The Wetland Book pp 1463-1470 | Cite as

Taiga-Alas Landscape in the South of the Central Yakutian Lowland: Lena River Basin (Russia)

  • Victor Degtyarev
Reference work entry


The expression of cryo-arid conditions over vast territories in modern times is best exemplified by the Central Yakutian lowland. In the study of climatology, geo-cryology, and landscapes, the Central Yakutian lowland is recognized as a unique area, characterized by specific climatic parameters and specific interrelations of permafrost and climate, predetermined by the extremely continental influence. A result has been the origin and development of unique wetland areas determined under the conditions of the arduous interaction of climatic and geo-cryological factors affecting watering of the earth’s surface. The thermokarst produces depression in bulk, and the water impermeability and high ice content of the permafrost supply the depressions with water from fossil ice and surface drainage to produce lakes, while the deficit in atmospheric precipitation and high summer temperatures interact to dry up water bodies and their catchment areas.Due to the negative water budget of the surface, the Central Yakutian lowland is not included in the general scheme of modern landscape dynamics in the permafrost area. Rather it is described as a cryo-aridic lowland due to its climatic and geo-cryological characteristics. These unique conditions are most evident in the south of the lowland in the interfluve of the Lena and Aldan rivers. To a considerable degree, modern conditions of the cryo-arid lowland simulate conditions of the periglacial zone of the Late Pleistocene glaciation in the Eurasian lowlands. Study of the modern wetlands of the Central Yakutian lowland thus allows us to hypothesize about conditions of the Eurasian Pleistocene and adaptive strategy directions of the waterbird populations and other animals that inhabited the periglacial zone.


alas cryo-arid conditions cryolithozone permafrost thermokarst 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Siberian Division of Russian Academy of SciencesInstitute for Biological Problems of Cryolithozone, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of SciencesYakutskRussia

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