1961–1970: The First Decade

♦ 1963
: construction of a new three-story building of the Institute completed

♦ 1965: Vilyui Permafrost Research Station founded in Chernyshevsky, western Yakutia, to conduct geocryological investigations in the Yakutian diamond fields and in the Vilyui Hydro Project sites.

♦ 1967:  first laboratory experiments initiated in the upper (5 m depth) and lower (12 m) galleries of the permafrost tunnel beneath the Institute’s building

♦ 1969: Permafrost Institute awarded the Red Banner Medal for its major achievements in
the fields of regional, basic and applied geocryology

♦ 1970: USSR Academy of Sciences’ Council on Earth Cryology established at the Permafrost Institute to coordinate all permafrost-related research activities across the country
     FD 2The Soviet Sixtiers, a generation of enchanted explorers
(l to r: Grigory Pudov, Viktor Kunitsky and Valentina Piguzova, 1965).

Research Highlights

Regional Permafrost Investigations

  • 19601963: Ust-Vilyui Expedition led by A. Efimov
  • 19611965: Udokan Expedition led by I. Nekrasov (northern Trans-Baikalia)
  • 19621965: Northern Expedition led by N. Grigoriev (coastal area between the Lena and Indigirka Rivers, Laptev Sea islands and offshore)
  • 1964: monograph “Earth Surface Freezing and Glaciation in the Suntar-Khayata Range, Eastern Yakutia” by N. Grave et al. published presenting results of the International Geophysical Year project 1957-1959
  • 19641965: Central Yakutian Expedition led by V. Barygin
  • 1967-1971: Soviet-Mongolian Expedition (permafrost component)


  • 19581963: long-term investigations of supra- and intra-permafrost aquifers conducted by N. Anisimova in Central Yakutia (aquifer regime, water chemistry, groundwater–permafrost interaction, temperature- and salinity-driven migration of chemical elements, hydrogeochemistry of open and closed taliks
  • 19591964: studies of springs in Central Yakutia
  • 19601963: chemical studies of wedge ice and host sediments in the Lena River delta to determine their origin (N. Anisimova)
  • 1961: hydrochemical measurements in the Lena River delta to identify subpermafrost water discharge areas (A. Efimov)
  • 1963: permafrost and groundwater studies in the Aldan area, southern Yakutia (I. Artemenko)
  • 1964: first well producing from a sub-alas talik aquifer completed in the town of Magan and long-term monitoring of its operation initiated
  • 1965: results of permafrost and hydrogeological investigations in southern Yakutia summarized in the monograph, Ground Water and Permafrost in the South Yakutian Coal-Bearing Basin
  • 19651977: Yakutia Geological Survey expeditions in the Lena–Vilyui and Lena–Amga uplands (groundwater explorations for water sources)
  • 19661968: monitoring observations of giant icings and groundwater springs in the Verkhoyansk Mountains and Moma River basin
  • 1966-1969: hydrogeological observations in the Indigirka and Moma basins, north-eastern Yakutia (giant icings, sources of springs, icing growth and decay rates, thermal effects of icings on underlying ground)
  • 1967: first Hydrogeological Map of Yakutia at a scale of 1:2, 500,000 compiled
  • 1967: new classification scheme for river-valley taliks proposed by I. Nekrasov based on observations in the Anadyr River basin, Chukotka
  • 19671969 and 19711973: studies of thermokarst lakes and talik groundwater, Lena River high terraces (Syrdakh and Magan)


  • 1961: detailed characterization of cryostructures and cryotextures in colluvium in the Udokan Range, alluvium in the Chara Depression and last glaciation moraines; buried glacier ice first identified in the area (G. Gravis and M. Ivanov)
  • 1961: first description of soil wedges in solifluctional deposits of cut terraces within the so-called Lena Pipe (I. Klimovsky)
  • 1961: the Ice Complex examined along the lower Vilyui River by N. Danilova (soil wedges in alluvial sands of the ancient terraces)
  • 1961: Khotugu-Ulakhan-Taryn sand dunes, Central Yakutia – studies of cryofacial factors controlling permafrost morphology (E. Katasonova and A. Tolstov)
  • 1966: cryolithological investigations of glaciolacustrine deposits (clay varves) in the Chara Depression (I. Klimovsky)
  • 1966: pioneering cryolithological investigations in the middle Anabar River basin in potential diamond placer areas (V. Kunitsky)
  • 1969: E. Katasonov presents the genetic classification of cryostructures
  • 1970: cryostratigraphic studies in Vankina Bay, Laptev Sea (E. Katasonov)

Thermal Research

  • 1958-1961: thermal and energy balance investigations in areas of mining and dam developments in the Vilyui River valley
  • 1959: studies on heat convection in uncased deep boreholes in permafrost, with special attention to the thermal effect of convection on surrounding ground (I. Kutasov, N. Kozlov and V. Devyatkin)
  • 1961: the seismic method was first applied in permafrost terrain to determine glacial ice thickness in the Suntar-Khayata Mountains (F. Aptikaev)
  • 1961: first Guidelines for Ground Thermal Measurements with Semiconductor Thermometers prepared by N. Kozlov
  • 1961: I. Kutasov developed a procedure for measuring convective heat flow in boreholes, methods for estimating thermistor overheating temperature and return time to thermal equilibrium around boreholes, and a single-point method for thermistor calibration
  • 1961: L. Chistotinov and A. Mandarov experimentally demonstrated the generation of electrical potentials during freezing of wet soils which affects moisture transfer in soil
  • 1961–1963: research on thermodynamics of porewater transfer in freezing and thawing soils and porewater–soil interaction; equations derived for thermodynamic balance of phase changes; relationships obtained between mass transfer characteristics and temperature and total moisture content (N. Ivanov)
  • 1964: geothermal observations in the upper Markha River area, north-western Yakutia, where a maximum permafrost thickness of 1500 m was obtained (V. Devyatkin)
  • 1965–1966: geothermal observations in the Turukhan and Bolshaya Kheta River basins, northern Krasnoyarsk Krai (F. Bakulin and V. Devyatkin)
  • 1966: determination of the temperature field of Laptev Sea bottom sediments (N. Grigoriev)
  • 1966: geothermal measurements in the northern Taymyr Peninsula and the Pyasina rundra (E. Karpov)
  • 1966: ground temperature measurements in the Laptev Sea coastal area (E. Molochushkin)
  • 1967: a system of temperature monitoring boreholes established in the proposed Vilyui Dam reservoir area (R. Kamensky)
  • 1967: L. Chistotinov and A. Mandarov developed an experimental apparatus for heat and moisture transfer study with a gamma-ray source for moisture determination and an electronic potentiometer for temperature recording
  • 1967: P. Filippov designed an instrument and proposed a methodology for determining the thermal characteristics of geological materials in uncased boreholes
  • 1967: quantitative estimation of convection in shallow boreholes obtained by V. Devyatkin
  • 1967: V. Devyatkin and D. Rybnikov designed and tested an instrument with digital temperature recording
  • 1967: R. Gavriliev developed an automated apparatus for determining the volumetric heat capacity of soils
  • 1968: ground temperature measurements in the Suntar-Khayata Range (I. Klimovsky) and the Kular and Nelgesinsky Ridges (I. Nekrasov and V. Devyatkin)
  • 1968: work initiated to establish a radiocarbon dating system for permafrost materials, first in the North-East USSR (A. Kosolapov, V. Kostyukevich, G. Rudenko)
  • 1968–1969: analytical modeling studies (V. Balobaev)
  • 1970: new thawing method proposed for gold-bearing deposits in the Kular placer mines, subarctic Yakutia based on experimental and theoretical investigations of V. Balobaev’s team

Geotechnical Engineering

  • 19601962: laboratory and experimental studies of creep of frozen coarse soils and fissured rocks (K. Voitkovsky)
  • 19601964: experimentation at a test site to study thermal interaction of a buried pipeline with frozen and freezing soils at unsteady state heat transfer
  • 1961: guidelines for construction and maintenance of underground cold storages in Yakutia prepared by N. Saltykov
  • 1961: pile bearing capacity tests at construction sites in Mirny, western Yakutia (N. Saltykov, A. Zhigulskym V. Makarov)
  • 1961: studies of compressibility of frozen soils (A. Brodskaya)
  • 1961: study of frost heave in fine-grained warm permafrost soils in Igarka (V. Orlov)
  • 1961: thermal and hydrologic studies of unfrozen dams on permafrost foundation in the Irelyakh River valley, western Yakutia (N. Blinov)
  • 19611964: experimental investigations of creep behavior of frozen soils under sustained loading, determination of visco-plastic properties of frozen soils (S. Grechishchev)
  • 19611965: in-situ observations of frozen ground deformations in underground mines in central, subarctic and southern Yakutia; development of stability analysis methods for large-span roofs of relatively shallow mines in permafrost; theoretical consideration of thermal and stability control of underground mines; preparation of guidelines for improvement of coal and placer mining techniques in the USSR North-East (A. Zilberbort, G. Kuzmin, V. Sherstov, S. Grechiscchev, G. Gravis, N. Sharapov, Y. Budenny)
  • 1961-1970: studies of mechanical properties and thaw settlement of Central Yakutian permafrost soils were conducted by I. Votyakov. He found and explained the direct relationship between unfrozen water content and specific values of temperature and hygroscopic moisture content. He also initiated a range of studies on thermorheology of frozen soils
  • 1966: A. Zhigulsky proposed calculation methods for pile bearing capacity with account for pile shape which were included in the Soils and Foundations Design Code 6-66
  • 1966: important dimensionless parameters obtained for mechanical processes in frozen ground and effects of cryostructures on soil strength determined (S. Grechischchev)
  • 19661968: thermal monitoring at the Taas Tumus to Yakutsk gas pipeline project (daily ground temperature measurements at undisturbed and disturbed sites and around the pipeline; effects of frost heaving and frost cracking on the buried pipeline)
  • 1968: Operation and Maintenance Guidelines for Sewerage Systems was prepared by I. Konstantinov based on long-term experiments to develop an understanding of heat transfer and talik growth/freezeback from pipeline start-up to periodic operation to shutdown (cooling)
  • 1968: thermal investigations of water-intake facilities leading to development of a linear cable heating system (B. Gubanov and G. Rudenko) and to development of new drain design (together with O. Tolstikhin)
  • 1970: first series of frost jacking tests on piles coated with organosilicon compounds
  • 1970: pipeline placement guidelines developed for the Messoyakha-Dudinka-Norilsk-Talnakh (northern Krasnoyarsk Krai) and Salekhard-Nadym gas pipelines (West Siberia) (groups led by F. Bakulin and V. Ermakov)


  • 1962: based on long-term investigations, A. Demin demonstrated the feasibility of basin irrigation in dry climate of Central Yakutia and proposed several spillway dam designs
  • 1968: P. Gavriliev estimated the optimal water consumption of natural meadows and irrigation water requirement for various settings with an impermeable permafrost aquitard. A. Mandarov estimated the effect of basin irrigation time on heat and moisture transfer between the active layer and surface air


  • 1962: Geocryological map of the south-western Aldan Highland and the Stanovoy Range, 1:500,000 scale (V. Usov and V. Alekseev)
  • 1968: Icing discharge in the North-East USSR, scale 1:2,500,000 (O. Tolstikhin et al.)
  • 1970: Altitudinal zonation of permafrost and hydrogeology in the Verkoyansk–Kolyma mountainous region
  • 1970: Engineering-geocryological map of the USSR, scale 1:2,500,000 compiled by VSEGINGEO (with participation of P. Soloviev)
  • 1970: Geocryological map of Yakutia, scale 1:5,000,000 (P. Melnikov)
  • 1970: Geocryological zonation map of the USSR, scale 1:10,000,000 (I. Nekrasov)
  • 1971: Geocryological Map of the People’s Republic of Mongolia”, scale 1:500,000 (G. Gravis, S. Zhamsran, S. Zabolotnik, V. Sukhodurovsky and N. Sharkhuu)



FD 3 FD 1  FD 4 

P. Gavriliev measuring soil temperatures on the Messoyakha–Norilsk gas pipeline route, 1964.

Permafrost Institute staff, 1962

Foot survey from Chara to Naminga, Udokan Expedition, 1964 (l to r: I. Nekrasov, P.Filippov and S. Zabolotnik)

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Checking a remote weather station at 1,900 m elevation in the Udokan Range, 1963 (l to r: Y. Shastkevich, I. Nekrasov and S. Zabolotnik).

Discussing results of field geothermal studies, 1965 (l to r: V. Balobaev, S. Zabolotnik and Z. Sorokina).

Choosing a camp site on the Vilyui River bank, 1965 (l to r: Y. Tyshev, M. Fedorov and R, Kamensky).

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G. Rudenko (left) and B. Gubanov test heating cable performance at the Yakutsk water intake, 1969

E. Katasonov (far left) explaining the Ice Complex exposed on the Aldan River bank to participants of the International Symposium on Pleistocene Paleoenvironments and Periglacial Features, 1969

Dr. Evgeny M. Katasonov presens his cryofacies method, Yakutsk, 1970.