November 30, 2017
MPI Dissertation Council meeting
The Dissertation Council D003.025.01, now consisting of 26 members, was established at MPI in 1984 and authorized by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science's Higher Attestation Committee to award degrees in geography, geology & mineralogy, and engineering (qualification standard 25.00.08 – engineering geology, geocryology and geotechnical engineering). The Council held its meeting on November 28-29, 2017 for a public defense of two dissertations. Igor Syromyatnikov and Nikolay Torgovkin from MPI successfully defended their Kandidat Nauk (PhD) dissertations titled respectively "Structure and Temperature of Permafrost Foundations in Urban Landscapes" and "Geochemical Features of Human Modified Soils in Permafrost Regions", both focusing on the city of Yakutsk.
September 11, 2017
XI International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering held in Magadan
The XI International Symposium on Permafrost Engineering was held in Magadan, Russia on September 5-8, 2017. Organized by the Melnikov Permafrost Institute and its Magadan station in coordination with the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, CAS (Lanzhou) and the Heilongjiang Province Academy of Cold Area Building Research (Harbin), the symposium provided a forum for over 100 researchers to discuss advancements, ideas and theories in the field of frozen ground engineering research and practice. The participants included researchers from 20 Russian, 1 Byelorussian and 13 Chinese organizations, as well as representatives from business and engineering community. The Symposium involved one plenary and three concurrent sessions with a total of 71 oral and 34 poster presentations. A round-table discussion chaired by Igor Ozimok, Vice Governor of Magadan Province, drew attention to the current permafrost-related problems in the region. A PYRN meeting was organized during the Symposium attended by approximately 40 young researchers. A book of abstracts was published before the meeting. Selected full papers were published in several journals, including Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions, Earth's Cryosphere, Russian Geology and Geophysics, and Ice and Snow.
Symposium photographs can be viewed at: https://yadi.sk/d/gm9kYvVR3N38Ff\.
August 14, 2017
Northern Research Basins Symposium and Workshop Successfully Held in Yakutsk
The 21st Northern Research Basins Symposium and Workshop were successfully held in Yakutsk, Russia from 6th to 12th of August 2017 under the theme of “Cold-Region Hydrology in Non-Stationary World”. The meeting organized jointly by the Institute of Water Problems (Moscow) and the Melnikov Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk) addressed the issues of hydrological research in cold regions, both in fundamental scientific and applied aspects, including the studies of snow, glaciers, permafrost, frozen ground, groundwater, seasonally frozen rivers and lakes. The topics discussed by delegates from Russia, Canada, Sweden, France, Finland and Germany covered observational evidences of change in coupled permafrost-hydrology system; present state and future projections of local, regional and pan-Arctic hydrology; modeling studies representing landscape evolution, dynamics of water storages and permafrost degradation, and impacts of permafrost hydrology changes on local communities. The symposium program included tours to the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk and a field excursion to the MPI's underground water research site on the Lena River terrace and completed with a cruise to the Lena Pillar Natural Park. The Proceedings of the 21st NRB Symposium and Workshop and the photographs can be downloaded from the Symposium website http://nrb2017.ru/.
September 4, 2017
MPI and SKLFSE Joint Activities in Summer 2017
Following the establishment of the International Research Center for Asian Cold Regions Environment and Engineering, which was officially opened in April 2017, the co-founders - the State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering (SKLFSE), Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Melnikov Permafrost Institute, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (MPI) - conducted a range of joint activities during the summer of 2017. Six young scientists from MPI stayed for a month at SKLFSE in Lanzhou for training and discussions. Together with their potential research partners, they visited field sites on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and took part in experimental work. Dr. Alexey Galanin and Dr. Ivan Khristoforov were invited to SKLFSE as visiting scholars under the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) program. A team from SKLFSE, including Profs. Wu Qingbai, Ma Wei, Jin Huijun and Zhang Ze, and from MPI, including Dr. Mikhail Zhelezniak, Andrey Litovko and Leonid Gagarin, conducted a field trip from Yakutsk to Tynda along the Lena Federal Road and the Nizhny Bestyakh–Tynda Railroad to examine the problem sections over ice-rich permafrost in Central Yakutia. The active interaction and idea sharing resulted in four joint project proposals submitted to the RFBR-NNSF Call 2018. If approved, the first joint studies will focus on the effects of zonal and azonal factors on thermokarst, Middle and Late Pleistocene paleoenvironments inferred from syngenetic ice-rich permafrost studies in Asia, permafrost issues of the Lena River bridge site near Yakutsk, and the influence of precipitation infiltration and water vapor condensation on the ground thermal regime.
June 22, 2017
New Studies on Thermokarst
Thermokarst and associated landforms have always been the subject of intensive research at MPI. Early studies of thermokarst terrain in central and northern Yakutia by Evgeny Katasonov, Felix Are and Petr Solovyev provided a valuable basis for further studies which are continued today by the MPI’s Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes in cooperation with colleagues in Germany, France, Japan and the USA. With global climate change, it becomes increasingly important to understand the evolution of permafrost landscapes and its socio-economic effects.
A recent article in the journal Anthropocene titled "Permafrost livelihoods: A transdisciplinary review and analysis of thermokarst-based systems of indigenous land use" by Susan Crate, Mathias Ulrich, J. Otto Habeck, Aleksey R. Desyatkin, Roman V. Desyatkin, Aleksander N. Fedorov, Tetsuya Hiyama and Yoshihiro Iijima focuses on Sakha (Yakut) animal husbandry as an example of indigenous land use. The article is a result of the joint activity of the IPA Action Group "Permafrost and Culture". It is freely available following this link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213305416301060.
Joint studies are now being planned in cooperation with the University of Southhampton, UK. Prof. Mary Edwards visited MPI from June 11-16, 2017 to discuss plans for thermokarst investigations using remote sensing and modeling. The themes will be landscape resilience and community response to increasing thermokarst. Photo (top): Prof. M. Edwards observing a thaw lake near Yakutsk.