Fundamental Research Laboratory of Soil Geography and Chernozem Soil Conservation

Updated 17.09.2015

The problem research laboratory of the soils geography and soil protection of the chernozem zone (prl-4)


The Leaders of the Subdivision

The Supervisor, Sc.D., the Professor, the Head of the Department of Geography of Ukraine - Kraseha Erophey Nikiforovitch.
The Head of Laboratory, PhD in Geography - Tsurkan Oksana Ivanovna.
Scientific composition of subsection:
  • Bilanchin Yaroslav Mihajlovich, the Executive, the Head of the Department of Soil Science and Soils Geography, PhD in Geography, the Associate Professor;
  • Sukhorukova Galina Sergeevna, PhD in Geography, the Senior Staff Scientist;
  • Tortik Nikolay Iosipovich, PhD in Geography, the Associate Professor;
  • Zhantalay Pavel Ivanovich, PhD in Geography, the Associate Professor;
  • Trigub Valentina Ivanovna, PhD in Geography, the Associate Professor;
  • Goshurenko Lyudmila Mihajlovna, the Expert of the First Categories;
  • Jaremenko Nikolay Sergeevich, the Specialist of the First Categories.

The historical information: 

The laboratory was founded in 1970 by the Professor I.N. Gogolev, which was its permanent scientific leader, after his death the scientific guidance was led by his students the Professor Kraseha E.N. and  the Associate Professor Ya.M. Bilanchin. 
The first head of the laboratory till 1980 and from 1985 till the end of his life in 2000 there was B.M. Turus. In a period from 1980 to 1985 and from 2000 to 2007 G.S. Sukhorukova was a head, and presently this post is held by O.I. Tsurkan. 

The research directions 

From the beginning the research work of PRL-4 developed in two directions. 
The first direction was associated with the study of the effect of irrigation on the chernozem soil of the southern Ukraine, the second - with the large-scale soil-geographic research.
Expeditions and research carried out on the territory of Ukraine, Central Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. In the different years the expedition led by professors I.N. Voloshin, E.N. Kraseha, researchers B.M. Turus, N.I. Tyuremina, V.P. Netrebov and others. The materials of perennial soil-geographic Siberia research summarized in the monographs “The soil cover of taiga landscapes of Siberia” / E.N. Kraseha, V.M. Korsunov, Z.F. Vedrova (1988), “The spatial organization of soil” / E.N. Kraseha, V.M. Korsunov (1990), “ The methods of soil ecological and geographical studies and mapping of soils” / E.N. Kraseha, V.M. Korsunov, B.B. Raldin (2002), “The mapping soil“ / S.P. Poznyak, E.N. Kraseha, M.G. Kit (2003), “The Earth pedosphere” / V.M. Korsunov, E.N. Kraseha (2010) and others.
The associate professors of department of soil science and soils geography Ya.M.  Bilanchin, P.I. Zhantalay and N.I. Tortik were accepted participation in more than 5 expeditions on Zmiyiny island with the purpose of research of the terms of soil formation and soil mapping of this unique corner of Ukraine, estimation of the state of natural environment on an island, including the states of soils. The materials of the research is summarized in the book “Zmiyiny Island. Abiotic features“ / Ya.M. Bilanchin, P.I. Zhantalay, N.I. Tortik, A.A. Buyanovsky, I.V. Sviderskaya.
From the beginning of irrigation chernozems, we investigated the influence of irrigation by brackish waters of the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and Southern Bug and higher salinity waters of lakes-reservoirs Sasyk, Kitay and Yalpug on properties and productivity of soils in the region (Ya.M. Bilanchin, S.P. Poznyak, I.N. Voloshin, T.N. Hohlenko V.I. Mikhailuk, P.I. Zhantalay, N.I. Tortik, V.P. Mursanov, G.S. Suhorukova, V.I. Trigub, O.I. Tsurkan and others).
In 1991-1995, the staff of the department of soil science and soil geography and PRL-4 founded a network of stationary areas of long-term (up to 100 years) soil environmental monitoring irrigation areas of Odessa region.

The network of stationary areas of the soil-ecological monitoring 


The network of areas of monitoring supervisions already functions in the research and production mode more than 20 years. For a present time systematic control of indexes of the state of soils of irrigation areas is conducted, the orientation of changes of the initial state and properties of soils is probed under influence of irrigation in different agromelioration terms of soil. In 2009 the study of the influence on the soil processes of the perspective, resource and energy saving irrigation method – drop irrigation – in Southern Ukraine started.

The basic scientific results and developments

The researches of PRL-4 are conducted in a direction of scientific school the «The processes of soil formation in chernozems of Steppe zone» which was founded by the professor I.N. Gogolev in 1970. Theoretical meaningfulness and scientific novelty of the conducted researches of the influence of different irrigation waters on properties and soil productivity of the South of Ukraine consists in development of methodical bases of study of modern soil processes mechanisms in chernozems which are conditioned by irrigation brackish waters and higher salinity waters. We have created and constantly updated the information database soil “The soil fertility of the South of Ukraine” which is the result of the collection and analysis of soil materials and environmental monitoring of soils that characterize the state and dynamics of modern soil-forming processes in the chernozems of irrigated areas in different agro-melioration conditions during the period of 1970-2014 years. Long-term soil monitoring investigations on irrigated arrays are installed the essence, patterns and trends of modern landscape-geochemical and soil-forming processes in the chernozems under different irrigation water, including the conditions of stopping irrigation during the last 15-20 years. The extension of farming on irrigated areas in recent years rarely causes deterioration in the ameliorative state of soils and lands. The assessment of the state and efficiency of irrigated agriculture in key areas of stationary observations, most of which is in post-irrigated conditions now, showed the complication landscape and land reclamation situation, the worsening humus, agrophysical and physical and chemical state of the soil, a progressive decline in their fertility. We assess the current state of soil and ameliorative situation analysis for irrigation zone of the south of Ukraine, including determine the scale and intensity of development of the degradation processes in soils. We shows the spatial differentiation of reclaimed and adjacent land and their use and effectiveness. Using assessment results it was justified a set of measures for the rational use of soil and increase their fertility. 
Results of the study of the dynamics and mechanisms of development of modern soil processes are the basis for the diagnosis of genetic nature and properties of chernozems under influence of irrigation, for the predict the direction of their evolution, for the use of information as a basis for the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring system and monitoring of irrigated land.
Methodological foundations for the study of the dynamics of modern soil-forming processes and properties of irrigated chernozems are used during soil reclamation research in the system of hydro- and geological reclamation expeditions and parties that perform soil-reclamation survey and evaluation of irrigated land of the south of Ukraine. Those foundations are used also during stationary soil studies on irrigated lands by the agricultural research stations and laboratories, as well as the development of recommendations for the rational use of irrigated land, improving properties and increasing their fertility.
Since 2003, the staff of the Department of Soil Science and Soil Geography and PRL-4 on the Zmiyiny Island research and mapping of soils and soil cover launched first. Studies have found that in a sort of natural environmental conditions of the island on the areas of low power stony or gravelly eluvium and eluvium-deluvium between the outcrops of dense rocks under steppe grass and cereal vegetation there is the process of a specific island formation of chernozems. The island chernozems features are a small power profile (mostly 30-50 cm), non-carbonate, strong gravelly, high humus content (up to 12-15% of humus in the upper horizon), the practical lack of structure and the acidity of the soil environment. In 2009 a soil map of Zmiyiny island was created by the scale of 1:2000, which highlighted the contours of 12 varieties of chernozems and their associations within five hypsometric levels of geomorphic surface of the island, and a preliminary sketch-map of soil assessment of the island was created with the release of contours soils with varying degrees of anthropogenic influence, change and transformation.
First in 2009-2013 a comprehensive study of factional humus composition and key indicators of the optical properties of humus acids was conducted in the chernozems of the island (Ya.M. Bilancin, L.M. Goshurenko, I.V. Leonidova). The results of studies clearly witnessed the chernozems nature of humus substances, and therefore all of the island soils, that are sometimes questioned by experts on the genesis of soils.

The international cooperation 

Problem Research Laboratory of the soil geography and soil protection of Chernozem zone participates in international projects Tacis “Danube lakes, Ukraine .....”, “A comprehensive program of infrastructure development and subsequent implementation of economic activity on the Zmiyiny island and the continental shelf” and “Technical assistance in planning management of Lower Danube basin”.
Address, contact details:
Frantcuzky Blvd., 48/50, Odessa, 65058
tel: (0482) 63-96-92
Е-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
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Dvoryanskaya str., 2,Odessa, 65082
Reception (38-048)723-52-54
Phone/fax (38-048)723-35-15


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