Vereshchaka T.V., Kurbatova I.E.


Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography

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The essence of the research in question consists in working out and developing a cartographic basis for the catchment concept of nature management. The catchment basin is considered and displayed on maps as a common geoecological space river delta coastal zone sea rather than a hydrographic element of the geographical envelope. In the cartographic method of research this approach is new and meets the requirements of the catchment strategy of water resources management, recognized in the whole world and which, certainly, is to be supported by map material.

The methodological basis for mapping is the concept of a catchment basin (or a river catchment area) as integrated formation in which there are processes of transit, transformation, sediments, drainage, formation of water chemistry, besides, the circulation of many kinds of substances becomes closed here. Slope and channel flows build up here peculiar geosystems with a high level of spatial and time organization. Its inclusion in the system of receiving water bodies (seas, lakes, reservoirs) allows one to estimate their ecological state and crisis situations in connection with the processes occurring in the catchment basin. So far, estimation like that has been applied only to extraordinary situations.

The mapping reliability is ensured by the fact that the catchment basin is a regional geosystem that can be easily identified both on maps and in a locality. Orographic boundaries can exactly be traced on maps, especially topographic and hypsometric ones.

The levels of mapping provided by different map scales (ranges of scales), are governed by the hierarchy of catchment basins that is closely connected to the order of the rivers, and are comparable with the levels of ecological problems (global, regional, local).

In mapping, the catchment basin is not only an optimum taxonomic unit, but also an optimum unit of account, that can be used for determining anthropogenic loads and the influence of natural factors on its ecological state.

The catchment basin as an integrated natural-and-economic complex needs for multidimensional mapping, including GIS technologies; here the system map design application of maps is realized to the utmost, it connecting closely cartographic methods of terrain representation and the cartographic research method making it possible to use either an available map or the map newly created as a database and a means of obtaining new information.

For characterizing the catchment area there has been offered a system of maps including the following thematic blocks: 1) general characteristics of the catchment basin; 2) surface water, its resources, the natural potential; 3) ecological framework of a catchment basin; 4) anthropogenous impacts on the catchment area nature; 5) seasonal and long-term dynamics of the natural environment of the catchment area; 6) medical-and-ecological situation; 7) maps of receiving water bodies ( seas, large lakes and reservoirs); 8) dangerous, crisis and extreme situations; 9) complex integral maps of the level of acuteness of ecological situations.

Basic themes and topics have been offered in the contents of each map block. There has been developed a detailed system of mapping parameters for describing the water resources as the central part of the catchment basin connected to natural landscapes and economic activities within the catchment area.

There have been compiled and designed by the authors original maps in digital and electronic forms, illustrating the themes of the blocks offered, in order to implement this theoretical research results. Examples of these maps are given in the report.

There have been obtained interpretation results of space images of different types for studying and mapping seasonal and long-term dynamics, extreme and emergency hydroecological situations. The interpretation is aimed at solving problems of monitoring water bodies and their catchment basins.