Department of Physical Geography

 

In June 2009 the employees of the Department of Physical geography and Paleogeography conducted the scientific - research expedition in the region of Guria (Head - I. Bondirev, Doctor of Geographical Sciences, members: Acad.  Doctors of Geography: G. Lominadze and E. Salukvadze, the Scientific researcher T. Chaladze).

 

The expedition was aimed at ascertainment of the environmental changes of the region of Guria during the last 100 years, and processing material by means of GISs. The work considered: revealing the natural - territorial complexes, ascertainment of their borders, observation of the individual components of the landscape, their study, identification and assessment of degree of anthropogenic impact.

 

Field research was conducted within the pre-selected areas for specification of results of decoding the etalon aero-photo and space images and boundaries of individual landscapes.

 

The study area included the hilly, low mountainous and medium mountainous lines of the region of Guria. The field observations were conducted along the following routes:

- Likhauri - gorge of the Achistskali River - Niabauri - Achi;

- Ozurgeti - Chokhatauri - Nabeghlavi - Chkhakoura - Bakhmaro;

- Ozurgeti - Batumi - Kobuleti - Natanebi - Grigoleti.

 

The expedition route began from the Likhauri village along the gorge of the Achistskali River, which develops the wide floodplain in the vicinities of Likhauri. Both sides along of the gorge are represented by anthropogenic landscape: maize fields, vegetable, melon-growing crops and fruit-tree gardens, and citrus and tea plantations in the territory of the Niabauri village. The tea plantations are turned into shrubs in many areas and are occupied by thorny shrubs and fern, here and there shrubs are grubbed with their roots, it seems that it will be replaced by other agricultural crop in future.

 

The goal of the Ozurgeti - Chokhatauri - Nabeglavi - Chkhakoura - Bakhmaro Bakhmaro route was to study Bakhmaro and its surroundings. It is known that a green cover and forest play a vital role in formation and perfection of the climate of the Bakhmaro resort; the forest massif of century-old fir and silver fir, which cover the mountains around the resort, block the movement of the cold winds coming from the alpine zone, as well as the snow avalanches and torrents. In addition, the phytoncides discharged by fir tree and the silver fir are more effective and enhance the treatment properties of the resort. There is a mountain and sea air masses merging there, which is unique to the resort of Bakhmaro.

 

Today the Bakhmaro landscapes, especially the forests are in poor conditions: in the forest felling areas, in the uncontrolled summer settlements the tillage of very steep slopes are being conducted, as well as soil cover mellowing and sowing of farm crops there (mainly potatoes); this will contribute to the lowering upper natural border of the forest. Unfortunately, such a situation creates more favorable conditions for occurrence of intensive mudflows and activation of landslides and avalanches in Bakhmaro and its surrounding areas.

 

Sparsity is great in the forest, there can be observed trees damaged by plant parasitic pests, offshoots are numerous but not enough yet, which is due to irregular tree felling and domestic animals grazing, the latter can be observed in the resort area - in the summer season the population bring the animals from Adjara to the Alpine pastures, they spend the whole summer there, producing milk products and sell them there. A lot of trees were cut along the Bakhvistskali River, in its upstream, as well as already processed and ready for realization wood material. Prohibition of logging of production timber in Bakhmaro and its surroundings is necessary, as well as that of irregular grazing.

 

Data of the height and the coordinates were surveyed in the individual model district by the device of GPS. A large-scale landscape map of Bakhmaro has been prepared by using the field materials, cartographic sources, decoding of aero-photo images, GISs technologies and literary materials.

 

Complex crisis situation is created in Adjara - Guria coastal zone as well. The sharp destruction of natural processes counts more than a century.  The erosion processes are developed in different section of the seashore; in some placers the cover of the beach was almost completely disappeared.


 
The crisis situation in the coastal zone was aggravated even greater since 1990-s, when the construction of dams was started in the Chorokhi River basin in Turkey. As a result of the construction the transportation of solid deposit to the estuary by Tchorokhi River was practically stopped, due to which the southern part of the so-called mechanism of lithodinamical coastal system of the Tchorokhi River turned out to be violated (section of the Gonio village - Batumi port).

 

According to the elaborated forecast, in the next 20-25 years it is expected the strong sea shore wash-out (25-30 ha) from Tchorokhi River estuary as far as the Batumi port. Investigations conducted during the last period précised still more the earlier elaborated forecast and revealed that, now that the processes developed in the sea-bed and the Tchorokhi river bed (within Georgia) are more intensive. Therefore, the previously expected speed of the bank wash-out can be increased and it will take 10-15 years for washing out 20-25 ha instead of 20-25 years.

 

The Landscapes of the Bakhmaro Resort and its surroundings
Mountain landscapes:
I - Mountain forest landscapes of moderate humid climate
I1 - Mountain forest landscapes of moderate humid climate with beech-dark coniferous forests

1

Average mountains with beech forest, with forest gray soils

2

Average mountains with beech-dark coniferous forest, with typical and podsolic forest gray soils

3

Average mountains with silver fir-fir forest, with here and there cut and used for plowing and sowing forest gray and podsolic soils

4

Average mountains with fir forest, with forest gray and podsolic soils

5

Average mountains with pine forest, with forest gray and podsolic soils

II - Subalpine landscapes
II 1- Subalpine forest-shrubs and meadows with mountain forest and mountain meadow soils 

6

Subalpine birch-rhododendron forest-shrubs with mountain forest and mountain meadow soils

7

Subalpine secondary meadows with shrubs (Yellow Azalea and rhododendron) with mountain forest and mountain meadow soils

III - Alpine landscapes 

8

Secondary alpine meadows with mountain meadow soils used as pastures

9

Secondary alpine meadows here and there with weeds (hellebore, etc.), partly used as pastures

10

Alpine meadows with grass varieties, with mountain meadow soils

11

Flattened surfaces with mountain meadow vegetation, with mountain meadow and mountain hilly soils

12

Temporary summer dwells (iails)

13

Resort (a settlement)

 

Roads