In the alpine zone of the Japanese Alps, distributions of alpine plant communities are closely related to lithology. There are clear contrasts among the combinations of vegetation and lithology. However, the author found that several different plant communities often occur in areas of the same lithology. In a wind-exposed rubble slope on granite-porphyry area of Mt. Shirouma, three kinds of plant communities were distinguished : sparse lichen community, lichen and moss community, and wind-exposed herb-heath community partly covered with Pinus pumila scrub. These communities are believed to be in different serial stages of succession. To clarify the cause of this distribution, the age of angular debris production on the slope was examined. W eathering rind thickness in angular rock fragments on rubble slope was used to speculate the age of debris production. Debris covered with sparse lichen was produced during the Neoglaciation period (2, 000-3, 500 y. BP), while debris covered with lichen and moss was formed in the late Glacial period (10, 000-11, 000 y. BP). In the area covered with wind-exposed herb-heath and Pinus pumila scrub, the debris were produced in the Last Glacial Period. These ages mean the time costed for the plant succession on these rubble fields. It seems to be necessary 3, 000 years for settling the sparse lichen community, about 10, 000 years for the lichen and moss community, and more than 10, 000 years for the wind-exposed herb-heath and Pinus pumila scrub community. The progress of succession is extremly slow in the area of this lithology, because fine matrix which is important for seed germination and root extention is lacking in these rubble slopes, in addition to severe climatic conditions in winter.
With the rapid economic achievement, urbanized area is increasing by 4-5 % per year in China now. It is necessary to realtimely monitor and analyze the changes in a spatial and quantitative way for reasonable utilization of national lands and healthy growth of cities. But the status of development is not clearly mastered by planners and governors because of the lack of spatial information in China, like most of developing countries in the world. This study aims to temporarily and tangibly investigate the progress of urbanization of Shanghai, the biggest city of China, with an integration of GPS (Global Positioning System), RS (Remote Sensing) and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for spatial data acquisition and processing. It is concluded that the urbanized area in Shanghai has been expanded by 2.5 times since 1979 and will probably continue until the beginning of the 21st century. As the results of the analyses at a historical and political viewpoint, the urbanization in Shanghai are relatively political than other developing countries or developed countries. The authors believe that the integrated analytical approach used here is widely applicable to many of cities both in China and other developing countries where few of spatial data is available.
Japanese flood control was rapidly developed in Modern Ages when regular flood protection works began onnationwide scale. It is flood prevention cooperatives that promoted those public works by bearing a part of the expenses in Modern ages. Flood prevention cooperatives are classified into 3 types according to functions. They are the one that takes a share in the expenses of flood protection works and irrigation-drainage works (type I), the one that practices flood defense activities (type II), and the one that petitions to realize and promote river improvement works and acts a part of the works as an agent of prefecture (type III). The author conducted research on cooperative dues that support activities of cooperatives. The results are as follows. Amount of share in the expenses taken by flood prevention cooperatives much differs in compliance with their functions. In type I cooperative dues were very high, in type II they were less and in type la they were much less. In all types cooperative dues were imposed by standards that based on the degree of flood damages. Especially in type I, much amount of cooperative dues were levied according to many grades, but type II and type III had a few grades. Their objects of imposition were land and houses, and in urban areas they included fabrics such as railroads. Flood prevention cooperatives dissolve when they accomplished their purposes in each function. But the cooperatives of type II shift to public flood defense corporations that consist of municipalities and act by budgets of municipalities. Flood prevention cooperatives fully understood natural features of geomorphology, hydrology and so on, and social features of land use, land ownership, and so on of their areas. On the basis of these recognition they contrived their unique imposition system in consideration of benefit by public flood prevention works. In consequence they promoted public flood prevention works by taking a share in expenses.
For the six among seven disastrous earthquakes with M7 or larger, which occurred in the Japanese islands since 1926, large earthquakes with M 6.3-6.7 succeeded at the distance of several tens km from the epicenters of the disastrous earthquakes, and moderate forerunning earthquakes with M4.5-5.5 were observed for all of the succeeding large earthquakes near their epicenters. Those forerunning earthquakes seem to be induced by the increase of stress field along the tectonic zone which is brought about by the occurrence of disastrous earthquake in the surrounding regions. The forerunning activity is considered useful for selecting the site where we should make intensive observations to catch precursory phenomena expected to appear immediately before the occurrence of large earthquake.