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Geographies, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 12 articles

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21 pages, 11843 KiB  
Article
Arrival Infrastructures: Segregation of Displaced Migrants and Processes of Urban Change in Athens
by Vassilis P. Arapoglou and Stavros Nikiforos Spyrellis
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 182-202; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010012 - 7 Mar 2024
Viewed by 757
Abstract
Recent treatment of accommodation and arrival infrastructures for asylum seekers and refugees has fuelled international research on refugee reception policies in urban environments and on the consequences of related initiatives of the European Union and international organizations such as the UNHCR. Using Athens [...] Read more.
Recent treatment of accommodation and arrival infrastructures for asylum seekers and refugees has fuelled international research on refugee reception policies in urban environments and on the consequences of related initiatives of the European Union and international organizations such as the UNHCR. Using Athens as a case study, this article provides empirical evidence to revive the theoretical treatment of the importance of arrival and accommodation infrastructures in urban areas in transition. We collected and compiled data from four sources: the 2011 population census, the 2018 ESTIA accommodation program and the UNHCR Site Management Support (SMS) Reports of Temporary Accommodation Sites and Reception and Identification Centres (RICs), and a primary survey of services for asylum seekers and refugees. After the geocoding of data, we calculate indices for key dimensions of the segregation of accommodated asylum seekers and foreign nationals. We discuss the findings, seeking to highlight how the location and the composition of accommodation infrastructures has been influenced by a wider process of urban change and adaptations to global forces, leading not only to the transformation of inner-city zones but also suburban and peri-urban areas. Full article
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14 pages, 6962 KiB  
Article
Black Soils in the Eastern Mediterranean: Genesis and Properties
by Hussam Hag Husein, Rupert Bäumler, Bernhard Lucke and Wahib Sahwan
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 168-181; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010011 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
This study investigates the distribution, morphology, and properties of these soils, focusing on areas such as littoral plains, high hilly areas, and rift depression valleys. Black soils occur in the eastern Mediterranean with a limited distribution, and some of them meet the requirements [...] Read more.
This study investigates the distribution, morphology, and properties of these soils, focusing on areas such as littoral plains, high hilly areas, and rift depression valleys. Black soils occur in the eastern Mediterranean with a limited distribution, and some of them meet the requirements for black soils according to the INBS (International Network of Black Soils), while others do not. Black soils can be categorized into three types based on their genesis and evolution: calcareous black soils (mainly raw rocky rendzina), hydromorphic black soils, and black soil on basalt. While black soils were found in various bioclimatic stages and parent materials, their presence was notably limited in certain areas, contrary to prior indications. A soil morphology analysis revealed distinct color variations and depths, influenced by the accumulation of organic matter for hydromorphic and calcareous black soils and basaltic parent material for black soils on basalt. A particle size analysis indicated texture variations from clay to loam, with no clear indication of illuviation. A chemical analysis showed alkaline pH levels, except in basalt-derived soils, which exhibited a slight acidity. Hydromorphic black soil is the most important in terms of expansion and agricultural use and is only found in limestone marl deposits and lakes in depressions emerging from Dead Sea rifts under conditions of saturation or poor drainage. These soils have a thick, dark moly horizon and a high organic matter content. Full article
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16 pages, 4769 KiB  
Article
Hydromorphic Impact of Matera’s Urban Area
by Ruggero Ermini, Carmen Fattore and Amir Aubed Zoubi
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 152-167; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010010 - 27 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 491
Abstract
Urban transformations change land use, permeability, and morphology of the areas involved in the evolution process; this, consequently, modifies the impact produced by the precipitation phenomena and increases the risk of flooding or uncontrolled runoff in different areas.The proposed watershed hydrologic approach enables [...] Read more.
Urban transformations change land use, permeability, and morphology of the areas involved in the evolution process; this, consequently, modifies the impact produced by the precipitation phenomena and increases the risk of flooding or uncontrolled runoff in different areas.The proposed watershed hydrologic approach enables us to consider the morphology of the territory together with the transformations implemented by human activities, and this allows us to evaluate the effects of each area on neighboring areas, emphasizes the hydrological roles of upper, intermediate, and lower parts, and reveals urban and non-urban connections. This elucidates hydromorphic complexities in urban transformations and assesses climate change adaptability. The suggested methodology has been implemented in the urban district of “Sasso Caveoso” within the city of Matera. This application facilitates a quantitative synthesis of the contextual response, allowing for an analysis across various scenarios and offering decision-support tools of practical utility. Full article
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11 pages, 2680 KiB  
Article
An Environmental Equity Assessment Using a Social Vulnerability Index during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic for Siting of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology Locations in the United States
by Jessica R. Mosher, Jim E. Banta, Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, Colleen C. Naughton, Krystin F. Kadonsky, Thomas Hile and Ryan G. Sinclair
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 141-151; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010009 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1186
Abstract
Research has shown that there has consistently been a lack of equity and accessibility to SARS-CoV-2 testing in underserved and disadvantaged areas in the United States. This study examines the distribution of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) testing placement across the United States (US), particularly [...] Read more.
Research has shown that there has consistently been a lack of equity and accessibility to SARS-CoV-2 testing in underserved and disadvantaged areas in the United States. This study examines the distribution of Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE) testing placement across the United States (US), particularly within the context of underserved communities, and explores an environmental equity approach to address the impact of WBE on future pandemics. The methods combined the Centers for Disease Control Social Vulnerability Index (CDC-SVI) data set at the county level in a geospatial analysis utilizing ArcGIS and multilinear regression analysis as independent variables to investigate disparities in WBE coverage in the US. The findings show that disparities exist between counties in the use of WBE nationwide. The results show that WBE is distributed inequitably on national and state levels. Considering the nationwide adoption of WBE and funding availability through the CDC National Wastewater Surveillance System, these findings underscore the importance of equitable WBE coverage for effective COVID-19 monitoring. These findings offer data to support that a focus on expanding WBE coverage to underserved communities ensures a proactive and inclusive strategy against future pandemics. Full article
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26 pages, 37479 KiB  
Article
Children’s Independent Mobility in Urban Planning: Geospatial Technology with a Technical Approach and Citizens’ Listening
by Ana Clara Mourão Moura, Ashiley Adelaide Rosa and Paula Barros
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 115-140; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010008 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
This study proposes planning for children’s independent mobility through geoinformation technologies by listening to children. This research assumes that children’s values and expectations must be considered in city planning. A bibliographic review identified 15 indicators which make spaces safe and attractive for children [...] Read more.
This study proposes planning for children’s independent mobility through geoinformation technologies by listening to children. This research assumes that children’s values and expectations must be considered in city planning. A bibliographic review identified 15 indicators which make spaces safe and attractive for children to circulate and play. Thematic maps of the indicators were prepared and integrated by a multicriteria analysis by the weights of the evidence according to the hierarchical importance of each variable. The definition of the weights considered the opinions of the children and technicians. The consultation with children was carried out by mapping volunteers (VGI), a consultation on hierarchy, the geodesign of ideas for the area, and an artistic workshop. In the technical study, the query applied the Delphi method. It used the VGI—Volunteered Geographic Information—web-based platform, where children recorded places of topophilia and topophobia, while technicians mapped the presence of 15 indicators. The set of information was made available on a web-based platform called SDI—Spatial Data Infrastructure—in which there are resources for a geodesign workshop where ideas for the area were elaborated through negotiation and cocreation. The product is a transformational design for the area through urban design and the parameterization of its uses. Full article
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20 pages, 953 KiB  
Article
Redefining Absentee: Towards Understanding Place Attachment and Stewardship in Non-Residential Landowners in Texas, USA
by Christina W. Lopez, Evgenia Spears, Tyler C. Hartwick, John C. Killough and Michael A. Schuett
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 95-114; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010007 - 2 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Approximately 30% of the private land in Texas, USA is under absentee ownership. Understanding who absentee landowners are and their land management behaviors is vital for the protection of privately owned landscapes and the ecosystem services that they support, including surface water quality. [...] Read more.
Approximately 30% of the private land in Texas, USA is under absentee ownership. Understanding who absentee landowners are and their land management behaviors is vital for the protection of privately owned landscapes and the ecosystem services that they support, including surface water quality. By focusing on absentee landowners with properties in five watersheds in Texas, we utilized the theory of place attachment to gain insights into absentee landowners’ land management decisions and their involvement in water quality conservation programs, such as watershed protection plans (WPPs). By conducting a mail-out survey, we obtained 100 responses, which were analyzed using an exploratory factor analysis and a series of nonparametric assessments. The results revealed that, contrary to the term “absentee”, the landowners in our study demonstrated strong feelings of place attachment and heightened land stewardship. Based on these findings, we suggest that instead of considering absentee landowners as obstacles to collaborative conservation initiatives, such as WPPs, natural resource practitioners should recognize and capitalize on the emotional attachment that these landowners have to their properties, thereby fostering their involvement. By demonstrating the owner–land relationship and its behavioral outcomes among absentee landowners, this study provides a novel contribution to the existing literature on place attachment in the context of private land management and conservation. Full article
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12 pages, 4173 KiB  
Article
Estimating Riparian Water Movement in an Incipient Karst Landscape—Minnesota, USA
by Shubham Aggarwal, Kevin J. Kuehner and Joe Magner
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 83-94; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010006 - 1 Feb 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Understanding rain, ground, and surface water interactions in riparian zones is essential for hydrologic and environmental management. The novelty of this study lies in its revelation of isotopic shifts and consequent evaluation of hydrologic pathways and processes within the forested riparian zones of [...] Read more.
Understanding rain, ground, and surface water interactions in riparian zones is essential for hydrologic and environmental management. The novelty of this study lies in its revelation of isotopic shifts and consequent evaluation of hydrologic pathways and processes within the forested riparian zones of three distinct streams, valleys, and riparian systems in a carbonate-sandstone incipient karst landscape. We collected water samples from three southeastern Minnesota catchments: Trout Brook, Crystal Creek, and Bridge Creek. A Picarro L2130i was used to measure δ18O for oxygen, and δD for deuterium in units of ‰ (per mil). We estimated the global meteoric line for the study sites, built upon aquifer age dating, and explored aquifer transit time for the study sites using a simple seasonal amplitude model. The results showed small amplitudes for 2020 and 2021, suggesting that bedrock aquifer water was the primary source water with a mean core transit time greater than 10 years. All three catchments were different but had similar bedrock valley types and riparian sediment. The primary driving factor was the seasonal precipitation input mixing with existing water. In a normal to wetter year, the isotopic data showed larger amplitude shifts between seasons with trendlines that adjusted depending on the temperature of the new water additions. The proposed approach is valuable in revealing complex hydrologic processes and pathways and can contribute extensively to the planning and management of karst riparian systems. Full article
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17 pages, 17560 KiB  
Article
Towards Real-Time 3D Terrain Reconstruction from Aerial Imagery
by Qiaosong Wang
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 66-82; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010005 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 800
Abstract
We present a near real-time solution for 3D reconstruction from aerial images captured by consumer UAVs. Our core idea is to simplify the multi-view stereo problem into a series of two-view stereo matching problems. Our method applies to UAVs equipped with only one [...] Read more.
We present a near real-time solution for 3D reconstruction from aerial images captured by consumer UAVs. Our core idea is to simplify the multi-view stereo problem into a series of two-view stereo matching problems. Our method applies to UAVs equipped with only one camera and does not require special stereo-capturing setups. We found that the neighboring two video frames taken by UAVs flying at a mid-to-high cruising altitude can be approximated as left and right views from a virtual stereo camera. By leveraging GPU-accelerated real-time stereo estimation, efficient PnP correspondence solving algorithms, and an extended Kalman filter, our system simultaneously predicts scene geometry and camera position/orientation from the virtual stereo cameras. Also, this method allows for the user selection of varying baseline lengths, which provides more flexibility given the trade-off between camera resolution, effective measuring distance, flight altitude, and mapping accuracy. Our method outputs dense point clouds at a constant speed of 25 frames per second and is validated on a variety of real-world datasets with satisfactory results. Full article
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14 pages, 1451 KiB  
Article
Parallels in Cartography: Standard, Equidistantly Mapped and True Length Parallels
by Miljenko Lapaine
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 52-65; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010004 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 509
Abstract
In the literature on map projections, we regularly encounter the name standard parallel or standard parallels. However, it is obvious that a unique definition of a standard parallel is not universally accepted. To fully clarify the meaning of standard parallels, the author proposes [...] Read more.
In the literature on map projections, we regularly encounter the name standard parallel or standard parallels. However, it is obvious that a unique definition of a standard parallel is not universally accepted. To fully clarify the meaning of standard parallels, the author proposes the notion of equidistantly mapped parallels, which has not been common in the literature so far. Equidistantly mapped parallels can be in the direction of the parallel or in the direction of the meridian. Here, it is shown that every standard parallel is also an equidistantly mapped parallel, but that the reverse need not be true. If the parallel is mapped equidistantly in the direction of the parallel, then its length in the projection plane is equal to the length of that parallel on the sphere. The opposite does not have to be true, i.e., if the length of the image of the parallel in the projection plane is equal to the length of the parallel on the sphere, this does not mean that the parallel was mapped equidistantly. In addition to standard and equidistant parallels, the concept of parallels of true length also appears in the theory of map projections. They should also be distinguished from standard and equidistant parallels. Full article
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12 pages, 774 KiB  
Review
Backpackers’ Tourism and Health: A Narrative Literature Review
by Sebastien Fleuret
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 40-51; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010003 - 9 Jan 2024
Viewed by 713
Abstract
Backpackers are an unusual category of travellers. Their unique mobility patterns, spatial practices, and the areas they travel through expose them to health situations that remain largely unexplored to date. This article conducts a narrative literature review (across six different databases in English [...] Read more.
Backpackers are an unusual category of travellers. Their unique mobility patterns, spatial practices, and the areas they travel through expose them to health situations that remain largely unexplored to date. This article conducts a narrative literature review (across six different databases in English and French) in this domain and highlights key contributions. The results show that backpackers frequently experience health problems during their trips. They are described as being more at risk than other tourists and more inclined to adopt harmful behaviours. However, the majority of related studies lack contextualisation, which is an advantage of geographical analysis. Moreover, given the limited volume of the existing literature, this review serves as an invitation to geographers to delve deeper into this intriguing field. Full article
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19 pages, 48390 KiB  
Communication
Glacial Lakes of Mongolia
by Michael Walther, Ulrich Kamp, Nyam-Osor Nandintsetseg, Avirmed Dashtseren and Khurelbaatar Temujin
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 21-39; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010002 - 8 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The over 2200 lakes of Mongolia are generally poorly studied, particularly the glacial lakes. This overview study presents a classification of the glacial lakes based on tectonic-geological and geomorphological dynamics. Selected representative lakes are described using results from fieldwork and satellite image analysis, [...] Read more.
The over 2200 lakes of Mongolia are generally poorly studied, particularly the glacial lakes. This overview study presents a classification of the glacial lakes based on tectonic-geological and geomorphological dynamics. Selected representative lakes are described using results from fieldwork and satellite image analysis, including bathymetry, paleoshorelines, and recent lake-level fluctuations between 1987 and 2020. Generally, lake levels dropped from the early Holocene until recently, with the onset of the climate change-driven glacier recession that has resulted in lake-level rises and area expansion in almost all moraine-dammed, tongue-basin, and ice-contact lakes. In contrast, endorheic lakes have mainly been shrinking for the past forty years because of an increase in air temperature and evaporation rates and the effects of an intensifying water use within the catchment for irrigation, mining, and hydroelectric energy production in the form of dams. The creation of a lake monitoring system based on an in-depth inventory is recommended. Full article
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20 pages, 5663 KiB  
Article
Rural Depopulation in Greece: Trends, Processes, and Interpretations
by Apostolos G. Papadopoulos and Pavlos Baltas
Geographies 2024, 4(1), 1-20; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies4010001 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1966
Abstract
Depopulation is caused by low fertility rates and out-migration, and it applies to countries, regions and smaller areas. Rural depopulation is defined as a sharp population decline that falls well below an adequate population size and indicates that an area has lost its [...] Read more.
Depopulation is caused by low fertility rates and out-migration, and it applies to countries, regions and smaller areas. Rural depopulation is defined as a sharp population decline that falls well below an adequate population size and indicates that an area has lost its demographic reproductive capacity. This paper discusses the socioeconomic and territorial aspects of rural depopulation, attempting to do justice to the spatial dimensions of the phenomenon. Greece exhibits all the symptoms of demographic transition, leading to labour shortages, declining economic productivity, and increasing demands on the health and welfare system. The study on rural depopulation in Greece focuses on the changes and dynamics observed at the municipal and regional levels. A typology has been developed to identify rural communities in Greece. The main source of demographic data for our study is the Greek censuses (1991, 2001, 2011, and 2021). Demographic and socioeconomic trends in Greece are interlinked and show different regional and local dynamics. Rural depopulation is closely related to the study of (international and internal) migration, even though the latter does not provide a permanent solution to depopulation. An empirical analysis has shown that there is a need to revitalise rural areas through socioeconomic improvements, infrastructure investments, and policies that directly impact rural communities. Full article
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