October 29, 2018
Mikhail Zhelezniak appointed to second term as MPI Director
The Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education has appointed Mikhail Zhelezniak for a second term as MPI director from October 23, 2018 to December 24, 2021. The appointment formally recognizes the result of elections held at the MPI general meeting on May 31, 2018, where Dr. Zhelezniak won the position by a majority vote.
Born on December 24, 1956 in Sverdlovsk, Mikhail Zhelezniak received his secondary education in School no. 3 in Yakutsk in 1973 and that same year he started work at the Permafrost Institute. In 1975 he entered the Department of Geography, Yakutsk State University, from which he graduated in 1980 with a specialty in geography and teaching. In 1980 Zhelezniak was invited to join the Permafrost Institute where he worked as a senior laboratory assistant, research scientist and senior research scientist until 1995. In 1993 he received the Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences degree in engineering geology, geocryology and geotechnical engineering from the Moscow State University. In 1995, Zhelezniak changed his job to serve as Head of the Permafrost Department at the Faculty of Geological Exploration of the Yakutsk State University. In 2002 he received the Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences from the Melnikov Permafrost Institute. In 2004, Dr. Zhelezniak was invited to the Melnikov Permafrost Institute to take the position of a vice director for science, continuing to serve as a professor and head of department at the Yakutsk State University. From 2009 to 2011, he worked as a principal research scientist and then as head of the Laboratory of Permafrost Geothermics. On April 25, 2013, Dr. Zhelezniak was elected by the General Assembly of the RAS Siberian Branch to the position of MPI Director for the term of five years.
September 10, 2018
Power of Siberia Pipeline - Permafrost Hazard Assessment Study
In July-August 2018, MPI researchers conducted a reconnaissance survey along the Power of Siberia Pipeline corridor in southern Yakutia as part of a 2018-2020 research project to study changes to permafrost conditions and assess the potential effects of related hazards on linear infrastructure under changing climatic conditions (Project PI: V.V. Samsonova). Five field teams worked in the Chayanda, Skovorodino, Nimnyr, Aldan and Tynda areas focusing on permafrost terrain features, icings, and rock streams. In total, 410 sites were examined, of which 30 were identified as the greatest problem areas requiring further drilling and geophysical investigations in 2019-2020. In addition to icings and rockstreams, potential hazards along the pipeline were found to be subsurface erosion, thermokarst and gullying. 1:5,000-scale permafrost terrain maps and permafrost indicator tables were compiled. Hazard assessment of thermokarst, subsurface erosion, thermal suffosion, icing development and associated processes was made for the construction and operation stages of the Power of Siberia Pipeline.
June 22, 2018
Meeting of Early Career Permafrost Researchers in Yakutsk
On June 4-20, 2018, MPI held the Fifth Forum for Young Permafrost Scientists commemorating the 90th anniversary of the birth of Professor, Dr. Maria K. Gavrilova (1928-2010), the distinguished Russian climatologist and permafrost scientist. The Forum was attended by early career permafrost researchers from Yakutsk, Tyumen, Moscow, Mirny, Tomsk and Lanzhou who presented their research during the four-day conference in Yakutsk. The papers presented addressed a variety of topics, including gas emission craters in northern West Siberia, lakes of the Antarctic oases, mountain permafrost mapping using satellite imagery, evaluation of cast-in-place piles in permafrost based on the temperature tracing concrete hydration model, ERT and GPR case studies, development of new instruments for thermal conductivity measurement, radiocarbon dating, palynology of Quaternary ice-complex deposits, hydrological modeling, and construction on hydraulic fills. The conference was followed by a field workshop in Amga. This agricultural area in central Yakutia is presently experiencing accelerated development of thermokarst and other erosion processes. Participants examined permafrost-related processes and associated problems for agriculture and rural infrastructure.
July 19, 2018
New Book: Cryoecosystems in the Alazeya River Basin
A new book titled "Cryoecosystems in the Alazeya River Basin" by S.P. Gotovtsev, L.I. Kopyrina, A.P. Efimova et al. has been released by the GEO Academic Publishing House, Novosibirsk. This 211-page monograph summarizes the results of multidisciplinary investigations conducted in 2008-2009 in the Alazeya River basin (western Kolyma Lowland) by research teams from the Russian Hydrometeorological Service and three SB RAS institutes in Yakutsk, including MPI. The findings presented in the book indicate significant changes in the river hydrology driven by climate change. Increasing precipitation and mean annual air temperature have caused deepening of the active layer and thawing of the ice-rich permafrost, accelerating thermokarst processes and triggering lake drainage. Increased water input into the river system has already resulted in severe floods in the middle Alazeya basin. Chapter 4, Geocryological Conditions, in the book is authored by Semen Gotovtsev, Pavel Zabolotnik and Innokenty Syromyatnikov.
|Ice wedge exposed along the Alazaeya bank.
|Drainage channel left by melt ice wedge.
April 4, 2018
Our Magazine is nominated for the Chrystal Compass Award
Nauka I Tekhnika v Yakutii (Science and Technology in Yakutia) has been nominated for the Chrystal Compass Award in the Best Media Coverage category. This prestigious national award under the auspices of the Russian Geographical Society and Gazprom recognizes achievements in national geography, environmental protection, preservation and popularization of the natural, cultural and historical heritage of Russia. In all, 327 projects and campaigns from 68 Russian regions and 23 foreign countries, including Australia, UK, Italy, Sweden, South Africa and Japan, have been nominated. Winners will be selected by a jury and public voting at http://rus-compass.ru/projects/. Voting will continue until April 30, 2018.
Nauka i Tekhnika v Yakutii is a popular science magazine dedicated to Yakutian science and technology. Established in 2001, the magazine is published by the Melnikov Permafrost Institute twice a year. The magazine seeks to foster communication across disciplines, disseminate scientific knowledge to the wider public, and promote a positive image of science and scientists. Nauka i Tekhnika v Yakutii publishes scientific research articles, reports on technological developments in Yakutia, expedition news, and discussions. It also includes papers on history, philosophy, medicine, and arts. Its regular columns, such as Rising Generation, Our Lecture Room, Diamond ABC, Museums and National Parks in Yakutia, World Around Us, Entertaining Science and Funny Quotes from Scientists, are intended to reach out to the younger audience. Other categories of the magazine’s content are conference reports, new books, and life sketches of outstanding Yakutian scientists.