No 1 (2019)

Theory and Social Functions of Geography
Global warming, desertification/degradation, and droughts in arid regions
Zolotokrylin A.N.


Applications of the concept of climatic desertification are considered. They include an approach to a separate assessment of aridization and degradation of arid lands and an approach to identifying “islands” of desertification from satellite data. It is established that the contribution of anthropogenic land degradation to desertification is confirmed by a significant linear trend of interannual fluctuations of satellite indicators of pasture digression in all the studied arid areas of Russia and Mongolia in the period 2000–2016. Significant trends in the intensification of aridization were characteristic only for a part of arid areas. Because of the excessive pastoral digression in arid areas, “islands” of desertification of anthropogenic origin are formed. The lifetime of such “islands” is determined by human influence and fluctuations in the humidity of the climate. An additional factor in the short-term decline in the life of the “islands” in Mongolia is the catastrophic death of livestock as a result of natural disasters (drought, zuta). The “island” of desertification, of natural origin, is found in the reserved part of the Sonora Desert, where rainy seasons and droughts determine the spread of aridization. Particular attention is paid to the analysis of trends in climatic characteristics. The increase in air temperature occurred in all the areas under study. Negative trends in annual and seasonal precipitation dominated the steppe zone of Russia during the periods 1936–1960 and 1991–2016, when the surface temperature of the North Atlantic was above normal. On the contrary, positive precipitation trends, weakening aridization, were observed in the period 1961–1990, corresponding to a temperature below the norm.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):3-13
The quality of atmospheric air of Russian cities in 1991–2016
Klyuev N.N.


The analysis of quality of atmospheric air in Russian cities for 2000-2016 has been carried out. Four cities (Bratsk, Magnitogorsk, Chita and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) during this period almost every year fell into the “black lists” of Roshydromet – of both chronically and extremely polluted cities. As far as regions are concerned, the cities with high level of atmospheric pollution are allocated in Irkutsk oblast, Krasnoyarsk krai, as well as Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk oblasts. The leading factors of formation of environmental situation in cities depending on their localization, specialization and population size have been revealed: 1) large industrial emissions and transport emissions; 2) emissions of mostly unidentified sources of pollution; 3) high natural potential of atmospheric pollution; 4) “import” of pollution from external sources due to an unfavorable ecological and geographical location. The author believes that the cardinal solution of the problem of dirty air is possible only on the basis of regulation of territorial development of Russia.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):14-23
Territorial Organization of Society
Cross-border dimension of Eurasian integration of Russia and Kazakhstan: challenges for cooperation
Karpenko M.S.


In the article, the challenges for cross-border cooperation in the case of the Russian – Kazakhstan borderland region are characterized based on the analysis of the demographic, sociocultural and economic potential. The article shows that, despite tangible success of Eurasian integration, on the regional level the potential of the cooperation has been decreased. Demographic processes and the politics of “kazakhization” become the reason for the erosion of the common information and sociocultural space, which could have been became a driver for integration processes at the regional level. The cooperation in the economic field is limited by the exploitation of the Soviet legacy – cooperation ties between limited number of industrial enterprises in raw materials area. Сross-border trade is one of the main drivers of modern economic relations. The geopolitical challenges related with the events in Ukraine have intensified the negative trends in the cross-border cooperation, which become a real test for the Eurasian integration. These factors have a significant impact on the processes of cross-border cooperation, in some cases contributing to the further divergence of the socio-economic and socio-cultural space in the Russian-Kazakhstan borderland.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):24-36
Natural Processes and Dynamics of Geosystems
Contemporary erosion and suspended sediment yield within river basins in the steppe of the Southeastern part of the Russian Plain: A case study of the Samara River basin
Gusarov A.V., Sharifullin A.G.


The paper presents the results of contemporary trend assessment in general erosion intensity within the southeastern steppe sector of the Russian Plain, a case study of the Samara River (the upper reaches) basin (22,800 km2, Orenburg oblast, European part of Russia), based on the long-term studying of river suspended sediment yield dynamics. The assessment is supplemented by accumulation rates field study of the soil-rill-gully erosion products in a typical small catchment (the catchment area is 1.92 km2) of the river basin using environmental radioactive caesium-137 (incl. Chernobyl-derived 137Cs) as a chronomarker. The results obtained clearly show that the Samara River’s suspended sediment yield has been reduced at least twice over the last 30 years compared with 1940–1960s. The marked decreasing trend in the erosion intensity in the Samara River basin is confirmed by a decrease (by 3.0–3.6 times as a minimum) in accumulation rates of the erosion products over the past 60 years within the dry valley bottom of the studied small catchment. The main reason for such significant erosion rates reduction was a decrease in surface snowmelt runoff within the basin area since the early 1980s, associated with a reduction in a soil freezing depth and a general increase in air temperature during spring months.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):37-51
Suspended sediment yield characteristics variability in rivers of Kamchatka krai
Kuksina L.V.


The regularities of spatiotemporal variability of suspended sediment yield characteristics were studied. Based on the analysis of difference-integral yield curves, it was found that most of the rivers in Kamchatka krai are characterized by the presence of two relatively long trends in the suspended sediment yield variability: an increase until the end of the 1970s–early 1980s, and its subsequent decrease. This regularity disturbs in rivers under the influence of volcanic eruptions, where the most significant increasing of sediment yield is observed after major eruptions. Existent maps of mean annual suspended sediment concentration and mean annual specific suspended sediment yield were significantly specified (18 instead 4 and 13 instead two zones were marked respectively). The map of grain-size distribution of suspended sediment was compiled (three zones was marked in region under study). Maximum values of mean annual specific suspended sediment yield (more than 500 t km-2 yr-1), suspended sediment concentration (more than 1000 g m-3) and grain-size of sediments are observed in water runoff of volcanic areas. Minimum values of suspended sediment concentration, specific suspended sediment yield, as well as grain-size of sediments characterized the mainland part of the krai.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):52-61
Changes in the hydrochemical regime of Onegо Lake since the early 1990s
Kalinkina N.M., Tekanova E.V., Sabylina A.V., Ryzhakov A.V.


The supply of allochthonous organic matter with river water to the lakes rises in the new climatic conditions of Karelia (mild winters, an increase in the amount of liquid precipitation, less freezing of the soil). In connection with the geochemical peculiarities of Fennoscandia, more quantity of humic substances in a complex with iron and phosphorus enter the water bodies. These processes can lead to a change in the hydrochemical regime, water quality and habitat of the biota. For the first time for lakes of Karelia, long-term changes (1963–2017) of parameters, which are markers of allochthonous organic matter, were estimated on the example of Petrozavodsk Bay of Onego Lake. It was found that since the 1990s, the following characteristics significantly increase in Petrozavodsk Bay water: the color of water (from 56 to 73 degrees), the content of suspended matter (from 1.6 to 3 mg/l), iron (from 0.12 to 0.42 mg/l), phosphorus (from 12 to 22 μg/l). This leads to changes in the carbonate system of the bay water. The concentration of carbon dioxide increases significantly (from 1.2 to 3.0 mg/l), the pH value drops (from 7.22 to 7.12) and the oxygen content diminishes (from 101 to 92% of saturation). The Spearman correlation coefficients between the chemical characteristics and the year of study were the highest for the spring period, when the bay is separated from the open part of the lake by thermal bar and is strongly influenced by river water. Simultaneously with the change in the hydrochemical regime, there is an increase in the amount of iron in the upper layer of silts (from 0.65 to 4.8% of the air-dry sample). This led to a decrease in the number of macrozoobenthos 6–7 times.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):62-72
Evolution of Natural Systems
Dynamics of the Regional Climatic Conditions over the Past 2000 Years on the Basis of Lithogeochemical Analysis of the Bottom Sediments of Lake Karakyol (Western Caucasus)
Alexandrin M.Y., Darin A.V., Grachev A.M., Solomina O.N.


Reference section of the bottom sediments of Lake Karakyol (Caucasus) is built based on the cores obtained during the 2010 and 2014 field works, taking into account radiocarbon dating and the data of analytical microstratigraphy. Using the methods of scanning micro-XRF, solid preparations of bottom sediments were scanned in 1 mm increments with simultaneous determination of the content of more than 25 rock-forming and microelements. When building the master-core, the profiles of changes in the content of terrigenous elements were taken into account. This made it possible to precisely combine the two cores and remove from the section the sediment intervals corresponding to the “one-time” events – terrigenous material injections. Comparison of instrumental data of regional meteorological observations in the period 1927–2010 with the time series of geochemical indicators showed the presence of a stable relationship of the composition of bottom sediments with the average 11-year temperatures. Approximation of transfer functions to the depth of core testing allowed constructing a paleoclimatic reconstruction of regional temperature for the last 2 millennia with a time resolution of 5–10 years.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):73-85
The late pleistocene deposits and the small mammals’ fauna of the Middle Palaeolithic site Betovo (Desna River basin)
Voskresenskaya E.V., Markova A.K.


The Middle Palaeolithic site Betovo was discovered in the early 1970s by L.M. Tarasov, who summarized data on paleoecology and habitat conditions on this site in a number of publications. However, the stratigraphic position of the deposits containing the cultural layer remained rather uncertain due to the fact that in the sections of the site it was not possible to identify the reference loess-soil horizons and data on the age of the cultural layer were not obtained. A comprehensive study of the site, renewed since 2007 under the direction of archaeologist A. K. Ocherednoi in the frame of the Verkhnyaya Desna expedition of the Institute for the History of Material Culture RAS, permit to detail the deposition rhythmic during the Late Pleistocene and the stratigraphic position of the cultural layers in different parts of the site. By received 14 C data, the site was inhabited in the range of 28.5–36.0 cal kyr BP (calibrated dates), i.e., belongs to the end of the Valdai megainterstadial (the end of MIS 3). The small mammal fauna found in the 2 cultural layer of the Betovo site includes only the tundra and steppe species. The forest species are absent. The species richness of the Betovo fauna is very low, what also indicates the very severe climate during the end of MIS 3 in the Desna River basin. The received mammalian data clearly indicate the extremely harsh natural-climatic conditions of the time of habitation of the ancient man in the site – the conditions of tundra-steppe (“mammoth steppe”).

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):86-98
Natural Resource Use and Geoecology
Organic matter and mineralization of river waters in mountains of Russia and adjacent countries
Smirnov M.P.


The article examines general regularities of the formation of dissolved organic matter (DOM), salinity (∑), the acid-alkaline indicators (pH) river waters in the mountains with various types of altitudinal zonation in Russia and CIS countries. The analysis is based on the results of many years of experimental studies in the network of the Roshydromet. The reaction of water of rivers in a southerly direction in accordance with changes in landscape-geochemical conditions are sequentially changed from acidic in the tundra of the Arctic to neutral in the tundra and taiga, slightly alkaline in forest-meadow and alkaline in a desert and subtropical mountains. The average annual salinity water of the mountain rivers in two Northern types of vertical zones is 42 and 74 mg/l, in two Southern types – 140 and 450 mg/l. The average annual values of permanganate (PO) and bichromate (BO) oxidation, and color of river water in xerophytic desert-subtropical mountains are small (3 and 7), and increase to medium and slightly increased grades into humid tundra and taiga, tundra of the Arctic, and the forest meadow mountains (7–8 and 13–18 mg O/l). Relationships PO:BO change from 62% in the tundra of the Arctic up to 50%, 41% and 35% in the tundra and taiga, forest-meadow and desert-subtropical mountains. The content of humic (HA) and fulvic (FA) acids is also maximum in two Northern types of vertical zones (0.224 and 1.80 mg/l) and decreases in the two Southern types to 0.013 and 0.067, 0.373 and 0.637 mg/l. The relationship of contents of HA and FA decreases to the South in forest-grassland and desert-subtropical mountains in 1.3 and 3.7 times.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):99-106
Geoinformation Systems and Mapping
Generalization of transport networks for multiscale mapping
Samsonov T.E., Prokhorova E.A.


The article presents an approach to the generalization of transport networks on multiscale maps, based on the automated derivation of transport corridors. The logical connection between the concept of a polymagistral as a way of representing spatially conjugated sections of transport routes of various types and the process of generalization of a cartographic image is shown. A four-level specification of levels of detail has been developed for multiscale maps of transport networks, in which the position of polymagistral routes is placed at the third and fourth levels of detail. A formal definition of a polymagistral route and a compact polymagistral route is given. Based on the definition, a GIS technology for extracting polymagistral routes based on spatial integration of linear objects and overlay operations (spatial overlay) was proposed. Algorithmic description of the proposed technology has been developed and then implemented using Python programming language. Using the railways and roads from 1:1 000 000 and 1:2 500 000 digital general maps, the extraction of polymagistral routes was tested, followed by the analysis of similarity between expert and automatically obtained results. The influence of the search distance on the spatial coverage of the polymagistral routes has been investigated, and their geographical characteristics are given. The ways of development and improvement of the proposed approach are outlined in the conclusion.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):107-117
History of Geography
Konstantin Stepanovich Veselovskii. To the 200th anniversary of his birth
Chernitsova O.V.


The paper considers the contribution of K.S. Veselovskii (20.05.1819–03.11.1901), the Russian statistician of the 19th century, to the development of geographical science. Compiled under his editorship and with his direct participation, the Economic-Statistical Atlas of the European Russia, the first Russian economic atlas, summarized key information on agriculture as the basis for the Russian economy of the mid-19th century. The method of graphical representation of statistical data on the maps of the Atlas was innovative and contributed to the development of world cartography. The history of compiling the earliest Russian soil map is discussed in detail. The map depicted the geographical patterns of soil distribution in European Russia and their relation to climate. The generalized map was included in the Economic-Statistical Atlas and it became the first soil map of the country in the world. The study “On the Climate of Russia,” in which K.S. Veselovskii collected and critically processed all available observations of air temperature, winds and precipitation played a significant role in the development of geographical science. The role of K.S. Veselovskii in the organization of meteorological observations in Russia is also shown.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):118-127
View of a Geographer
Is the share of a central place in the population of the area, served by this central place, a constant for all levels of the Christaller’s hierarchy?
Dmitriev R.V.


One of the conditions of the central place theory is the assumption of a constant k parameter – a share of a central place in the population of the area served by this central place – for all levels of the Christaller’s hierarchy. Nevertheless, we did not find a rigorous proof of this assertion (underlying the Beckmann-Parr equation) in the bibliography on the central place theory. If this condition is assumed true, it also remains unclear – whether for all or only for strictly defined k-values. We have established that if the chosen K-value of the Christaller’s hierarchy is constant at every lattice level, the Beckmann-Parr equation holds for all meaningful values of k. At the same time we found that the range of k-values for an ideal Christaller’s lattice is bounded above by not an asymptote at k = 1, but an exact almost twice smaller value equal to K-(K^2-K)^0.5. Since the latter changes very slightly during a radical rearrangement of the lattice from K = 3 to K = 7, we can state that we have discovered the new nonstrict invariant in the central place theory – the maximum value of k.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(1):128-135

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