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Baku State University, Azerbaijan
It is necessary to carry out scientific investigation for exploration of various aspects of anthropogenic transformation of natural landscapes of Azerbaijan Republic, discovering of complex changes caused with numerous and intensive influences of rural economy and industry fields, right management of various repeated reproduction and anthropogenic modifications by people.
Part of Great Caucasus located in the territory of Azerbaijan differs with its complex natural anthropogenic landscape structures. The anthropogenic influences of many years thoroughly changed the natural appearance of landscapes; making their morphological differentiation more complex enriched them with natural –anthropogenic modification.
Several vertical structure types of natural-anthropogenic landscapes that differ from each other may be differentiated in hills with various loaded degree of Great Caucasus. Each vertical structure type has its own natural anthropogenic differentiation law compliance.
Forests do not form entire zone in south –east structure type, distributing in glade form, spreading of dry fields, semi deserts and thin forests and shrubberies in absolute altitudes till 1000 meters are considered to be direct anthropogenic influence of many centuries.
Expanding of forests – fields and fields that are considered to be in north-east structure type, acute narrowing of forest zone area, becoming shattered to the small fields isolated from each-other are considered to be distinct embodiment of anthropogenic influences. The anthropogenic landscapes in this structure type absolutely captured plain and foothills, forest-fields and fields.
Developing of natural landscapes of south structure type mostly in shattered height slopes creates acute landscapes asymmetry; anthropogenic landscapes with small areas attract attention with its scattered structure. Bare naked slopes, acute shattered monoclinic structures are not steady against anthropogenic influences. Degradation signs show themselves in each landscape stage.
Anthropogenic loads show themselves in nival and subnival landscapes in a very low form. The anthropogenic influences carry out episodic character here. Structure of natural landscapes is not disturbed. Geo-components having weak standing and high dynamism differ with natural law compliance development.
On the laps of yura aged sharply broken crystallic peaks exaration (kar, trog valleys, cycles) and accumulative (moraine crumbs) morfosculptures develop. Soil-plant cover almost has not been developed. On the bare rocks primitive layer of peaty soil thickness of which is some sm. has been formed. Such type of landscapes practically are unchangeable complexes. The anthropogen coefficient of the rocky and stony places, gravels the assumption of which is impossible is less than 0,1. As the anthropogenic degradation of the landscape is very weak, all the ongoing processes there develop in the natural way. Anthropogenic influences are of accidental character.
Alpine and subalpine meadows belong to the group of weakly changed complexes. The anthropogenic bulks of this type complexes locating on high mountain slopes and watersheds are irregularly featured. In summer months (May-August) the anthropogenic bulks increase to the maximum limit related with the intensive grazing of the cattle. During this period, degradation of the landscape reinforces. In winter months the anthropogenic downloading is practically broke down due to the extreme conditions. The graze period of the cattle in dense meadows of Great Caucasus lasts for 2.5-3.0 months, i.e. since the second half of June till the beginnings of September. Subalpine meadows may be used both as hay fields and pastures, but the alpine meadows only as pastures.
Relying on the decyphering cosmic photos, contemporary natural-anthoropogenic landscape map of 1:280000 scale was compiled which reflected different usage features for Azerbaijan territory of Small Caucasus. In this map, artificial complexes practically unchangeable, episodic useful, transformed on different levels, irregularly used and sharply transformed, technogen complexes sharply transformed and regularly used and other natural-anthropogenic lanscape categories sharply transformed are distinguished.
Practically unchangeable and episodically useful complexes cover the rocky, useless stony-gravel places, steepness, sharply broken river valleys with high slopes, shrubbery-stony useless cones on the watersheds of the both slopes of Small Caucasus. These complexes have been spread in all landscape zones from semideserts of the region’s foothill plains to stony-gravel subnival complexes of high mountain peaks. But serious differences are observed in their vertical differentiation on altitude zones.
In dissemination of natural-anthropogenic landscapes of the north eastern and south eastern slopes of Small Caucasus vertical waist manifests itself. In semidesert, dry steppe, xerofit shrubbery, shrubbery meadow-forest landscapes of wide river valleys and smooth terraces of foothill sloping plains along the Kur intensively used different agro landscapes, technogen complexes are formed. Turning anthropogenic of natural landscapes exceeds 0,6-0,7.
The comlexes of the medium mountainous places such as forest, below the forest, meadow, forest-shrubbery, shrubbery-meadow, subalpine meadow, etc. are distinguished for their agro landscapes having little areas and weak sustainability. A system of many residences with spreading areas led to the severe broke of natural landscapes and formation of repeat-descent anthropogenic landscapes. Turning anthropogenic of natural landscapes is shifted between 0,2-0,5. The majority of forest-shrubberies, shrubbery-meadows, hay fields, different agro landscapes are of repeat-descent origin.
Subalpine and alpine meadows of high mountainous places have been less anthropogenic related with the seasonal treatment. Though turning anthropogenic of natural landscapes changes between 0,1-0,3, this indicator for the severely transformed pastures and hay fields exceeds 0,5. Repeat-descent complexes turned bare and severely washed away destroy the completeness of subalpine and alpine meadows and make its structure more complicated.
So that, their share on foothills sloping plains of 600 m absolute height is 10%, on altitudes of 600-1200 m is 20-25%, on altitudes of 1200-1800 m is 30-35%, on absolute altitudes of 1800-2800 m is 40-45% and on the complexes locating on the altitude of more than 2800 m is 50-60%. In general, these complexes cover the space of more than 350 thousands ha and nearly 60 % of their territory is not under use.
Severely transformed repeat-descent complexes are also disseminated in large scale. Though the vast majority of them remind natural complexes, they have turned anthropogenic modifications after being changed for long historical periods.
Brown mountainous forests, grizzled meadows, meadow-shrubberies on the lands of brown forests, repeat meadows, shrubbery fields, pastures, hay fields, small plantings and so on (84th and 85th units on the map) on the spots of the mountain slopes, destroyed forests of high watersheds broken, destroyed and subjected to erosion on severe and medium level are repeat-descent natural anthropogenic landscapes.
Nowadays forests on the northern-eastern slope of Small Caucasus do not form zone, the majority of the forests stretch along the river valleys and its slopes in the form of oblong strip.
The complexes washed away, turned bare, broken with ravines and gorges inside forests are decrypted for little areas in cosmic forms and granular structure. Its area in Goygol region covers 500 ha, in Tovuz -1,8 thousands ha and in Gadabay-1,2 thousand ha.
In the last 30-40 years, turning meadows of forests, their substitution with repeat and anthropogenic complexes have been accelerated. So, in 1980-1990, forests in the northern-eastern part of Small Caucasus were decreased to 10% from 11,5%, i.e., became nearly 1,5% less. Decrease of forests for the next 20 years is better reflected in the map compiled by us. Though artificial afforestation are implemented in Asrikchay, Zayamchay, Shamkirchay, Goshgarchay valleys, de-forestation, turning them anthropogenic have been more rapidly realized.
Irregularly used alpine and subalpine meadow pastures and hay fields are distributed into 3 groups for natural-anthropogenic structure and also, level of degradation: summer pastures and hay fields destroyed weakly, medium and severely. More than 60% of all the pastures and hay fields have been exposed to weak and medium destroy (290 thousand ha), nearly 40 % pastures and hay fields to severe destroy and degradation (120 thousand ha). The vast majority of the destroyed pastures are in summer houses on hillock slopes of Gadabay, Dashkasan, Shamkir regions.
There had been many changes in either the areas or structures of agro irrigation complexes where anthropogenic influences were of systematic character.
Agro irrigation complexes in Ganja-Gazakh plain have areas covering tens ha spaces and reminding huge geometrical figures. In 80-90th years of XX century, grain and grape sowings covered the space of 40-50 ha between Injasu-Aghstafachay, grain and cotton sowings of smooth, weak waved plains between Shamkirchay-Zayamchay covered 50-80 ha. But later, after distributing the lands to local people, agro complexes with large areas had been divided into relatively little parts. By setting certain borders, “fences” for their share lands from the spaces of the neighbor farmers, the owners distributed the plain agro landscapes with large areas into parts. Furthermore, the structure of the sowing places had also changed. In the lands of 50-60 ha where similar agricultural plants were cultivated in the past, different plants of tens had been planted.
The sowing spaces on the mountain slopes cover relatively little areas. Depending on the aptitude, exposition, breaking, absolute height of the area, the sowing places cover the area near from 0,2-1,0 ha till 3-5 ha.
The majority of the sowings existing on medium and high mountains are on artificially terraced slopes.
Nearly 80-90 % of the current grain, vegetable, potatoes sowings of Dashkasan region have been planted on artificially terraced mountain slopes. Terraced sowings in Shamkir and Gadabay regions cover nearly 30 % of all the field-sowing featured agro landscapes.
Fundamentally changed landscapes of techno-genetic origin are formed relating with the works of mining, road-construction, water industry. Nearly 10 % natural landscapes of the north-eastern slope of Small Caucasus have been fundamentally changed. These row seliteb complexes, iron mining, stone quarries, channels, reservoirs, roads, communications, differently aimed constructions cover more than 120 thousand ha area.
The share of the fundamentally changed landscapes on sharply assumed sloping plains, wide river valleys, smooth mountain slopes is more. Their share is sharply reduced on high mountain slopes.
In this respect, I have created geo-informational map models through mapinfo system of geographical information of anthropogenic transformation of Azerbaijan’s natural landscapes. The samples of these maps have been checked by A.A.Nabiyev, head of Geography Center at Geo-information and Computer of Baku State University and these samples have been posted on www.ali-n?biyev.narod.ru/azmaps.html. site.
CIS and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) are a complex of hardware, software, personal, geographical information and methods fulfilling the functions of collecting geographical information of large volume, its store, usage, management, on-site analyze, inquiry and presentation and assist the users in decision-making period which relies on directional position for settling public, economical, ecological and other problems of the world.
CIS has five fundamental components:
The most famous CIS programs include Arcinfo, Intergraph, MapInfo, Netcad (in Turkish and Azerbaijani), Idrisi, Grass and so on.
There are a lot of CIS companies in the Republic of Azerbaijan, too. They use modern methods and technologies for further development of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Not accidentally, some state bodies and offices in the Republic of Azerbaijan also apply CIS. As examples for them we can show State Land and Cartography Committee, State Register Service of Real Estate, State Committee on Real Estate issues, Ministry of Emergency Situations and so on. There are nearly 10 CIS companies in the Republic of Azerbaijan, so they include Integris MMC, CHARTIS MMC, Datum MMC and etc.
Garibov Y.A. Anthropogenic transformation landscapes of Azerbaijan Republic. Baku,2011.