April 18, 2019
International Expedition to Batagaika Crater
Andrey Shepelev and Igor Syromyatnikov took part in an expedition to the Batagaika Crater from March 20 to April 8, 2019 organized by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, the Melnikov Permafrost Institute and the North-Eastern Federal University. The Batagaika Crater is a huge thermokarst depression in eastern Yakutia formed by human-induced degradation of ice-rich permafrost. The sinkhole which measures 447,703 sq. m in area exposes permafrost and ice wedge sequences of varying age, providing a unique opportunity for researchers to look into the history of permafrost evolution. The expedition members collected sediment and ice samples from distinctive genetic horizons weighing in total 265 kg. The samples will be analyzed at AWI and MPI for radiocarbon, isotopic content, biochemical characteristics, organic content and other parameters. (Photographs by Andrey Shepelev, MPI)
April 2, 2019
Solving the Puzzles from Cryosphere ---
Conference Program is Available
Institute of Physicoсhemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science will host the International conference "Solving the Puzzles from Cryosphere" in April 15-18, 2019, in Pushchino, Russia (http://cryosol.ru/en/cryoconference2019en.html). The main topics of the conference include:
The following round tables are planned during the conference:
The conference program is now available at: http://cryosol.ru/images/phocagallery/conference/cryospherepuzzles/Pushchino_ProgramAbstracts_2019.pdf
January 14, 2019
Paper on Permafrost-Landscape Map of Yakutia published in Geosciences
A paper titled "Permafrost-Landscape Map of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) on a Scale 1:1,500,000" by A.N. Fedorov et al. has been published in Geosciences (available open-access at https://www.mdpi.com/2076-3263/8/12/465). The map was compiled at MPI in 2017 as part of the Second Yakutia Multi-Disciplinary Expedition program (2010–2020). The mapping was undertaken to revise the 1:2,500,000-scale map created in 1991, using the new datasets from about 800 field sites and the GIS and remote sensing technologies. Yakutia, over 3 million square kilometers in area, has diverse landscapes controlled both by latitude and altitude, ranging from Arctic tundra to sand deserts and from boreal forests to alpine tundra. Its permafrost is equally diverse, varying greatly in areal extent, temperature, ice content, seasonal thaw depth, and surface features. The map identifies 20 terrain types and 36 plant associations, with 143 additional land units with relatively homogeneous relationships of terrain (geology and geomorphology), vegetation and permafrost characteristics. The map provides a basis on which to develop thematic geocryological maps required for solving environmental and economic problems in Yakutia, now and in the future. A full-scale PDF file can be downloaded from the MPI website http://mpi.ysn.ru/images/mlk20182.pdf.
February 8, 2019
New Vice Director Appointed at MPI
Alexander Fedorov has been appointed as MPI Vice Director for Science. He succeeds Dr. Viktor Shepelev who had held the position since 1999. Dr. Shepelev will resume his active role in scientific research at the MPI Laboratory of Groundwater and Geochemistry, which he headed in the 1990s. His early research on permafrost aquifers, icings, and suprapermafrost water control in urban and agricultural areas were summarized in several monographs, including "Groundwater Springs in Central Yakutia" (1973), "Permafrost Hydrogeology of East Siberia (1984, in co-authorship), "Spring Waters in Yakutia" (1987), "Groundwater Monitoring In Permafrost Regions" (2002, in co-authorship), and "Suprapermafrost Waters in the Cryolithozone" (2011). Dr. Shepelev will also continue to serve as Editor in Chief of Science and Technology in Yakutia, so far the only journal in the region communicating scientific knowledge to the general public. Alexander Fedorov, who received his undergraduate degree from Voronezh University in 1979 and a Ph.D. in geography in 1990, applies the theories, concepts and methodologies of landscape science to permafrost environments. He has been in charge of the MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes which has strong ties with researchers from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (Kyoto, Japan), the University of Paris-Sud (France), the Seoul National University (South Korea), and the Research and Development Center for Global Change (JAMSTEC, Japan). Photo: Viktor Shepelev (left), Alexander Fedorov (right)
November 26, 2018
MPI Dissertation Council meeting
The Dissertation Council D003.025.01 at MPI authorized by the Russian Ministry of Higher Education and Science's Attestation Committee to award degrees in geography, geology & mineralogy, and engineering held its meeting on November 21-22, 2018 for public defense of four dissertations: Galina Osadchaya "Permafrost Landscapes of the Bolshezemelskaya Tundra as a Basis for Environmental Management", Artem Naberezhny "Bearing Capacity of Ribbed Slurried Piles in Permafrost", Valery Semenov "Subsurface Temperature Distribution and Permafrost in the Vilyui Basin" and Pavel Zabolotnik "Ground Temperature Regime at Large Heat Power Generation Facilities on Permafrost: Yakutsk CHP Plant". The PhD research of Valery Semenov (MPI) focused on disequilibrium permafrost in the Vilyui Basin, a geological province in western Yakutia rich in hydrocarbon and mineral deposits. His study indicates that permafrost thicknesses vary over a wide range, from 45 to 820 m, generally decreasing from west to east due to geothermal heat flow increasing in the same direction, as well as to paleoenvironmental conditions. Significant variations in the depth of the permafrost base, up to 200 m, were found to occur even within small structural units of the Vilyui Basin. Pavel Zabolotnik focused his PhD research on the Yakutsk CPP Plant as a case study to explore the thermal effect of large heat generating buildings on permafrost, as well as the efficiency of various engineering solutions to keep the foundation frozen.
The texts of the dissertations (in Russian) can be found here.
Map showing depths of the permafrost base in the Vilyui Basin.
(1) Exploration borehole area and its number; (2) permafrost boundaries; (3) permafrost region I; (4) permafrost region II; (5) permafrost region III; 6 to 13 – permafrost thicknesses: (6) <200 m; (7) 200 to 300 m; (8) 300 to 400 m; (9) 400 to 500 m; (10) 500 to 600 m; (11) 600 to 700 m; (12) 700 to 800 m; (13) > 800 m; (14) Thermal cross-sections.