December 4, 2020
MPI DISSERTATION COUNCIL MEETINGS
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 in the fields of engineering geology, geocryology, and geotechnical engineering held its hybrid online/offline meetings on November 24-25 and December 1-2, 2020 for public defense of doctoral dissertations. Andrey Zhang and Anatoly Kirillin from MPI successfully defended their Kandidat Nauk (equivalent to Ph.D.) dissertations titled respectively "Thermal Stabilization of the Railway Embankment and Foundation by Sideslope Insulation" and "The Subsurface Temperature Field and Permafrost in the Elkon Horst". A Ph.D. study, “Performance Assessment of Crawlspace with a Regulated Regime for Pile-Founded Buildings on Permafrost”, was successfully defended by Alexander Nikiforov from the North-Eastern Federal University, Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Alexander Fedorov, MPI Vice-Director, was awarded the Doktor Nauk (a higher tier of doctorate) degree in geography for his study on "Evolution and Dynamics of Permafrost Landscapes in Yakutia". The Doktor Nauk in engineering was awarded to Sergey Velikin, Head of the MPI’s station in Chernyshevsky, who presented a dissertation summarizing his many years of research on "Integration of Geophysical Methods for Assessing the Condition of Permafrost Foundations of Water-Retaining Structures and Mine Facilities in the Yakutian Diamond Province".
Photos: Andrey Zhang examines ice-rich permafrost along the Lena Highway route (u);
Anatoly Kirillin on a snow survey in the Elkon Horst, southern Yakutia (l).
November 20, 2020
SIXTH FORUM FOR YOUNG PERMAFROST SCIENTISTS
June 29 – July 13, 2021 Yakutsk, Russia
The Melnikov Permafrost Institute is pleased to announce the Sixth Forum for Young Permafrost Scientists to be held in Yakutsk, Russia from June 29 to July 13, 2021
The Forum for Young Permafrost Scientists (FYPS 2021) will include
1) Current Challenges and Future Prospects for Geocryology, a conference held from June 29 to July 2, 2021, and
2) Cryo-Deserts 2021, a field trip from July 3 to 13, 2021
Conference themes include:
- Regional and historical geocryology
- Permafrost hydrogeology and geochemistry
- Climate and permafrost geothermics and thermal physics
- Permafrost engineering
The conference will be followed by a trip to periglacial sand dunes in the Vilyui River basin with lectures on lithology of frozen sediments, periglacial landscapes, groundwater in permafrost, river systems in permafrost regions, and lake systems in permafrost terrain.
Additional information on the event is available at:
|Kysyl-Syr dune field.|
September 25, 2020
MELNIKOV PERMAFROST INSTITUTE CELEBRATES A TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY
2020 marks a very special triple anniversary for the Melnikov Permafrost Institute. Sixty years ago, in 1960, the Melnikov Permafrost Institute was founded in Yakutsk as a successor to the Obruchev Institute of Permafrost Studies in Moscow. Its oldest regional unit, the Igarka Geocryological Laboratory, was established ninety years ago, and its Vilyui Permafrost Research Station was founded fifty five years ago.
The anniversary events will include:
September 28–30, 2020, Yakutsk - Conference on Environmental and Infrastructure Integrity in Permafrost Regions
The national conference with international participation will discuss the most important issues of permafrost research during the following sessions:
-- permafrost science issues; climate-change and anthropogenic impacts on environmental integrity;
-- surface and ground water interaction; hydrology and geochemistry of periglacial landscapes;
-- permafrost engineering issues; climate-change and anthropogenic impacts on infrastructure integrity;
-- Today’s Climate and Permafrost – a young researchers round-table discussion.
December 9, 2020, Yakutsk - Celebration events
14:00 Flower laying to P.I. Melnikov Bust
14:30 60th Anniversary Celebration Meeting of the MPI’s Scientific Council
-- Keynote talk by M.N. Zhelezniak, Director MPI: “Melnikov Permafrost Institute: History and Milestones”
-- Congratulatory speeches from officials, guests and MPI staff
-- Written greetings presented by M.N. Grigoriev, Vice Director
-- Award ceremony
-- Documentary show
17:00 Performance of Vozrozhdenie Chorus
October 5, 2020
Field Observations of Wildfire Impacts Conducted in Batagai, NE Yakutia
From September 11 to 15, Alexander Fedorov, Alexey Desyatkin and Nikolay Fedorov visited the Batagai area in north-eastern Yakutia to carry out observations at wildfire burn sites. Field work included measurements of active-layer thickness, moisture content and temperature; sampling and description of soil horizons; surface leveling along the previously established profile; drilling and instrumentation of thermal boreholes; and UAV surveys at key sites to develop digital elevation models. The team also visited the Batagaika Crater for visual inspection and documentation of geocryological processes. This research is part of a RFBR-funded project in cooperation with the Institute of Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone aimed at assessing the effects of wildfire on the permafrost thermal regime, surface processes and landforms in the Verhkoyansk Upland.
Gully development along a firebreak, 2018 burn (Photo by N. Fedorov)
Batagaika Crater (Photo by A. Desyatkin)
Measuring active-layer depth at a 2018 burn site (Photo by N. Fedorov)
August 21, 2020
MPI Participates in the Great Norilsk Expedition
From August 3 to 18, Sergey Serikov and Pavel Zabolotnik took part in the Great Norilsk Expedition in northern Krasnoyarsk Krai. This large-scale, multidisciplinary expedition was initiated by the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) in cooperation with Nornickel in response to a massive diesel oil spill in the Arctic city of Norilsk. The expedition will continue from July to November 2020 and involve scientists from 14 member-institutes of the SB RAS. Its overall objective is to gain a holistic understanding of on-going anthropogenic and natural changes in order to develop specific recommendations and a general concept of economic management in the changing Arctic.
The first phase of the expedition included collection of water, bottom sediments, soils and plants in the Pyasina, Norilka and Ambarnoe Rivers and Pyasino Lake, as well as permafrost characterization in the oil spill area. The MPI scientists measured permafrost temperatures and thaw depths in the immediate vicinity of the failed storage tank. They also used the portable thermal probe designed by MPI to measure thermal conductivity and heat capacity of the soils. Field observations, drilling logs and remote sensing data will be used to characterize the current and future state of permafrost in the area.
On May 29, 2020, a fuel storage tank in the Norilsk Power Plant-3 failed, discharging about 21,000 cubic meters of diesel oil into the ground and local rivers and contaminating an area of 350 square kilometers. The incident is described as one of the largest oil spills in the Arctic with potentially catastrophic consequences for the environment.