by the removal of elements Cu, Ni, Co, Zn and Mn (R < 1). In samples soil from the conditionally background area, Cu, Pb and Zn occur mostly in forms poorly absorbed by plants. Furthermore, Zn is weakly fixed in polluted soils and basically occurs in exchange forms, and the role of amorphous hydroxides increases substantially in the fixation of Pb. Because of light granulometric soil composition and low sorption capacity of geochemical barriers, the presence of abundant amounts of Zn and Pb in exchange forms presents a potential threat to their migration to contiguous environments. An assessment of the buffer capacity of soils was made, indicating that the buffer capacity is medium (20.5-24.5 numerical points) or low (<20) with respect to heavy metals. These characteristics should be taken into account when monitoring the soil state and planning any economic activity.

Water quality in the shallow zone of Lake Baikal as deduced from sanitary and microbiological indicators

Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia
Keywords: coastal zone, fecal indicator bacteria, enterococci, thermotolerant coliform bacteria, bacterial distribution

Abstract >>
A wide-scale investigation providing insights into the spatial and temporal distribution of sanitary and microbiological indicators of water quality was undertaken in the shallow nearshore zone of Lake Baikal. Water samples were collected along the entire lake perimeter during several years, from 2012 to 2016, and in 2020 (total number, n = 450). Comparison of the abundance of fecal indicator bacteria in the bottom and surface waters at a total depth of 1 m showed that the concentration of sanitary indicator bacteria was generally higher in the surface water layers. The dynamics of water quality indicators as determined from May to November at the monitoring stations in the villages of Listvyanka and Bolshie Koty did not reveal, according to statistical calculations, any substantial differences in the number of fecal indicator bacteria in most cases for different months of this study. Results of four circum-Baikal surveys at the same stations in June and September 2015 and 2016 also showed no notable differences in terms of the period of sampling. The concentration gradient of the fecal indicator bacteria 100 m from the water edge exhibited an consistent decrease of these microorganisms with distance from the shore towards deeper parts of the lake. An area of sampling was revealed, in which the concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria exceeded considerably the regulatory standards (SanPiN The village of Khuzhir was such a site. In the shallow water at the villages of Sakhyurta and Kultuk, the concentrations of fecal indicator bacteria were on the verge of maximum permissible concentration. These data provided evidence of constant and significant water pollution in the nearshore zone adjacent to settlements characterized largely by touristic activities (the recreational activity is increased)

Long-term periods of increased/decreased water and ion discharge of the Northern Dvina in the 19th - 21st centuries

1Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
2Hydrochemical Institute, Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Keywords: arctic rivers, long-term changes, water discharges, hydrological seasons, chemical runoff, mineralization

Abstract >>
An analysis is made of the long-term data sets on the annual and seasonal water flow and the major ions flux of the Northern Dvina river at the village of Ust-Pinega where hydrological and hydrometric observations were begun in 1882 and 1947, respectively. Long-term phases of their increased/decreased values were revealed, and their main characteristics were determined. It is established that the difference in the mean annual water flow between the long-term phases of increased and decreased values relative to the values characteristic of the lower flow were 17 % for the annual flow, 16 % for the flood flow, 32 % for the winter flow, and 38 % for the summer-autumn flow. It is concluded that changes in chemical flux during the shift from the phase of increased to decreased water flow was less clearly pronouced. The largest differences in the ion flux in the contrasting phases of water discharge were characteristic for the summer-autumn hydrological season and winter low-water season. During these periods the ion flux increased by 14-17 % and 10-11 %, respectively, whereas during the snow-melt flood period and the whole year, the ion flux was only 5-8 % higher. A relative dynamic constancy of the geochemical load on the White Sea by the Northern Dvina, regardless of its water discharge, is caused by the inverse relationship between water discharge and the concentration of chemicals. In addition, the anthropogenic influence on the ionic composition in the catchment area of the river is insignificant, which makes it possible to maintain established relationships under climate change.

Hydrological-morphodynamic characteristic of the bifurcated channel of the Lower Ob (within Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug - Yugra)

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
Keywords: Ob river, channel processes, bifurcated channel, bends, branches, islands

Abstract >>
For the first time in the scientific literature, an analysis is made of the channel formation conditions and of the morphology and channel regime of the Lower Ob (within Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug - Yugra) which in this context, in spite of its important economic and water transport significance, remains largely unexplored. The geomorphological structure of the valley determines downstream of the confluence of the river with the Irtysh the concentration of the river at the right valley side in a common channel producing single branches divided by straight unbranched sections shaped by river flow concentration along the right valley side and formation single branches, divided by straight unbranched sections. It is found that at the village of Pogrebennoe the broadening of the floodplain to 60 km is accompanied by the formation of a bifurcated channel (Malaya and Gornaya Ob), the distribution of water discharge in the main channels (up to four) and by numerous floodplain channels connected with one another and with the tributary, the Severnaya Sosva river. In this connection, the water discharge of the main branches downstream decreases (by as much as 5 % of the total discharge in the Malaya Ob), there occur changes in the morphology of the channels of the branches of the bifurcated channel and in the parameters of their forms and in the intensity of reconfigurations and caving; the number and shallowness of river bars increase. It is established that the morphodynamic types are different in the common channel and in the branches of the bifurcated channel. The common channel is represented by one morphodynamically homogeneous section, with an absolute predominance of single bifurcations; the branches of the bifurcated channel are mainly meandering, and only the Gornaya Ob in the section along the valley side forms single bifurcations. On the boundary of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug - Yugra and Yamalo-Nenets Auonomous Okrug the river is concentred in two main branches (Malaya and Bolshaya Ob). We obtained hydrological and morphological relationships between the parameters of channel bends of the channel of the branches of the bifurcated channel and the branches of single bifurcations and their discharge during floods. However, the relationships are unstable, because they are disturbed due to the variability in water discharge within one form and local conditions.

Micromorphological investigations into periglacial deposits of the Abalakh accumulative plain (Central Yakutia)

1Melnikov Permafrost Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Yakutsk, Russia
2University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
3Northwest Institute of Eco-environment Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
Keywords: sedimentation environment reconstruction, ice complex, quartz grain microtexture, Central Yakutia

Abstract >>
This paper considers periglacial sediments of the high accumulative Abalakh plain located in the interfluve of the Lena and Amga rivers (Central Yakutia). The genesis of loose deposits is determined, and the role of various sedimentation processes in their formation is revealed. Results were obtained on the basis of the cryolithological description of 94,5-meter borehole drilled in 2018. An analysis was made of the degree of roundedness and frosting of the surface of quartz grains. Diagnostic elements on the particle surface characteristic for different sedimentation processes are identified. An assessment of the relationship in the composition of quartz and feldspar grains was made. It was established that the layer under consideration has an alluvial (Tobolsk and Samara-Taz horizon) and lacustrine-alluvial genesis (Zyryanka horizon). It is pointed out that aeolian processes were also involved in sedimentation of the Tobolsk horizon. The source for deposits in the profile of the Abalakh plain was provided by loose deposits of short-range transport which were processed in the fluvial environment. Evidence for post-sedimentation processes of frost weathering was discover in deposits of the Zyryanka Samara-Taz horizons. It was established that loamy deposits of the ice complex were produced as a result of a complicated set of processes including frost weathering, aeolian transportation in a suspended state, and accumulation in stagnant basin conditions.

Landscape structure as the regulator of the Siberian stone pine growth dynamics in the northern taiga of Western Siberia

1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
2Institute of the Earths Cryosphere, Tyumen Scientific Center, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen, Russia
Keywords: frost mound, dendrochronology, phytoproductive functioning, variability, peat bog, lake

Abstract >>
This paper presents the results of studies aimed at identifying statistical relationships between the landscape structure and the variability in Siberian stone pine (Pinus sibirica) increments in the permafrost-hillocky northern-taiga landscapes of Western Siberia (Nadym river basin). Dendrochronologies of Siberian stone pine growing on frost mounds of different types were compiled. Principal component analysis was applied to obtain independent variables that describe the site and landscape structure of the territory. Cores from 512 trees growing on 23 frost mounds were analyzed. The methods used were as follows: crossdating, dendrochronological standardization, and elimination of monotonic trends for each tree. Results of the classification of Sentinel satellite images were used to calculate the proportions of lakes, forests, sparse forests, floating bogs and flat-hillocky peat bogs, with the radius of the vicinity of a frost mound of 100-2000 m. Correlation, dispersion and regression analyses were used in the analysis of the dependence of the median increment on the characteristic of the mound site and landscape neighborhoods. It is established that on high mounds the variability in increments is higher on tops than on slopes, whereas the situation is often the contrary on low mounds. It is also found that the tops and slopes of the frost mounds respond differently to climatic fluctuations depending on the landscape structure and the height of the mound: the close proximity of lakes reduces the variability of phytoproductive functioning on the summit surfaces. It was revealed that the sensitivity of Siberian stone pine growth to temperature fluctuations increases with an increase in the diversity of the facies structure caused by the development of thermokarst subsidence and cryogenic cracks.

Long-term soil temperature dynamics in pyrogenically transformed geosystems of the Tunka depression (Southwestern Cisbaikalia)

1Institute of Monitoring of Climatic and Ecological Systems, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Tomsk, Russia
2V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia
3Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia
Keywords: burn, natural reforestation, forest fire, microclimate, monitoring, pine forests, soil temperature regime

Abstract >>
In order to identify the features in the dynamics of the soil temperature regime during the post-fire reforestation of the subtaiga light-coniferous geosystems of the Tunka depression, a study was made of the demutation processes in the pine forests of the Badary urochishche the fires that occurred in 2010. As part of monitoring observations in 2011-2020, the specificity of rehabilitation of understory trees as well as of the shrub layer and live ground cover was determined. The period of appearance of the first shoots of undergrowth was noted; the projective cover of species of all forest-growing layers was estimated. By comparing the dominant composition of secondary succession biocenoses with natural plant communities, indicators of the prospects for successful reforestation were identified. An analysis was made of 10-year-long observation data on the soil temperature regime from the surface to a depth of 3.2 m was carried out at the selected sites. Measurements were made all year round in an automatic mode using atmospheric-soil measuring systems. The differences between the soil temperatures on the disturbed and natural sites, which vary over a year, were revealed. Open soils on the site affected by fire are warmer in the summer and colder in the winter. Snow cover acting as a heat insulator on both sites reduces the differences. However, with late snow onset, the contrasts increase. During the observation period, a decrease in microclimatic differences was observed with the regeneration of vegetation cover, which indicates the reforestation of the temperature regime in the pyrogenically disturbed area. The results obtained at this stage, and also the continuation of the monitoring are applicable to the analysis of pyrogenic transformation of subtaiga light-coniferous geosystems in the south of Eastern Siberia and the forecast of post-fire reforestation of light-coniferous forests of the Tunka depression, taking into account regional specifics. The continuation of comprehensive monitoring will allow for a more detailed assessment of the regeneration of the landscape and climatic conditions of the territory in the future.

Features of the formation of nitrogen thermal springs of Priokhotye

1North-Eastern Interdisciplinary Scientific Research Institute, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Magadan, Russia
2Institute of Water and Ecological Problems, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Khabarovsk, Russia
Keywords: springs of thermal groundwater, tectonics, basalt dikes, Late Pleistocene-Holocene regimes of groundwater

Abstract >>
This article presents a comparative description of the thermal springs occurring on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Priokhotye region. In the northern segment of Priokhotye, their groundwater is salty and brackish, mainly of the chloride class. Only one thermal spring (Khiimskii) is a freshwater spring. The water temperature varies from 22 to 63 C. In the western segment, the water of the thermal springs is fresh, of the bicarbonate class. It is established that the thermal springs are associated with Quaternary dikes of alkaline basalts. The composition of thermal waters is governed by changes in climatic and permafrost conditions, and by fluctuations in the level of the Sea of Okhotsk in the Late Pleistocene-Holocene time. A consequence of these processes in the northern segment of Priokhotye was the introduction of thalassogenic waters to the bowels of the earth 18-9 thousand years ago. In the zone of their contact with the heated dikes of basalts, ascending jets of thermal chloride water appeared. In the western Priokhotye, the conditions in the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period were favorable for the formation of an extensive zone of fresh groundwater. Its contact with high-temperature dikes gives rise to thermal waters, the composition of which is close to the cold waters of the zone of active water exchange. The process of formation of thermal water springs in the valleys of watercourses takes place in two stages. First, the rising thermal jets are dispersed in the zone of active water exchange. Newly formed minerals colmate cracks and pores, forming a heat-removing vent. In the second stage, this vent contributes to the emergence and functioning of the thermal spring.

Interphase water transfers as the basis for natural water-exchange processes

Melnikov Permafrost Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Yakutsk, Russia
Keywords: water phase transitions, interphase forms of movement, water exchange cycles, climatic water cycle, water exchange intensity

Abstract >>
The need to seek new ideas and approaches in studying the cyclic nature of planetary and regional water exchange is substantiated. Based on systematizing available data and results obtained by this author, an analysis is made of the role of interphase transfers of natural waters in the formation of water exchange cycles. It is stated that the effect of phase mixing is inherent in natural waters. This effect is responsible for the unity of natural waters, and for a high intensity of their interphase transfer. Such a methodological approach was used to specify the scheme of climatic (hydrological) cycle of natural waters. In addition to the known atmospheric (atmogenic) cycle, cryohydrogenic, atmolithogenic, glaciogenic and cryolitogenic cycles have been identified as well as estimating the mass of water annually involved in these cycles, the intensity of water exchange in each cycle and the output of energy liberated or spent. Implementation of this scheme would provide an opportunity to more purpusefuly study water resources and various water exchange cycles.

Assessing meteorological factors of fire hazard on the territory of the Southern Urals

1Ufa State Aviation Technical University, Ufa, Russia
2A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences,, Moscow, Russia
3Institute of Steppe, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Orenburg, Russia
4Ufa Institute of Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa, Russia
5A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow,Russia
6Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow,Russia
Keywords: air temperature, atmospheric precipitation, forest resources, fire hazard indices, wildfires, remote sensing of the Earth

Abstract >>
Using instrumental observation data from meteorological stations located in the Southern Urals, a comprehensive fire hazard index and a forest fire hazard index for the 1978 to 2020 warm season (May-September) were calculated. The analysis was based on the daily values of surface air temperature, amount of precipitation, dew point deficit, average wind speed, as well as gain and number of days after the last rain. A correlation analysis between critical values of fire hazard indices and the forest fire actual data was carried out, revealing a close relationship between the extreme values of fire hazard indices and abnormally hot years. Fire hazard indices reflect the set of meteorological conditions conducive to the occurrence of fires in different ways. The forest fire hazard index, in contrast to the fire hazard complex indicator, in addition to the meteorological index, takes into account environmental factors. The calculated values of fire hazard indices were structured in the form of a database that can be used in meteorological forecasts to assess and predict fire conditions based on weather conditions. Comparison of the present data with results of wildfire space monitoring from the Terra-MODIS satellite are presented. An increase in dangerous meteorological conditions from 1995 to 2000 and a decrease in the number of days with critical values of fire hazard indices from 2000 to 2005 were established.

Aesthetic assessment of landscapes at the regional level (a case study of the central ecological zone of the Baikal natural territory)

V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia
Keywords: assessment of the aesthetic resources of the territory, Lake Baikal, scenery, landscape diversity, mapping

Abstract >>
A method of aesthetic assessment of coastal landscapes surrounded by mountains at the regional level is suggested. Assessment and mapping of aesthetic resources of the territory are based on an understanding that viewing points and perceived landscape sceneries form an aesthetic system based on the geographical location. An aesthetic assessment was made by using geo-referenced landscape photographs taken during field investigations, and from the Panoramio web service database for 11 complex indicators characterizing the perception conditions of sceneries as well as their structure. The analysis of the landscape diversity of open and closed landscape scenes was carried out in a differentiated manner. The landscape diversity of open and semi-open scenes is determined by a combination of the ruggedness of relief and contrast of vegetation cover, while the differentiation of closed forest landscape scenes with a near perspective is based on the characteristics of the elements and components of the enclosing natural landscape (composition and density of the forest stand, the presence, abundance and height of the shrub layer, and the height and variety of ground cover). The assessment of complex indicators was carried out by using a three-dimensional model of the study area in Google Earth Pro, based on thematic layers imported from the Quantum GIS project (satellite images, digital elevation model SRTM, landscape typological and forest inventory maps, database of landscape photographs, etc.) with due regard for the obscuring role of vegetation cover. The contours of the landscape typological map at the level of groups of facies at a scale of 1:500 000 are used as mapping units. The score is assigned to the area from which the landscape is observed.

Technique of optimal site selection for installing solar photovoltaic power stations (as exemplified by the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Azerbaijan)

Institute of Geography, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan
Keywords: renewable energy sources, solar energy, geographic information systems, model of the analytical hierarchy of the process, site selection, criteria for determination

Abstract >>
This study is concerned with the selection of optimal territories for installing solar photovoltaic power stations. The relevance of the research done is explained by the fact that electric energy generated by converting total solar radiation on a horizontal surface consisting of direct and diffuse components of PV cells has low output power; therefore, it is necessary to identify areas with a high power factor for more efficient power generation. However, due to the low efficiency of PV panels (14-18 %) and the low intensity of total solar radiation on a horizontal surface, a large installation space is required to achieve a certain power level. Due to the high cost of installing solar power plants, a comprehensive systematic assessment of the geographic factors of the region is required to select the most suitable location. Our selection of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic as the study area is explained by the fact that the radiation level is high compared to other regions of Azerbaijan (1220-1699 kW h/m2 per year), and the number of hours of sunshine per year exceeds 2500. Since the creation of solar power plants in regions with high values of total radiation on a horizontal surface depends on technical, economic and environmental criteria, descriptive criteria are used to determine the optimal areas. The Analytical Process Hierarchy (AHP) model, based on Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methods, was used to identify suitable locations for solar power plants. In the first phase of the study, seven criteria were analyzed to determine suitable locations: total solar radiation on a horizontal surface, slope, land use, buffer distance from areas with high annual solar energy potential to residential areas, proximity to substations, motor roads, and power lines. In the second stage, the level of accessibility and suitability of areas within the framework of certain criteria was determined using the Weighted Overlay tool in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In the second stage, using the weighted overlay tool in geographic information systems (GIS), the level of suitability of territories was determined according to certain criteria. As a result, of the study, it was concluded that 9,5 % (510 km2) of the land of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has high suitability, 12 % (645 m2) - medium suitability, and 24 % (1290 km2) - low suitability for placing solar power plants. The remaining 54.5 % (2930 km2) of the region belongs to the territories that are not suitable for use due to low radiation, high slope, the presence of protected areas, settlements, agricultural areas and poorly developed infrastructure. Optimal locations cover mainly the southern and eastern parts of the region.