The study area selected for the TUNDRA project is the Basin of the Usa River in the East-European Russian Arctic. The area is located at the latitude of the Arctic Circle. It has a total surface area of nearly 100.000 square kilometres. The Usa River flows from the Ural Mountains in the East to the Pechora River in the West, which in turn drains into the Pechora Bay and the Barents Sea.
The general study design for TUNDRA is a nested catchment experiment because the project includes a hydrological component. Plant cover and soils will be studied in detail at four selected local catchments in the North (lowland tundra), the Northeast (lowland tundra and Polar Urals), the South (lowland taiga and Pre-Polar Urals) and the Southwest (lowland taiga). Pollution will be measured along transects running North, East, South and West from the main industrial centres (Vorkuta, Inta and Usinsk). Social anthropologists will conduct interviews in rural and urban areas to assess the public perception of environmental degradation among inhabitants in the region.
|The tundra between study areas 1 and 2, East-European Russian Arctic|
|The Arctic treeline between study areas 1 and 2, East-European Russian Arctic|
|The Pre-Polar Urals near study area 3, East-European Russian Arctic|
|A taiga island in a mire complex near study area 4, East-European Russian Arctic|