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Special UNISPACE III volume
Marsteller, Deborah

International Archives of Photogrammetiy and Remote Sensing. Vol. XXXII Part 7C2. UNISPACE in. Vienna. 1999
“Environment and Remote Sensing for Sustainable De\’elopment”
9:00 am -12:00 pm, 23 July 1999, VIC Room A
Vienna, Austria
V. Kravtsova
Leading Researcher. Faculty of Geography
Moscow State University'
Moscow, Russia
The methods of remotely-sensed images usage for ecological
applications have been developed and presented in the new
scientific-methodological atlas "Space Methods for Geoecology",
prepared by geograpliers of Moscow State University.
Special manuals in the form of atlases of satellite images are
within the best tools for support of the geographical and
ecological research and thematic mapping. The team of Moscow
State University geograpliers, in cooperation with other
organisations, have developed and edited a series of such atlases.
The first two volumes were devoted to processing of
multispectral imagery; they were prepared in the international
cooperation within the frame of "Intercosmos" and published in
1982 and 1988 in Berlin in three languidges: Russian, English
and German. The following triad is the presentation basis in the
atlases: satellite images - interpretation techniques -
interpretation results.
Now Faculty' of Geography MSU had compiled the third -
ecologically oriented - volume. Tlie new atlas reflects the
interaction of astronautics and ecology. It generalises the
experience and achivements on space methods application in
geoecology up to the middle 1990's, shows the ways of satellite
images use in geoecological monitoring and for investigation and
solution the ecological problems. It lias been compiled in
cooperation with specialists of 15 organisations in Russia; there
were 96 specialists involved in its compilation. The Atlas was
printed by financial support of Russian Space Agency.
The new atlas consists of 108 sheets which includes dozens of
colour images, mainly from Russian spacecraft, as well as the
results of their interpretation, thematic ecological maps,
compiled on the base of the imagery, and short explanation text
on methods of interpretation and possibilities of satellite images
usage in investigations of ecological problems and decision
The issue covered range from global ecological problems,
represented in quite general manner, up to the more specific
regional and local problems, characterised in more detail.
A short section of the Atlas is devoted to global ecological
problems investigation: global climate warming, vegetation
biomass loss, plutoplanktone concentration, ozon layer depletion.
In the group of regional problems, the common problems for all
geographical zones are presented first, within them : sea level
fluctuations, air pollution and water contamination. Ecological
problems of coastal regions connected with sea level fluctuations
are show n through the examples of Aral sea area, where they are
stipulated by sea receiding, and Caspian sea coastal zone, where
they are provoked by sea level rise. One of examples is Sulak
River delta, where erosion and flooding processes have lead to
ecological problems of Sulak settlement.
Remotely sensed images usage for water contamination control is
examined for sea waters at example of influence of the flood
prevention dam in Neva Bay, Baltic sea. Inland water bodies
contamination is shown on the example of Imandra Lake, where
water contamination decreased with changing the process of
apatyte ore enrichment to inside watercicle. Another example is
Angara River, the clearist in tire past, but now satellite image
show streeps of dirty' water coused by gold exploration along
right side and by timber cutting and transportation - along left
Air pollution indicated by dirty snow cover areas in winter
imagery is studied for industrial central part of the European
Russia, Siberia. Urals regions, where dirty snow cover areas
much bigger than areas of towns and factories.
More detail description is given for regional ecological problems
of Russia and neighbouring territories in different geographical
zones - tundra, forests, steppes, and deserts. Problems of
erosion and desertification are the main subject of this part of the
In tundra zone, under teclmogenic impact on soil and vegetation
cover on permafrost, activation of cryogenic processes takes
place. Natural tundra landscapes of Eastern Siberia North are
compared with damaged landscapes of Western Siberia in
regions of oil and gas extraction, oil pipelines construction and
tlie off-road traffic impact.
Scale of deforestation in boreal forests is investigated in the
Atlas by comparison of recent satellite imagery' with the old
maps, compiled in the middle of last century'. It was carried out
for 15 test sites in European part of Russia and interesting
phenomena were discovered, in particular)' the widening of
forests areas in some regions. Within the topics shown for
Siberian and Far Eastern taiga regions are: cutting control,
monitiring the observation of timber felling rules, results of pests
outbreaks, forests fires and post-fire forest restoration control.
Ecological problems of steppe zone, with its’ intensive
agricultural land use. cousing development of erosion processes -
linear and soil sheet erosion, humus losses - are characterised
using the examples of Central Chernozem area and Northern
Ecological problems, connected with desertification, are shown
for Aral area. Tadzhikistan and Kalmykia. For tlie wide area of
Aral impact - maps of modem landscape, processes of
desertification, degree of desertificatioa reccomendations for its
prevention are compiled using satellite images. For Amudarya
delta maps of hydrogenic ecosystems for different dates and then-
dynamics have been compiled. For Tedzhen and Murgab
subaeral deltas in Tadzhikistan with irrigated agricultural land
use the following issues have been studied: processes of
secondary soil salinisation as the result of irrigation water
discharge, marshland formation under the influence of water
percolation from irrigation canals, pasture desertification of