June 25, 2020
MPI to Establish Test Sites on Regional Roads in Yakutia
In June 2020, MPI initiated a study under Contract OK-215, “Establishment of test sites on the regional road network in Yakutia for permafrost subgrade monitoring”. The first stage of the project involves the gathering of detailed information on current permafrost conditions under and adjacent to representative portions of Nam, Amga and Umnas, three major roads of regional significance. Researchers have begun work in key areas of the Nam Road between kilometer posts 36 and 38, 49 and 51, 63 and 64, and 70 and 72 to describe surface and subsurface conditions in adjacent terrain (300 m wide), to determine soil moisture contents and thaw depths, and to identify hazardous permafrost processes. A survey of pavement problems is underway.
98К-005 Nam is a 160.5-km-long road which links Yakutsk to the town of Namtsy via Zhatay and Kangalassy. 98K-003 Umnas is one of the longest roads in Yakutia with a total length of 1216.4 km of which 342 km is paved and the remaining part operates seasonally over land (~447 km) and over ice (~427 km). The route runs southwest along the Lena River from Yakutsk to Lensk. 98K-001 Amga is a 701.7-km route with a length of paved surface of about 571 km. The road starts at the junction of Federal Highway Lena near Nizhny Bestyakh and follows a mostly northwest/southeast course to Yugorenok. At many locations, the performance of the roads is unsatisfactory, primarily due to subgrade problems. The research program is intended to gain a better understanding of the factors influencing subgrade stability in order to improve road design and maintenance practices, as well as to provide a basis for developing a regional system of road performance monitoring.
May 11, 2020
Victory Day - Remembering WWII Veterans
On May 9, Russia celebrated Victory Day, the holiday that commemorates the end of World War II. No other country suffered greater loss of life and destruction as the Soviet Union. Even after 75 years the exact number of military and civil casualties remains unknown. Over 62,000 people were called to the front from Yakutia alone, which had a pre-war population of 413,800, with more than half killed in action.
Many from the first generation of Soviet permafrost scientists fought on the battlefields of WWII. Petr Shvetsov, the author of three chapters in "Principles of Geocryology" (1959), volunteered to the Red Army in the early days of the war and took part in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk and the Operation Bagration. Evgeny Katasonov, who developed the cryofacies method in 1954, was wounded and captured in August 1941 when his regiment was encircled near the border with Poland. In June 1944 he escaped from the POW camp and joined the partisans in Slovakia and later the regular troops of the Red Army. Egor Molochushkin, who studied subsea permafrost in the Laptev Sea in the 1960s, was drafted to the Army in summer 1942 at the age of 19. He was badly wounded at the battle of Kursk where he fought as a private in the Rifles. Igor Nekrasov, who led large-scale regional permafrost studies all over Siberia in the 1960s-1980s, took command of an engineer platoon in January 1945 and met the victory day on the Oder. Nikolay Grigoriev, known for his pioneer investigations of the Arctic coastal permafrost, was assigned to Ferrying Division 78727-K in 1943 to conduct site investigations and construct auxiliary airfields for the ALSIB route. Nikolay Ivanov, the author of landmark books on heat and mass transfer in permafrost, served in communications units of the military airports in Yakutia and Magadan Region during the entire war.
March 10, 2020
Arctic and Subarctic Natural Resources – Call for Submissions
Arctic and Subarctic Natural Resources (ASNR), published by the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Academy of Sciences, invites submissions to its second issue. This peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishes original research on geology, geocryology, biological resources, environmental protection and ecosystem studies of the Arctic and Subarctic regions, as well as studies in the fields of cold regions materials science and northern engineering. The Journal was established in 1996 as Nauka i Obrazovanie (Science and Education). In 2018, the name was changed to its current title. All issues since 1996 are available for free online at the journal website: http://nras.ysn.ru. The journal is indexed in the Russian Science Citation Index (RSCI) on the Web of Science platform.
ASNR is one of the few Russian journals, along with Kriosfera Zemli – Earth’s Cryosphere, Led i Sneg – Ice and Snow, and Geoecology. Engineering Geology. Hydrogeology. Geocryology, that specifically cover permafrost research. Editorial Board members Drs. Mikhail Zhelezniak, Viktor Shepelev and Mikhail Grigoriev of MPI encourage colleagues to submit their best work to ASNR.
April 12, 2020
IPA Revises Its Conference Plans for 2021-2023 due to COVID-19
The International Permafrost Association (IPA) has released a statement below about its revised future conference schedule:
International Permafrost Association Conferences
On 17 February, the International Permafrost Association (IPA) regrettably had to announce the cancellation of the 12th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP 2020) due to the COVID-19 crisis. This conference had been scheduled for 22-26 June in Lanzhou, China. Following this decision, members of the IPA leadership, its International Advisory Committee, and conference local organizing committees thoroughly discussed possible options for the schedule of future IPA conferences. Chris Burn, IPA Senior Vice-President, led these discussions and developed a report concluding on the best possible future conference schedule, given this unprecedented situation. This schedule was agreed upon by the relevant parties and the IPA Executive Committee, and then was formally approved by a majority vote of the IPA Council by 23 March.
Thus, the IPA is pleased to announce our revised conference plans for the years 2021-2023:
This new plan was developed to ensure the best possible conferences and a balance in regional distribution of conference locations. The IPA extends sincere gratitude and thanks to the local organizing committees for their flexibility and the significant work undertaken in planning these conferences. The IPA looks forward to these conferences and hopes to see a strong showing of the permafrost community in these exciting locations.
February 20, 2020
ENVIRONMENTAL AND INFRASTRUCTURE INTEGRITY IN PERMAFROST REGIONS
The Conference on Environmental and Infrastructure Integrity in Permafrost Regions will be held at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk in September 28-30, 2020. This national-level event open to international participation is organized on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Institute. Those interested in attending the conference are invited to contact the secretariat via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org before March 30, 2020. Extended abstracts are to be submitted by May 4, 2020.
The conference will address the following topics relevant to permafrost regions:
- thermal response of permafrost to climatic change and anthropogenic impacts
- current state and evolution of permafrost in North Asia’s major geological structures
- Arctic subaqueous permafrost dynamics
- cold region geohazards
- groundwater effects of climate change and human activities
- geotechnical investigations and construction technologies
- thermal and mechanical interactions between structures and environment
- geoenvironmental and terrain studies
- urban development
- geotechnical geophysics
The First Announcement with the response form is here.