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Nikolai YASAMANOV, Dr. Sc. (Geol. & Mineral.), Lomonosov Moscow State University Speaking of the natural environment, we use the term ecology. This word was introduced in 1869 by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) for the science studying the relationship of organisms with their environment. For a long time ecological problems were considered in the context of biology and subsequently, of paleontology. But from the mid-20th century on the ecological approach invaded virtually all disciplines, the hard and the soft sciences alike. Today we are dealing with the ecology of the World Ocean, of organic communities and of conurbations. And so forth. We are witnessing the development of technological, engineering, landscape and medical ecologies, and ecoactivities in other fields as well... page 35 A NEW TREND Such kind of proliferation of sundry ecologies became a nuisance already in the 1980s, hence the need to bring them into some common denominator of sorts. Four major areas were identified in the long run-namely, the biological, geological, social and applied ecology. Ecological problems have always been a major concern during geological surveying and prospecting, especially in hydraulic and in engineering geology At first the ecological aspects of such work were designated as geoecology or else geology of the environment; lately, however such notions as ecogeology, ecohydrogeology, and ecogeophysics entered the stage. This ushers in a new trend within the earth sciences. Now all of them - geodynamics, geotectonics, the geology of useful minerals and ore mining-are oriented towards environmental protection. All that has given birth to an intermedia science, the ecological geology (or ecogeology for short). But in what particular does it differ from geology proper and disciplines related to engineering geology? Each science has its subject-matter and methods. As Professor Viktor Trofimov (Eomonosov Moscow State University) sees it, ecological ge ... Читать далее

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