The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №4

Geosituational Modelling of Coastal Marine Systems

Abstract

The article summarizes years of experience of geosituational modelling of coastal marine systems in the Baltic Sea region and adjacent territories. Kaliningrad universities and academic institutions have done extensive research on the diversity of approaches and models of the regional geosituations as well as on identifying the most promising coastal marine areas. Some of the models presented in the present paper are qualitative, while others are empirical and statistical ones. However, the majority of the models can be referred to as forms of graphic and image mapping. The significance of the regional models lies in their specificity, a more detailed character (compared to the generalist ones) and the possibility of using them to back up managerial decisions in critical and emergency situations in order to minimize the negative effects of natural (storms, floods, earthquakes, etc.) and anthropogenic emergency situations. The authors developed a matrix classification attributable to a particular class of models for the situations leading to uncertain outcomes. The authors suggest using numerical methods combined with the empirical and statistical models for the assessment of the impact of industrial fishing on marine environment, minimizing the consequences of storms, floods and others factors. Special attention is paid to the modelling of climate change and geo-ecological consequences, as well as to atlas mapping and landscape planning. As a result of the geosituational analysis the authors got new insights into the solar-terrestrial links, marine-terrestrial ecosystems, global and regional processes related to climate change, oceanization, the vulnerability of natural systems under the increasing pressure of anthropogenic activities, and continuously increasing risks presented by industrial agriculture and other types of land use.

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Regional Geographic Information Systems of Health and Environmental Monitoring

Abstract

The article describes a new scientific and methodological approach to designing geographic information systems of health and environmental monitoring for urban areas. Geographic information systems (GIS) are analytical tools of the regional health and environmental monitoring; they are used for an integrated assessment of the environmental status of a large industrial centre or a part of it. The authors analyse the environmental situation in Voronezh, a major industrial city, located in the Central Black Earth Region with a population of more than 1 million people. The proposed research methodology is based on modern approaches to the assessment of health risks caused by adverse environmental conditions. The research work was implemented using a GIS and multicriteria probabilistic and statistical evaluation to identify cause-and-effect links, a combination of action and reaction, in the dichotomy ‘environmental factors — public health’. The analysis of the obtained statistical data confirmed an increase in childhood diseases in some areas of the city. Environmentally induced diseases include congenital malformations, tumors, endocrine and urogenital pathologies. The main factors having an adverse impact on health are emissions of carcinogens into the atmosphere and the negative impact of transport on the environment. The authors identify and characterize environmentally vulnerable parts of the city and developed principles of creating an automated system of health monitoring and control of environmental risks. The article offers a number of measures aimed at the reduction of environmental risks, better protection of public health and a more efficient environmental monitoring.

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