ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2020, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 137-153

Assessment of the post-pyrogenic dynamics of tundra vegetation in the northern part of Western Siberia over the past 50 years (1968–2018) based on detailed and high resolution remote sensing data

O.S. Sizov 1, 2 , P.R. Tsymbarovich 3 , E.V. Ezhova 4 , A.V. Soromotin 5 , N.V. Prikhodko 5 
1 Institute of Oil and Gas Problems RAS, Moscow, Russia
2 National University of Oil and Gas "Gubkin University", Moscow, Russia
3 Institute of Geography RAS, Moscow, Russia
4 Institute of Applied Physics RAS, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
5 University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russia
Accepted: 16.06.2020
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2020-17-4-137-153
The paper discusses the characteristics of recovery of tundra vegetation in the territories of the northern part of Western Siberia affected by fires. Medium and high spatial resolution satellite images are the main sources for the research. The data cover period of 1968–2018 and include images of Corona/KH-4b, Hexagon/KH-9, Resurs-P No. 1/2, SPOT-6/7, Landsat-1/4/5/7/8 and also ArcticDEM and old topographic maps. The results of comparative analysis show that natural tundra phytocenoses have high stability in the absence of external mechanical influences even in conditions of explicit climate change. Limited areas of natural tundra forests were found on drained parts of terraces and slopes of river valleys under the impact of the Gulf of Ob. On the other hand, significant changes in vegetation are characteristic of the burnt tundra. It was found that during the observations new burnt areas covered more than 60 % of studied test plots (excluding re-ignition areas). Alongside with that, frequency and intensity of fires increase synchronously with the level of anthropogenic activity (oil and gas production). The paper shows this tendency by the example of Yarudeyskoye field. The result of comparison of time series of high-resolution satellite images for the 157 reference samples shows that the vegetation actively recovered after fire in all cases. The most dramatic changes of vegetation were found in transitional conditions of forest tundra where in 56 % of cases dense spruce-larch forests and in 29% of cases sparse forests replaced moss-lichen areas. The depth of the active layer may probably be a limiting factor in the forest development in the permafrost regions. Reconnaissance observations in the area of Pangoda in August 2019 showed explicit differences in thawing depth in the burnt areas of 1968 and 1988 (102–119 cm) from the background conditions of the southern tundra (38 cm). Further detailed field studies are planned to confirm this pattern.
Keywords: tundra, vegetation, Western Siberia, fires, recovery, remote sensing, geoportal
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