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)

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A general view of the Batagaika Crater northern slope with Mother Mount (right) in the background.

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Sampling of the lower of two ice-wedge horizons exposed on the 55-60 m high cliff.