Veniamin T. Balobaev, D.Sc. Geol.&Miner.


   Dr. Balobaev was known for his significant contributions to thermophysical and geothermal research of permafrost. He began his scientific career at the Yakutsk field station of the Permafrost Institute in 1953 where he conducted geophysical investigations of permafrost in central and southern Yakutia. He was among the first to apply semiconductor thermistors to ground temperature measurement in deep boreholes.
    Dr. Balobaev gained his first organizational and leadership experience during the years when he was an assistant chief of the Obruchev Permafrost Institute’s expedition to western Yakutia. The goals of the expedition were to study permafrost and groundwater conditions in primary and placer diamond deposits that had been discovered in this region. Balobaev studied thaw processes in diamond-bearing sands and took in part in site selection and site investigations for the Vilyui hydroelectric power station, the first major hydroproject on permafrost. He pioneered modeling studies to predict the thermal behavior of the reservoir bed and dam foundation. In the position of head of the Laboratory of Geothermal Study and later deputy director of the Permafrost Institute, he focused on the thermal aspects of permafrost formation and evolution. Under his guidance, unique geothermal investigations were conducted in the Siberian permafrost zone which provided fundamental data on permafrost thickness and thermal parameters. This work was summarized in his well-known “Geothermics of the Frozen Zone of the Lithosphere in Northern Asia” published in 1991.
   In the later years of his career, Dr. Balobaev continued to be involved in a number of research projects. He contributed to the activities of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ (RAS) Scientific Councils on Earth Cryosphere and Geothermics, the Russian CliC National Committee, the Yakutian Academy of Sciences, and the RAS Siberian Branch Scientific Council on Earth Sciences. He was a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals. One of his major interests was global climate change and its effects on permafrost environments. An advocate of natural warming, he emphasized the role of the ocean in the Earth climatic system.
   Dr. Balobaev was a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He authored over 150 publications, including 8 monographs

Important contributions

-- Tolstikhin N.I., Tolstikhin, O.N., Balobaev, V.T. et al. Permafrost Science. Новосибирск: Наука, 1974. – 290 pp.
-- Balobaev, V.T., Volodko, B.V., Devyatkin, V.N., Levchenko, A.I. Manual on Calibration and Use of Thermistors in Geothermal Measurements. Якутск: ИМЗ СО АН СССР, 1977. – 77 pp.
-- Balobaev, V.T., Pavlov, A.V., Perlshtein, G.Z. et al. Thermophysical Investigations of Siberian Permafrost. Новосибирск: Наука, 1983. – 215 pp.
-- Duchkov, A.D., Lysak, S.V., Balobaev, V.T. et al. Thermal Field of the Earth's Interior in Siberia. Новосибирск: Наука, 1987. – 193 pp.
-- Balobaev, V.T. Geothermics of the Frozen Zone of the Lithosphere in Northern Asia. Новосибирск: Наука, 1991. – 191 pp.
-- Duchkov, A.D., Balobaev, V.T., Volodko, V.B. et al. Temperature, Permafrost, and Radiogenic Heat Generation in the Earth Crust in Northern Asia. Новосибирск: Наука, 1994. – 143 pp.
-- Balobaev, V.T., Gavrilova, M.K., Skachkov, Y.B., Gavriliev, P.P. et al. A Review of the Current State and Future Trends in Yakutian Climate. Якутск: ЯФ Изд-ва СО РАН, 2003. – 52 pp.
-- Balobaev, V.T., Ivanova, L.D., Nikitina, N.M., Shepelev, V.V. et al. Ground Water in Central Yakutia and Its Prospective Use. Новосибирск: Изд-во «ГЕО» СО РАН, 2003. – 137 pp.
-- Georgiadi A.G., Balobaev V.T., Shepelev V.V. et al. Water and Energy Cycle in Permafrost Regions of Eastern Siberia. Nagoya, Japan, 1999. 267 p.