Pacific Institute of Geography of the IED of the Russian Academy of Science


Kuriles are in a working area of awake development of disastrous physical processes, including eruptions of volcanoes, earthquakes. The last significant earthquake on Average Kuriles was noted on November, 15th, 2006. Force of shocks has compounded 8 points under the Richter scale. In this connection average Kuriles represent large interest for analysis of a natural habitat and character of volcanic and tectonic activity. Landscape research of given locale islands have the special value as analysis of landscape frame will allow to estimate influence of aboriginal awake geodynamical processes on various ingredients of visual environments. Their research is impossible without realization of cartographical operations.

Since 2003 complex operations on compilation of Kuriles landscape maps and schemes Kuriles in scales of 1:25000 up to 1:200000 are conducted in Information Cartographical Centre, Pacific Institute of Geography, IED of the Russian Academy of Science. Landscape mapping for Kuriles is executed for the first time.

Landscape mapping is conducted with the purpose of special structure detection, analysis of visual environments quantitative parameters, definitions of major factors forming the visual environment and character of their development.

Operations on visual environments mapping included a complex of operations:

1. The assembly and processing of archive and literature materials of the Russian Academy of Science IED, archive materials of South-Kuril timber enterprise forest regulation actions, the nature records of the State Natural Reservation "Kurilsky" and Gosprirodnadzor settlement Juzhno-Kurilsk are fulfilled.

2. From 2002 to 2006 the field research of visual environments in structure of complex expeditions of the Russian Academy of Science IED is carried out.

3. Analysis and selection of visual environments grading procedure are effected. Methodical approaches developed by A.G.Isachenko were taken as the basis.

4. Processing the received information, realization of decoding and mapping of the visual environments are realized on the basis of GIS-technology: ArView and ArcInfo platforms. The decoding is conducted with usage of remote sensing data LandSat 7 ETM + for 2001.

5. The description of space frame is executed and features of visual environments development are revealed, influence of the visual environment various factors on landscape components is characterized.

Landscape maps of Kunashir, Keta and Rashua islands are compiled. It has been allocated 51 type of visual environments on Kunashir island, 21 on island Keta, 15 on island Rashua.

Key feature of islands landscape structure is asymmetry of high-altitude landscape belts formation which has different genesis and character of development on South and Average Kuriles. A major factor of vegetative belts asymmetry creation on Average Kuriles is predominating of northern and northwest direction wind which brings cold air masses from sea of Okhotsk. The distribution sector of pyroclastic material renders additional influence on South Kuriles asymmetry creation which, in turn, is in straight relation to seasonal predominance of northwest winds.

Construction of landscape maps represents the special interest in connection with acceptance of the Social and Economic Development of Curies program in 2007, as on their basis work on advanced spatial planning of islands terrain with the purpose of harmonious exploitation and stable development principles intrusion is possible.