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)

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