The Institute of Environmental Sciences will helm the project supported by the Russian Science Foundation.
This will be first soil and ravine erosion research on such a vast territory.
Project head Oleg Yermolaev explained, “Many basins of small rivers have been plowed for up to 70-80%. Agricultural works have led to a large-scale natural and anthropogenic erosion, when denudation exceeds the acceptable soil loss. Erosion can lead to pollutants ending up in river courses and water bodies. The Russian government aims to provide homemade agricultural products, so soil use will intensify, especially in traditional agricultural regions of Russia.”
Dr. Yermolaev noted that there is a lack of erosion studies in the post-Soviet period, so this new research will cover processes since the 1980s. “Apart from that, a ravine network on 250 thousand square kilometers of the Russian Plain will be mapped,” he said.
Obtained data is to be used in university courses in geography, hydrometeorology, cartography, and environmental management. Over 10 thematic maps will be placed at the River basins of European Russia portal.
The data will also be added to the national Big Data platform, a part of the Digital Economy national project.
Source text: Larisa Busil
Translation: Yury Nurmeev