Sverdlovskaya Region, Russia: a Field Survey in Autumn (Part 1)

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Environmental Safety, Society, Travels
Tags: , , ,

While every normal environmental scientists perform their field surveys in Summer (unless there is a need to do this in a specific time of the year) I had to do mine when the weather was not that good. In a five days my colleague and I had to collect land monitoring archives of 3 districts of Sverdlovskaya region, soil samples for analysis for heavy metals concentrations and take pictures of the disturbed lands.

The flight form St. Petersburg to Ekaterinburg took place at night. 3 hours flight is not enough to have a good sleep and a +2 hours time zone difference mean that when you arrive it is already time to get to work.

Ekaterinburg is not a nice city. There are too many cars and the space is not designed to handle such amount. The air is filled with the exhaust and seems to be more polluted than in St. Peresburg. The architecture suck and it is hard to find historical buildings.

 Here you are a view from the highest natural point of the city – Metheogorka the eldest Mmetheorogical station of the Ekaterinburg.

Another problem of the city is a crime. When I was there there were a TV reportage about prostitution (covered by police) in the city and kidnapping women for it. I saw ads right in the street for about a dozen of different “spa for men” and no regular spa at all! “Do you want to take a shower with a blonde?” – one of the ads asks.

Locals told me that drug business is well developed. Gypsy are the main drug dealers here and have “a palaces that are a subject for a jealous for the businessmen from Moscow”. Also policemen buzzing at these palaces is a well-known phenomena.

 But lets get back to the field survey. One of the goals was to take soil samples from fields for heavy metals analysis. We used a “mail” method which means that you take 5 samples: 4 from the corners of the 50 meters square and 1 from its center (so it looks like a mail) and mix it in one sample that will be analyzed.

Taking soil samples at the abandoned field.

Another field

I’ve noticed an interesting local piece of architecture in the countryside. A house with a somewhat stylish (usually blue and white) shatters and a garage are connected with a high solid wooden fence.

Regular house in the countryside

At the picture below you can see a forest damaged by the gold-mining. Alkali used in the process killed the vegetation.

Gold mining cause vegetation damage

That’s how this place looks from space. RapidEye NIR-G-B pseudocolor composition provides and information about vegetation condition – red colour is healthy vegetation.

RapidEye NIR-G-B composition.

To be continued…

UPD: Part 2.

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Comments
  1. […] it’s time to finish the story about land monitoring in Sverdlovskaya region. In this post I would like to demonstrate some of the most unpleasant types of the land […]

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