Shoreline Dynamics and Evaluation of Cultural Heritage Sites on the Shores of Large Reservoirs: Kuibyshev Reservoir, Russian Federation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWater. 2019, 11 (3), 591 10.3390/w11030591
Over the last decades, the number of artificial reservoirs around the world has considerably increased. This leads to the formation of new shorelines, which are highly dynamic regarding erosion and deposition processes. The present work aims to assess the direct human action along the largest reservoir in Europe—Kuibyshev (Russian Federation) and to analyse threatened cultural heritage sites from the coastal area, with the help of historical maps, UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), and topographic surveys. This approach is a necessity, due to the oscillating water level, local change of climate, and to the continuous increasing of natural hazards (in this case coastal erosion) all over the world. Many studies are approaching coastal areas of the seas and oceans, yet there are fewer studies regarding the inland coastal areas of large artificial reservoirs. Out of the total number of 1289 cultural heritage sites around the Kuibyshev reservoir, only 90 sites are not affected by the dam building; the rest had completely disappeared under the reservoir’s water. The scenario of increasing and decreasing water level within the reservoir has shown the fact that there must be water oscillations greater than ±1 m in order to affect the cultural heritage sites. The results show that the coastal area is highly dynamic and that the complete destruction of the last remaining Palaeolithic site (Beganchik) from the shoreline of Kuibyshev reservoir is imminent, and immediate mitigation measures must be undertaken.