No 4 (2019)

Theory and Social Functions of Geography
Diversity of cities as a factor of Russia’s successful spatial development
Lappo G.M.

The diversity of cities, their systems and networks has greatly contributed to solving the problems of urban development and enhancing their role in the spatial development of the country. The article aims to show the need for diversity of cities, especially important for Russia due to its inherent differentiation, as the needs of cities of a certain type and category and the conditions of their formation and functioning. This makes the achievement of urban diversity one of the key goals of the state urban policy, ensuring the improvement of the territorial organization of Russia and its parts and improving the efficiency of its economy. The work is based on statistical data characterizing the dynamics of cities and their distribution over the territory; published works on geographical urban studies and socioeconomic development of Russia and its regions; on author’s experience in research of the cities and agglomerations, participation in the state examination of national economic projects, master plans of the large cities, territorial planning at country and regional levels. Historical, cartographic, statistical, comparative-geographical, typological, conceptual design methods are used. Multi-aspect consideration of the theme allowed to draw conclusions useful for successful state urban policy.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):3-23
On the efficiency of natural agro-potentsial use in the steppe regions of European Russia
Chibilev A.A., Sokolov A.A., Rudneva O.S.

Main aspects of optimizing the use of natural agro-potential of the steppe zone of European Russia are considered taking into account the available natural and socio-economic resources. The study was carried out by comparing the actual and biopotential yield of grain crops as key agricultural crops of the European Russia’s steppe zone. About half of the Russian grain harvest takes place in this area. Areas with different efficiency of agro-potentsial use were identified using the method of spatial expert assessments. The first group includes areas with optimal efficiency of agricultural land use, where the actual yield is close to biopotential. In the second group there are areas with average efficiency, the actual yield is more than 75% of the biopotential. The third group includes areas with low efficiency. The actual yield is less biopotential in this area. Most of the territory of the European Russia’s steppe zone is characterized by low efficiency of agricultural environmental management. There are significant areas of productive arable land, the biological potential of which is not used rationally due to organizational and economic difficulties. The current level of management does not reveal the potential of cultivated soils in each region. Methods and culture of agriculture may differ significantly within the same farm, which leads to variations in actual yields, while reserves increase the actual yield can be up to 50% of its current level. In turn, the identified features can serve as the basis for the development of geographically differentiated programs of rural areas’ integrated development in the steppe zone of European Russia.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):24-30
Territorial Organization of Society
Largest urban agglomerations and super-agglomerations in Russia
Antonov E.V., Makhrova A.G.

The paper attempts to analyze trends in development of the largest Russian urban agglomerations, which took place after the latest population census during 2010-2018. Research methodology is based on a functional approach engaging transport accessibility isochrones for delimitation of agglomeration cores. Core delimitation along with an analysis of population sizes and development index dynamics was carried out for 36 major agglomerations. The results of these calculations are presented for 4 alternatives: from “minimum” up to “maximum” indicators corresponding with the microzoning network developed by E.E. Leyzerovich. As no changes in number of agglomerations by development classes were unveiled the number of developed agglomerations still remains low. Tendencies of continued population concentration in major agglomerations and their cores are observed. Monocentric attribute of most of the largest agglomerations is shown based on a case study of the Moscow capital agglomeration. The study of the Central Russian megalopolis, which is a higher-level agglomerative structure under the process of formation, revealed its fragmentation and underdevelopment of lower-level agglomerations within.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):31-45
Settlement network topology as a factor of rural population dynamics (a case study of Tyumen oblast)
Sheludkov A.V., Orlov M.A.

After a brief counter-urbanization of the early 1990s, rural out-migration resumed in Russia. Population concentrates in large settlements, while small and medium-sized towns and villages lose people. The farther rural settlements from regional center the greater the outflow of people. Centripetal tendencies can be mitigated or amplified at local level, where specific conditions of the area come to fore. The authors suggest settlement network pattern as one of such contextual factors, whose effects on population dynamics are still poorly understood. The paper poses two questions: what the effects of settlement network topology on the rate of population concentration are, and how population dynamics in individual settlements depends on their position in settlement network. Based on a case study of Tyumen oblast of Russia the authors investigated population dynamics in 2002–2010 with methods of network, cluster and regression analysis. The authors did not find relationship between density and centralization of settlement network and rate of population concentration. However, the study revealed a significant role, played by the network position in determining individual settlements population increase/decrease. Together with initial population size, the network position explained 23–24% of the variance in population dynamics among the towns and villages of Tyumen oblast. Outside the Tyumen metropolitan area settlements with highest inter-district network centrality grew. It is noteworthy that configuration of the regional settlement network at inter-district level emerged during the period of colonization of Western Siberia in 17–19 centuries. The configuration largely stems from the river network. Thus, even if the factors, which determined settlement network pattern, have lost their force, the settlement pattern itself continues to affect social space.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):46-62
Natural Processes and Dynamics of Geosystems
Climatic factors of the Volga runoff variability in the second half of 20th – early 21st centuries
Popova V.V., Babina E.D., Georgiadi A.G.

The relation of the Volga runoff to the change of climatic factors, significant for the river runoff, is considered since the middle of the last century. The quantitative estimates of the impact of precipitation anomalies (taking into account the solid and liquid phase) on the variability of the annual runoff of the Volga show that the leading role of solid precipitation is detected in the period preceding the current warming (from the early 1950s to the mid-1970s), and also from the mid-1990s, with the onset of warming hiatus. From the mid-1970s to the 1990s, during the period of winter temperature growth, a significant increase in the role of liquid precipitation and their dominance in the variability of the Volga's runoff is observed. The differences between these periods are also noticeable in the percentage of liquid precipitation in the annual amount, which in turn has an ambiguous effect on the spring runoff of the Volga. The long-term trends of spring runoff and the share of liquid precipitation (in annual amount) before and after the mid-1970s coincide in sign. In the same time, there is a negative correlation between the anomalies of these parameters in interannual scale. The last indicates a decrease in the volume of runoff in the years of increasing the proportion of liquid precipitation.


Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):63-72
Evaluation of the sediment delivery ratio of small watersheds in the forest-steppe and steppe regions of the Russian plain
Bezukhov D.A., Golosov V.N., Panin A.V.

Dependence between sediment delivery ratio (SDR) and morphometric parameters of a set of 27 previously studied small watersheds located in the central and southern parts of the Russian plain in various geomorphological conditions in the areas of active agricultural development is established. The SDR of small riversheds were determined using field methods. When comparing the SDR with individual terrain characteristics, there is no direct linear relationship between each of the parameters and SDR. The highest value of the correlation coefficient between the SDR and relief indicators of the small rivershed was obtained for the average steepness of the watershed area (r = 0.52). As one of the verified morphometric characteristics, the parameter of the planimetric form of the rivershed area (the circularity coefficient) was used. The resulting equation includes several morphometric parameters: the ratio of area and perimeter (derived from the circularity coefficient) and the amplitude of absolute heights. These parameters allow taking into account the watershed planimetric form and the landform energy potential. About half the SDR values, obtained by the equation, deviate within ±10% of the initial values. For watersheds with SDR > 50%, the calculated values are significantly different from the initial values due to the spread of data in this area. The obtained equation of SDR can be used together with land-use remote sensing data to study the dynamics of sediments redistribution in river basins.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):73-84
Evolution of Natural Systems
Structure of large flat-bottom depressions on loess interfluves of eastern Azov region (on the example of “Chervonaya Pad'”)
Zakharov A.L., Konstantinov E.A.

Geological and geomorphological structure of the “Chervonaya Pad’”, one of the largest orientated depressions of Eastern Azov region, was considered. The study is based on the results of the analysis of remote-sensing data and new geological data obtained during manual drilling and studying the coastal outcrops. Features of the morphological similarity between the neighboring large depressions and “Chervonaya Pad’” was revealed. It is evidence of the unity of their origin. This allows us to consider “Chervonaya Pad’” as a model object for research. The features of the geological structure and morphology of the “Chervonaya Pad’” show that the depression is a denudation form developed in the cover of loess deposits as a result of the impact of airflow on the surface. According to the paleosol stratigraphy, it was revealed that the main stage of the formation of the depression was in the end of the Middle Pleistocene.Based on the material obtained, the authors verify the existing hypotheses of the formation of the large flat-bottom depression relief of the Eastern Azov region. It is revealed that the previously proposed mechanisms for the formation of large depressions (thermokarst, erosion-suffusion, loess subsidence, estuary-lake) do not consistent with the actual data on the geological-geomorphological structure of the “Chervonaya Pad’”. The authors propose the hypothesis of the eolian-denudation (deflation) origin of large depressions of the Eastern Azov region.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):85-96
Natural Resource Use and Geoecology
Evaluating the recreation potential of the national park “Valdayskiy” (Novgorodskaya Oblast, Russia)
Belonovskaya E.A., Vinogradova V.V., Ponomaryov M.A., Tishkov A.A., Tsarevskaya N.G.

The National Park “Valdayskiy” (the Park) was established to preserve the unique lake-forest complex of the Valday upland and to create conditions for the development of organized recreation on this territory. Incomparable beautiful views of different landscapes attracthere thousands of tourists from various Russian regions.The greater number of them prefers lakeshores for camping,so special attention in the research was paid tothe studyofriparian and shallow water vegetation of lakesin zones with different recreation pressureto establish the patterns of vegetation digression.The materials of our observations are supplemented with data on the attendance of tourist sites collected by the Park staff.The region recreation capacities were studied on the base of bioclimatic indices (Bodman’s indices and subjective temperature).It was revealed that only for the period of 1 month (mid-July to mid-August), there is a massive influx of tourists and intensive use of recreation sites on the lakeshores.This leads to degradation of riparian forest and meadow vegetation; destruction of the protective (buffer) zone of aquatic vegetation, erosion of the banks near camps, pollution of shallow water by sewage and garbage. Thus, irregular recreation pressure on water bodies leads to local degradation of natural complexes and eventually to lowering the aesthetic value of riparian landscapes. But such factors as humid (moderate) continental climate with a prolonged cold winter and high relative air humidity throughout the year reduce the period of a strong recreation pressure, and the complicated accessibility of many lakeshores reduce the negative impact of recreation and delay the destruction of natural vegetation. Evaluation of the bioclimatic indices allows Valday to be attributed to regions with a lack of thermal resources, it is preferable to develop here dynamic types of recreation activities practically all over the year. For soft recreation activity the Valday upland are available with limitation from 7 to 8 months in a year and without limitation nearly 1 month in a year. For nature conservation in the Park it is necessary to organize monitoring of lakeshore’s complexes, control of recreation use, determine pressure of tourist traffic, normalizing and differentiating this pressure by the types of possible use and conservation regime.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):97-111
Regional geographical problems
Evaluation of the structure and composition of forests in Moscow region based on field and remote sensing data
Chernen'kova T.V., Puzachenko M.Y., Belyaeva N.G., Morozova O.V.

The sequence and content of the main stages of determining the indicators of the structure and composition of forest communities based on satellite imagery of the Landsat system are described. It is shown that the application of quantitative processing methods for the interpolation of point data from field research, in particular canonical discriminant analysis, allows obtaining characteristics of the vegetation cover and investigating the factors of its biodiversity formation. The presented methods and results of the assessment of various parameters of the state of forests, their structure and typological composition can be integrated into the international network of the National Forest Inventory. Despite the difference in methodological approaches, there is a principal possibility of harmonizing the data obtained with the data of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. For the test territory in the central partof the Russian plain (western sector of the Moscow oblast), the results of a joint analysis of field research data, remote sensing dataand a digital elevation model are presented. A series of maps of the medium scale characterizing the spatial structure and composition of the forest cover of the study area was obtained.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):112-124
History of Geography
The Black Sea in Ptolemy’s Geography: from measuring latitudes and distances to creating a map
Shcheglov D.A.

The configuration of the Black Sea in Ptolemy’s Geography is compared with the information of other ancient geographers. It is demonstrated that their data on the length of the coastlines between the key points match with high accuracy, implying that they drew on similar sources. A possible explanation of numerous disagreements between their data on distances between neighbouring coastal points is suggested. It is shown that the shortening of the west coast of the Black Sea in Ptolemy’s Geography relative to the reports of other geographers was due to his erroneous value of the circumference of the Earth. In general, Ptolemy’s configuration of the Black Sea is explained as a result of merging together contradictory information on the length of coastlines and the latitudes of the key points provided by his sources. These findings contribute to a better understanding of Ptolemy’s method of map-making.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):125-136
Surveys and reviews
Music of geography: echo of the époque (review of books written by A.V. Drozdov)
Galkina T.A.

A brief review of two books written by the leading researcher of the Institute of geography, A.V. Drozdov “Offertorium”, M., Association of scientific publications KMK, 2016 and “Magnificat”, M., Association of scientific publications KMK, 2018, representing a series of essays about University teachers and colleagues of the author. The essays are based on the author's personal memories and are dictated by the desire to pay tribute to his teachers and to preserve the living memory of these extraordinary people. The author also reflects on the serious changes in the life of the Russian Academy of Sciences in recent years and on the links between science and culture.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):137-138
The century of geography through geographers’ eyes
Shuper V.A.

A review of the book: The Century of Geography, V.M. Kotlyakov, O.N. Solomina, A.A. Tishkov, V.A. Kolosov (Eds.). Moscow: Drofa Publ., 2018.

Izvestiya Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Seriya geograficheskaya. 2019;(4):139-140

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