Landscape Structure as Indicator of Debris Flow and Avalanche Activity in the Russian Caucasus Mountains

  • Marina N. Petrushina
Part of the Landscape Series book series (LAEC, volume 26)


The chapter focuses on landscape structure of paragenetic geosystems shaped by snow avalanches and debris flows with main attention to the stopping zone. The research was performed in the mountains of Western and Central Caucasus based on the long-term field observations, landscape mapping, interpretation of remote sensing data, and phytoindication. Landscape structure in the zones of natural processes activity is polystructural and depends on the type of processes, their frequency, and the internal features of the affected landscapes. Wet avalanches are followed by the strongest changes. A single influence, especially accompanied by the airwave, often results in relatively rapid recovery of zonal vegetation. As a result of prolonged avalanche releases, nature complexes of neighboring zonal types or subtypes may develop. A series of complexes indicating the frequency and duration of avalanches emerges in the impact zones. We distinguished several types of landscape patterns indicating the avalanche activity. Intensification of landscape changes in the late twentieth and the early twenty-first century due to the large avalanche and debris flow releases was detected.


Landscape structure Debris flows Avalanches Landscape indication 



This research was conducted according to the State target for Lomonosov Moscow State University “Structure, functioning and evolution of natural and natural-anthropogenic geosystems” (project no. АААА-А16-116032810081-9).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina N. Petrushina
    • 1
  1. 1.Lomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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