Department of Physical Geography

 

From the very beginning the Department of Physical Geography was formed as a Group of Landscape Sciences (Prof. D. Tsereteli as a Head until 1962 and D. Ukleba - until 1973), afterwards it was reformed in a Laboratory of the Landscape Sciences and in 1981 - in the Department of Physical Geography.

 

At different times the Department of Physical Geography was led by: David Ukleba, Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Honored Scientist, laureate of Vakhushti Bagrationi Premiums (twice) laureate of State Premiums (within 1981 - 1989 and 1995 - 1999), Nana Sulkhanishvili, Candidate of Geographical Sciences (within 1989 - 1995), Zurab Seperteladze, Professor, Doctor of  Geographical Sciences (within 1999 - 2003), Koba Kharadze, Professor, Doctor of  Geographical Sciences (within 2003 - 2006), Igor Bondirev, Professor, Doctor of  Geographical Sciences (within 2006 - 2009), since 2009 the Head of the Department is George Lominadze, an Academic Doctor of the Geography.

 

Research area of the Department is the investigation of natural-territorial complexes (landscapes) of geographical environment, identification of regularity of its origin, structure, development and distribution. Complex physical-geographical (landscape) research was always properly treated in the scientific activity of the Institute of Geography.

 

Natural–territorial complexes of different regions (Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Kvemo Imereti, Zemo Imereti, Apkhazeti et al.) of Georgia have been studied at different times. Complex geographical characteristic of their natural conditions have been performed, natural resources have been revealed and physical-geographical regions have been identified.

 

For the first time the “Landscape map of Georgia” and the “Map of physical-geographical zoning of Georgia” where created (published in “Atlas of Georgian SSR”, Moscow, 1964), as well as the medium-scale (1: 600 000) “Landscape map of Georgia” (D. Ukleba, Chr. Jakeli, M. Saneblidze. Tbilisi, 1970) and the “Landscape map of South Caucasus” (Supervised by D. Ukleba). In the Department the landscape research method for mountainous areas was elaborated by D. Ukleba and the physical-geographical zoning was carried out by him as well.

 

In the Department the geographical survey of vegetation and soils of Georgia was being carried out. Kvemo Kartli, Imereti, Samegrelo, Racha-Lechkhumi and Apkhazeti have been studied botanically and geographically.

 

Important works are carried out in Soil Geography of Georgia. These works were initiated by N. Klopotkovski, the Candidate of Agricultural Sciences; afterwards the research was continued by E. Nakaidze, the Doctor of Biological Sciences.

 

At the Department medical –geographical researches were being conducted as well. Geographical conditions for distribution of parasite diseases have been investigated. A paper on “Landscape regularities of distribution of ankylostomidoses” was written (N. Sulkhanishvili, 1978). 

 

Works on geographical regularities of distribution of malignant tumor were being conducted as well in Georgia, which meant the work out of geographical research methods for diseases, research for correlations among malignant tumors and natural-social-economical factors, research of the role and importance of environment pollution for arising and spreading malignant tumors.

 

Scientific-research works carried out by the Department researchers were dedicated to the urgent problems of geography. They are as follows:

  • Landscape-ecological analysis of the territory of Georgia.

  • Regional landscape-ecological and nature-use problems of Georgia.

  • Transformation of natural environment and evolution of eco-systems of Georgia.

 

One of the stages of the above work was followed by the monograph on “Transformation of Tbilisi and the natural environment of its vicinity”.

  • Landscape-ecological medium-scale map (1: 400 000) of Georgia has been created.

 

 At present the Department works on the following topics:

 

Dymanics of landscapes of Georgia modified due to natural and anthropogenic processes during the last 100 years.

  • Variability of climate and environment in Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the territory of Georgia;

  • Dark coniferous landscapes of Georgia.