The methods of creating of the GIS of catchments in the expert system “Lakes of Karelia”

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About the Author

Peter Yu. Litinsky

Northern Water Problems Institute of KarRC RAS,
A. Nevsky ave, 50, 185030, Petrozavodsk, Russia,


An expert system is created for the classification of lakes, the assessment their characteristics, trophic status and biological resources. Lakes in the humid zone, together with their watersheds, constitute a single ecosystem. The total influx of terrigenous organic matter into lakes is determined by the spatial structure of biogeocenoses within the catchment area. However, until recently, such data in the expert system were practically absent. For a prediction of changes in the chemical composition of river runoff in a condition of changing climate, it is necessary to supplement the expert system with a geoinformation segment integrating data on the structure and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems of lakes’ catchments, topography and hydrographic network. The structure and dynamics of watershed ecosystems are mapped from Landsat images using the original spectral space modeling technique. This provides a critically important in this case the allocation of various automorphic and hydromorphic habitats, as well as different types and stages of anthropogenic disturbances of ecosystems. A digital elevation model with a spatial resolution of 3″ is used to model the hydrographic network and catchments’ borders. The article provides a detailed description of the methods for creating basic GIS layers using free software. The importance of GIS watersheds for the expert system is extremely high, since its principle is the prediction of unknown characteristics of lakes based on known ones. Due to the huge number of lakes, field data are available only for a limited number of objects, while the GIS contains information for all the catchments of all lakes in Karelia on a variety of physiographic and ecological parameters: the structure and dynamics of forest and marsh ecosystems determining the production of organic matter; anthropogenic disturbances; landscape context (relief, type of quaternary deposits).


geomatic modeling, boreal ecosystems, lakes, catchments, relief.


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For citation: Litinsky P.Yu. The methods of creating of the GIS of catchments in the expert system “Lakes of Karelia” InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: Moscow University Press, 2019. V. 25. Part 2. P. 260–270. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2019-2-25-260-270 (In Russian)