EXPEDITIONS, 2014-2015

Suntar-Khayata Range: Permafrost and Glacier Studies

2012-2015 summer seasons

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; Arctic Environment Research Center, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan

From summer 1956 to autumn 1959, the Permafrost Institute undertook glaciological and permafrost studies in the Suntar-Khayata Range, northeastern Russia, as part of the International Geophysical Year 1957/58. The expedition led by Nikolai Grave performed a wide range of research, including meteorology, actinometry, ground temperature measurements, glaciology, geology, snow surveys, permafrost studies, and geobotanical sampling. Detailed glaciological investigations were conducted at Glacier 31 located at the heads of the Burgali River, a left tributary to the Indigirka. The scientific findings of this expedition were published in: N.A. Grave, M.K. Gavrilova, G.F. Gravis, E.M. Katasonov, N.K. Klyukin, M.M. Koreisha. B.A. Kornilov, L.V. Chistotinov. Freezing of Earth Surface and Glaciation of Suntar-Khayata Range (Eastern Yakutia). The Publishing House “Nauka”, Moscow 1964.

In 2012-2014, glaciological and permafrost studies were undertaken in the Glacier 31 area under the Agreement between the Melnikov Permafrost Institute and the Arctic Environment Research Center, National Institute of Polar Research, Japan. The objective of this joint project was to study climate change effects on glaciers, permafrost and surrounding landscapes in northeastern Eurasia. Field campaigns during the summers of 2012, 2013, and 2014 collected data on glacier age and dynamics, seasonal thaw depths, and ground, air and glacier ice temperatures. In 2015, the Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes continued observations and examined the landscapes left behind by retreating glaciers.
 5  52

Suntar Khayata 2015 1

Suntar Khayata 2015 3

Altai Expedition: Permafrost and Rock Glaciers

Northern Chuya and Kurai Ranges

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Geothermics; MPI Laboratory of General Geocryology: Department of Geography, Altai State University; Department of Geography, Gorno-Altaisk State University; Institute for Water and Environmental Problems, Barnaul; Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Novosibirsk; Altaigeo OAO.
Permafrost-related field program: Site reconnaissance was conducted to select sites for ground thermal monitoring in areas of perennial and deep seasonal frost from lowland to foothills to high elevations. In all, 30 monitoring sites are planned to be established in the northern Altai Mountains. In 2014, nine boreholes were instrumented at elevations of 2800, 2400, 2200, 2000,1800, 1600, 1400, 1200, and 1000 m. In 2015, permafrost temperature measurements were continued.
Rock glacier studies: ERT profiling, outflow sampling for water chemistry, lichenometric dating, Schmidt Hammer Tests, temperature monitoring.
Altay 2015 1a Altay 2015 2a
Altay 2015 3a Altay 2015 4a

Monitoring of Permafrost Landscapes

Monitoring of Permafrost Landscapes in Central Yakutia

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes
FTL: Pavel Konstantinov
Region: monitoring sites in Central Yakutia (Neleger, Spasskaya Pad, Yukechi, Kerdyugen, Churapcha) and along the Vilyui Road from Yakutsk to Chernyshevsky
2015 Field Program: on-going monitoring observations of permafrost temperature, active-layer depth, and thermokarst processes. New monitoring sites were established near Churapcha, 180 km east of Yakutsk, in rapidly degrading areas (abandoned plowfields and forests killed by a Siberian silk moth epidemic) and near Zhigansk, in the North-Taiga Zone, with a 15 m borehole instrumented for manual and automated temperature measurements.

MPI – 
JAMSTEC Joint Studies 

Project: Observational study of permafrost, vegetation, energy and water in Eastern Siberia towards elucidation of the impact of climate change in the geochemical cycle
: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; Department of Environmental Geochemical Cycle Research, JAMSTEC
Region: Spasskaya Pad and Neleger monitoring sites near Yakutsk (Central Yakutia) and Tiksi site, Arctic Yakutia
2015 Field Program: on-going meteorological, hydrological and heat-balance observations; ground surface dynamics in forest cuts of varying age; active-layer depth measurements at the CALM site.

MPI – IG/LU Project: Evolution of Thermokarst Lakes in Central Yakutia

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; Institute for Geography, Leipzig University
Region: Khara-Bulgunnyakh and Yukechi sites, Lena-Amga watershed
2015 Field Program: landscape controls of alas distribution, thaw lake dynamics

MPI – GEOPS Joint Studies

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; GEOPS, University of Paris Sud, Orsay
Region: Syrdakh monitoring site, Central Yakutia
2015 Field Program: observations of alas landscapes at the junction of Abalakh and Tyungyulyu terraces; hydrological observations in lakes and small rivers; active-layer depth and temperature measurements.

Mamontova Gora Expedition

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; Moscow State University; Tyumen State Oil and Gas University
Region: Mamontova Gora Natural Monument in the Lower Aldan Depression
2015 Field Program: collection of sediment samples from outcrops; continuous core sampling through permafrost; microbial sampling.

Chara Depression Expedition

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Landscapes; Institute of Cryogenic Resources, Tyumen State Oil and Gas University
Region: Chara depression in northern Trans-Baikalia
2015 Field Program: studies of icings and other frost-related geosystems.

Perm Land 1 Perm Land 2  
Perm Land 3 Perm Land 4
Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Geochemistry Investigations

Hydrogeological Field Team

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Groundwater and Geochemistry
FTL: Alexander Semernya
Region: Khangalas, Menge-Khangalas, Yakutsk (Middle Lena basin), Neryungri (southern Yakutia)
Field Program, February-November 2015: on-going monitoring of ground temperature regime, supra-permafrost and intra-permafrost groundwater hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry, icing growth in Ulakhan-Taryn Creek valley, icing ice volume measurements at Eruu Springs site, icing thickness measurements at Buluus site; resumed year-round hydrogeological and thermal observations of a suprapermafrost subaerial talik at Chabyda site; hydrological and hydrochemical investigations of surface and suprapermafrost waters to estimate runoff components of small streams in central Yakutia; cryopeg levels and dissolved-solids contents in urban areas.

Western Yakutia Snow Survey, 2015

Participants: MPI Laboratory of Permafrost Groundwater and Geochemistry
Region: Malaya Botuoba and Daldyn-Alakit diamondbearing areas; Tas-Yuryakh gas condensate field (western Yakutia)
Field Program: snow depth measurements, snow and surface water sampling for chemical analysis.

Hydrogeology and Permafrost Investigations in Northern Yenisey Area

Participants: Igarka Geogcryological Laboratory
FTL: Nikita Tananaev
Region: Khantay Reservoir Area (Shuchye Lake and Sukharikha River)
Field Program: permafrost studies; surface water sampling; settlement and frost heave measurements, seasonal freezing dynamics.
Hydro 1 Hydro 3
Hydro 4 Hydro 22

Permafrost Monitoring: Suntar-Olekminsk Power Transmission Line
Participants: MPI Laboratory of General Geocryology
Region: Lena River crossing of the Suntar-Olekminsk power transmission corridor
2015 Field Program: drilling of 7 boreholes for a thermal monitoring network and collection of foundation soil samples
Powerline 1 Powerline 2
Power line tower #3, Lena River crossing. Temperature measurement borehole near tower #3.
Zhigansk Expedition
Participants: MPI Laboratory of General Geocryology
FTL: Valentin Spektor
Region: Lower Lena basin near Zhigansk
Dates: June-July 2015
Field Program: studies of glacial deposits at six natural exposures of the high cut terrace along the Strekalovka River (a left tributary to the Lena River near the town of Zhigansk) and along the Lena River 10-22 km upstream from Zhigansk.
Zhigansk 1     Zhigansk 2

Kodar-Udokan Expedition: Permafrost and Glaciers

July-August 2014
Participants: Permafrost Geothermics and Permafrost Engineering Laboratories, MPI; Institute of Geoenvironmental Science, Moscow; Water Problems Institute. Moscow; Department of Earth Cryosphere, Tyumen State Oil and Gas University
Permafrost-related field program: Temperature measurements were repeated after 30 years in deep boreholes located in the Aldan anteclise to assess climate change effects. Surveys were conducted along the Chara-Cheena railroad corridor to evaluate the dynamics of permafrost-related surface processes.
71 72