September 9, 2019
Two PhD studies completed at MPI
Two PhD candidates from MPI have submitted their dissertations to the Dissertation Council. A PhD thesis by Alexander Zhirkov, a research scientist at the Laboratory of Geothermics, is titled "Influence of Rainfall Infiltration and Internal Condensation on the Ground Thermal Regime in Central Yakutia". Based on the results of manipulated experiments at the Tuymaada monitoring site, this study shows the significance of non-conductive heat transfer by water and water vapor and quantifies the effects on the ground thermal regime. A mathematical heat and mass transfer model for frozen unsaturated soils is presented which takes into account rainfall infiltration, condensation of water vapor, and evaporation from the soil surface. Alexander is supervised by Dr. Mikhail Zhelezniak. Svetlana Kalinicheva is a junior research scientist at the Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes working towards a PhD in geography. Her dissertation titled "A Method for Identifying Frozen and Unfrozen Ground in the Mountainous Regions of Southern Yakutia Using Thermal Satellite Imagery" suggests that the late summer land-surface temperature (LST) derived from satellite images can be used as a reliable indicator in mapping the occurrence and distribution of mountain permafrost. Svetlana's supervisor is Dr. Alexander Fedorov. Public defense of the dissertations will be held at MPI in November 2019. (Photos: Svetlana Kalinicheva and Alexander Zhirkov)
August 19, 2019
Artem Naberezhnyi will head the MPI's Laboratory of Permafrost Engineering
Artem Naberezhnyi, PhD, will act as Head of the Laboratory of Permafrost Engineering. He comes to MPI from the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk where he was Senior Lecturer in the Department of Structural Engineering and Designing. He obtained his MS degree in Civil Engineering from the North-Eastern Federal University in 2012 and a PhD degree from the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in 2018. Naberezhnyi's research focuses on developing foundation systems in permafrost with improved bearing capacity. Specifically, his recent research examined the performance of precast concrete piles commonly used in the Central Yakutian permafrost region to identify the primary causes of foundation damage and failure. His experimental research seeks to increase the bearing capacity of adfreeze pile foundations and to reduce their prefabrication and installation costs by modifying the pile shape and backfill material. (Photo: Artem Naberzhnyi receives the Best Young Researcher Paper award at the 11th International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering, 2017, Magadan, Russia).
June 3, 2019
Field Geophysical Workshop
From May 8 to 27, 2019, a field geophysical workshop was held at MPI attended by 16 geophysicists from the MPI's Laboratory of Permafrost Engineering (Yakutsk) and Vilyui station (Chernyshevsky), the Institute of Earth Cryosphere (Tyumen), the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics (Novosibirsk) and the Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics (TU Braunschweig). The purpose of the workshop was to test different methods at sites with known subsurface conditions in order to compare results and define strategies for integration of multiple geophysical methods in permafrost studies. Field surveys were conducted at five MPI's monitoring sites near Yakutsk, using electrical resistivity tomography, shear-wave reflection technique, vertical seismic profiling, ground probing radar, controlled-source radio magnetotellurics, and capacitively-coupled resistivity.
July 5, 2019
MPI to Study Dust Pollution in Yakutsk
Sinet Group, the Yakutsk Mayor's Office and the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (MPI) have concluded a tripartite agreement on dust pollution research in Yakutsk. With 279,000 residents, Yakutsk is home to about one-third of Yakutia's population. Despite the city has no major industry, air quality has been deteriorating over the years. Public concern is growing about dust which builds up to very high levels during summer. Suspended particulate matter 2.4 times the permissible level was reported in the summer of 2018 in the downtown area. The sources of dust in Yakutsk seem obvious - unpaved ground, sanding for winter road maintenance, windblown material from the new residential developments on reclaimed land, and soil overtopping the damaged or low curbs. However, the relative contributions of each factor are not known. MPI will install 180 mobile dust gauges and undertake a comprehensive array of analyses to identify the primary sources. Results will be used by the local authorities to prioritize mitigation measures. The study will be supported by Sinet Group, a Yakutsk-based association of IT companies, non-profit projects and development initiatives. (Photo NewsYkt https://news.ykt.ru/ : Arsen Tomsky, Sinet Group CEO, Mayor Sardana Avksenteva, and Mikhail Zhelezniak, MPI Director)
May 6, 2019
Field Investigations along the Power of Siberia Route
The MPI field team comprising landscape scientists, hydrogeologists, geochemists, and geophysicists conducted field surveys along the Power of Siberia Pipeline route during the period from March 11 to April 15, 2019. This field campaign was a second stage of the contract project aimed at assessing potential permafrost-related hazards associated with pipeline construction and climate change (2018-2020, Project PI: V.V. Samsonova). Specifically, field work included forest-ROW-embankment snow surveys along the pipeline corridor, UAV topographic mapping of icings and valleys, icing water sampling, hydrological measurements of streams and icing meltwater, and direct observation of natural and pipeline-induced icings for spatial and genetic characterization. These studies provide baseline information on permafrost hazards along the Power of Siberia Pipeline corridor and will be continued during pipeline operation. (Photographs by N. Fedorov, MPI)