FLUVIAL PLAIN LAKES OFF THE OKA
 
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By Valery NOVIKOV, Cand. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.) director of the "Ugra" National park; and Tatyana GORDEYEVA, senior researcher The river Zhizdra, meandering through the Kaluga Region south of Moscow, is flanked on both sides by a string of lowland lakes with rather peculiar hydrological, hydrochemical and hydrophysical characteristics. These bodies of water were but little studied until recently. The tables were turned as this area was elevated to a national park status, something that spurred comprehensive research and nonstop monitoring. According to the origin of their basins, Kaluga lakes are predominantly fluvial plain bodies of water (mort-lakes). But here and there one may come upon solution, or sink lakes, and glacial (glacier) lakes; and one of them, Ozerki, is thought to have appeared in a kettlehole left by a meteorite (by tentative estimates of a geological team from Lomonosov Moscow State University). Most of these lakes are situated along the Oka and its major tributaries, the Ugra and the Zhizdra. The flood plain of the latter is particularly rich in mort-lakes, more than 100 in number; of these over seventy with a total water surface area of about 20 hectares (50 acres) lie within the bounds of our national park. Hydrochemical studies of these bodies of water were launched in 1998 and, on a broader scope, in 1999. In keeping with the project of the Global Ecological Fund (an international organization financing nature conservation projects), teams of experts from Moscow, Kaluga, Obninsk and other places got down to comprehensive studies of the Zhizdra plain so as to determine its geological structure, hydrological and hydrochemical characteristics, the degree of eutrophication (ageing) of lakes and other things. One of our goals was to describe the valuable plant and animal species inhabiting these lakes, and work out measures toward preserving and rehabilitating the unique ecosystems. Also, we were to draw up scientific recommendations for a ... Читать далее
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