Географический факультет МГУ
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CONTENTS № 4 - 2015

Theory and methodology

§ Romanova E.P., Alekseeva N.N., Arshinova M.A., Klimanova O.A., Kovaleva T.A., Kondratieva T.I., Medvedev A.A. A new map of «Geographical belts and natural zones of the Earth»

Basing on computer processing of the latest multi-scale international and national materials (cartographical, remote sensing, numerous analytical complex and thematic reviews) a new world map «Geographical Belts and Natural Zones of the Earth» at the scale of 1:80M (2014) was compiled, as well as more detailed maps of particular continents (1:10M), which can provide background for elaborating maps of present-day landscapes and specialized landscape-geoecological maps. The map is particularly important for teaching a number of basic courses of geographical and ecological education, in particular, physical geography of continents and oceans. Boundaries of belts and zones have been corrected; in some cases new natural zones were distinguished. The updated classification of sectors and natural zones based on the indicators of heat and water availability, structures of the growing period and indicators of productivity of vegetation types reflects a modern trend towards more active application of quantitative methods, including for the purposes of the global classification of landscapes. Supplementation of the global classifications with the indicator of moisture content is important for the assessment of potential landscape response to climatic changes. Calculation of the areas of particular natural zones on the continents allowed the updating of a generalized model of belt-sector-zonal structure of the Earth («the hypothetical continent») and making changes to the global classification of landscapes. Comparison of the zonal and the belt-sectoral structure of the continents shown on 2014 world map with the belt and zone groups shown on 1988 «Geographical Belts and Zonal Types of Landscapes» map is indicative of the further development of the concept of global structure of the Earth’s landscape sphere.

§ Baklanov P.Ya. Types of structural transformations in the territorial social-economic systems

The structural transformations are considered as various changes in the structure of territorial social-economic systems (TSES) caused by any initial impact on particular components of the system, i.e. change of capacity or assortment, innovations, emergence of a new component, exclusion of an existing one, etc. The whole chain of changes, from the original to the last substantial one, which takes place in the structural units of the system is considered as a cycle of structural transformations. Some of its stages relate to the implementation of particular investment projects. It is suggested to model and assess the structural transformations at two levels of TSES, i.e. within particular settlements and in the structural units composed of directly interacting settlements and sections of the transportation network.

§ Babich D.B., Vinogradov N.N., Ivanov V.V., Korotaev V.N., Chalova E.R. Deltas of the rivers running into lakes and reservoirs: morphogenetic types and recent dynamics

Basing on publications, topographic maps and space imagery new data on the hydrological regime, morphology and dynamics of deltas of the rivers entering lakes (70 objects) and reservoirs (30 objects) of Russia, the former USSR republics and the NIS countries are obtained. The results of field hydrographical and geophysical investigations provide new information about the bottom morphology and recent sediments for the Mozhaisk reservoir, the Kubenskoye Lake and the Kubena River delta.

Methods of geographical studies

§ Zotov L.V., Frolova N.L., Grigoriev V.Yu., Kharlamov M.A.  Application of the satellite system of the Earth’s gravity field measurement (GRACE) for the evaluation of water balance in river catchments

Possible application of the satellite gravity survey data obtained under the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for solving various hydrological problems is discussed. Former investigations linked the monthly changes of the terrestrial gravity field of the Earth to the movement of water masses within the continental part of the hydrological cycle. The GRACE technology allows obtaining the realistic mean data on the changes of land water resources on continental and regional scale. The technique could be useful for the monitoring of river discharge, snow cover, glacier melting and groundwater level oscillations over vast territories. The specific features of the technique itself and the data processing are described. The GRACE-based monthly gravity field data are transformed into the maps of water level equivalent and averaged for the catchments of the largest rivers of Russia. The temporal variability of the parameter is analyzed. Possible application of the GRACE data for the evaluation of particular components of water balance within the largest river basins of the European part of Russia is discussed.

Geography and ecology

§ Moiseenko O.G., Orekhova N.A., Polyakova A.V., Medvedev E.V., Konovalov S.K. Indices and indicators of the environmental state of the Sebastopol bay

To support the assessment of the state of marine environment and the degree of its transformation under the climate changes and the anthropogenic impact a set of normalized indices and indicators of the environmental state of an offshore water area was developed and tested within the Sebastopol Bay. Water masses and bottom sediments are two principal components of marine systems. The indices and indicators of the environmental state of water masses were calculated using specialized software, i.e. the «live» interactive digital atlas of the oceanographic parameters of the Sebastopol Bay. Another ensemble of indices (index of pollution – PLIsite, carbon cycle attribute – γ and the time period of oxygen exhaustion – tO2) was suggested for the evaluation of the state of bottom sediments. Basing on the PLIsite values water area of the bay was evaluated in terms of the pollution level and four provinces were identified, namely the eastern (slightly polluted), central and southern (polluted) and the western (severely polluted). Calculated γ values for the bottom sediments of the bay indicate a shift of the carbon cycle towards the predominant Corg formation and its accumulation in bottom sediments. This leads to the increasing oxygen consumption resulting in its deficit which could be evaluated in terms of the time period of oxygen exhaustion (tO2). The maximum tO2 value is 109 days and the results are indicative of unfavorable changes of the environmental state of the bay. The elaborated version of a digital atlas makes it possible to calculate indicators with different degree of temporal and spatial integration and analyze the spatial-temporal changes of indicators and parameters of the state of marine environment. The atlas is used for decision-making on the management of economic activities within the offshore part of the Sebastopol Bay.

§ Lurie I.K., Baldina E.A., Prasolova A.I., Prokhorova E.A., Semin V.N., Chistov S.V. A series of maps of the environmental-geographical assessment of land resources of the New Moscow territory

The article addresses the concept and method of the project to create a series of maps for complex ecological and geographical evaluation of new areas attached to Moscow and its implementation. The relevance of this research is determined by the status change as well as socio-economic and geographical situation.The purpose of this project is to identify criteria and develop indicators of integrated assessment areas. They must include all of the requirements of environmental policy, as well as natural and socio-economic features of lands of various functional purposes in Moscow. The principles of creating a series of ecological and geographical maps rely on the provisions of the integration concept of cartography, geoinformatics and remote sensing developed at the University's school of geographical cartography. A set of information sources aggregation concepts - maps, imagery, field observations, statistics and methods of analysis is also used. The basis for the principles of creating maps is the development of the structure and content of object-oriented geodatabase (GDB), where the content is focused on the purpose, not the scale of mapping. The article gives a development methodology of thematic structure of a series of ecological and geographical maps component and integral assessments of the territory, as well as thematic geodatabase as a tool of modern electronic thematic mapping; geoportal technologies and pilot web-interface to provide online access to information resource.

Regional studies


§ Makhrova A.G. Seasonal suburbanization in the regions of Russia

The assessment of the scale and parameters of the seasonal suburbanization in Russia is based on various sources of information. Particular attention is paid to the study of regional features of the seasonal housing (dachas, gardening and horticultural communities, organized cottage settlements). The gardening associations tend to concentrate in the regions with large and larger cities. Regions with favorable agro-climatic conditions attract the horticultural associations with predominately agricultural function. Dachas communities were identified only in a half of the Russian regions, mainly in suburban areas of large and the largest cities. Formation and development of organized cottage settlements is a principal innovation of the present-day suburban dwelling. They arise only near the largest cities but are expected to become a major driver of transforming seasonal suburbanization into a standard Western-type one (migration from the cities to the suburbs).

The analysis of different functional use of second suburban housing shows that the importance of agricultural function grows and the role of recreational function decreases as the city of permanent residence of dacha owners becomes smaller and smaller. At the same time poor social and transport infrastructure along with traditional use of dachas during weekends and summer season would slow down the move of urban residents to the suburbs for permanent dwelling, thus maintaining the seasonal form of suburbanization in the regions of Russia.

§ Svitoch A.A. Paleogeography of the Greater Caspian Sea

Well-defined stages of paleogeographical evolution with principally different natural conditions are characteristic of the long history of the Greater Caspian Sea. Nevertheless it is an indivisible period of evolution which began in the Akchagylian stage and continued during the Apsheronian and Pleistocene. A possible cause is location of the Caspian water bodies within the vast area in the centre of Eurasia where the epochs of warming and cooling and humidification and aridization were constantly alternating.

§ Moskvitina N.A., Nosova A.N., Romanova E.R. The Kaluga oblast and Bavaria: comparative analysis of the institutional factors of regional development

Bavaria and the Kaluga Oblast are the territories with nationally successful experience of increasing regional competitiveness and, as a consequence, raising the level of economic development across the nation and the whole Europe (the case of Bavaria). Both regions differ in conditions and instruments of investment policy. The experience of forming the institutions of regional development which promote the investments, in particular through the active marketing of the territory, implementing the projects based on the public-private partnership and improving the necessary engineering infrastructure deserves higher attention.

§ Akimova V.V. Typology of the countries in terms of the helioenergetics development

Recently the helioenergetics has become a most prospective and rapidly advancing branch of the global fuel-energy complex. At present it develops in more than 60 countries of the world and in some of them it could compete with the traditional energy production, particularly if a network parity is reached. The structure of a cross-sectoral solar energy complex (SEC) which includes two sectors of helioenergetics, i.e. photovoltaics (PhV) and heliothermal energetics (THE) including the systems of solar energy concentration (SEC), is described, as well as their specific material basis (production of raw materials, components and equipment) and the R&D sphere oriented at the helioenergetics servicing (the tertiary sector).

As a result of the analysis of specific features and structure of the solar energy complex the countries of the world were classified in terms of its development and four major types were identified, i.e. countries with full-range SEC; countries with fragmented SEC; countries with transplanted SEC; and countries with imported elements of SEC.

§ Khoroshev A.V., Leonova G.M. Response to increasing humidification in the Aituar steppe landscape (the Southern Urals)

The case study of protected low-mountain steppe landscape in the Southern Urals is used to demonstrate the experience in forecasting the chain reaction of landscape components under a hypothetical increase of humidification. Multi-scale spatial series differing in the diversity of humidification factors are compared to determine the sequence of structural changes in a steppe landscape.

Memorial dates

§ The 90th anniversary of the birth of Grigory Mikhailovich Ignatiev



§ Gartner G. Celebrating the International Map Year 2015–2016

§ Alekseeva N.N., Mazurov Yu.L. The Second Russian-Japanese seminar on sustainable environment

§ Alekseevsky N.I.  Interuniversity scientific-coordination council on the problems of erosion, channel and river mouth processes at the Lomonosov Moscow State University – 30 years of successful activities

§ At the dissertation councils of the faculty of geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University, in 2014


 New books

§ Kravtsova V. I. New interpretation of the topographic map


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