Forum 2010


- The Past, Present and Future of Geocryology -

Yakutsk Russia , August 2-16, 2010

The Forum for Young Permafrost Scientists was held in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia, from August 2 to 16, 2010. This Forum was one of the events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute. It included two events: Geocryological Conference and Geocryological Field Workshop.

The GEOCRYOLOGICAL CONFERENCE was held at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute during four days from August 2 to 5, 2010. Themes covered included regional and historical geocryology; periglacial processes and forms; hydrology and hydrogeology in cold regions; permafrost changes and landscape dynamics; and climate change and its effects on engineering structures.

Conference participants

Conference participants.

Tetsuya Hiyama

Dr. Tetsuya Hiyama, an invited speaker from the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature,  Kyoto Japan talked on global warming and human-nature dimension in  Siberia.

Lyudmila Lebedeva

Lyudmila Lebedeva of the  Saint Petersburg  State  University  receives a best presentation award from Dr. Rudolf Zhang, MPI Director.

Antoine Sejourne

Antoine Sejourne of Universite Paris-SudFrance won the best presentation award for his talk, “Thermokarst Processes on Earth and Mars: Comparison Between Thermokarst Lakes and Thermokarst-Lake Depressions in Utopia Planitia, Mars”

Qian Jin

Qian Jin from the Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, LanzhouChina won the best presentation award for his progress report on Qinghai-Tibet Express Highway experimental research.

The FIELD WORKSHOP was held from August 6 to 16, 2010 and focused on ground ice, thermokarst and thaw depressions (alasses). Participants traveled in central Yakutia to examine permafrost conditions, hydrogeology, and frost-related processes and forms. Lectures and tutorials were given by the Permafrost Institute senior scientists.

Field trip route

Field trip route.


Buluus, a groundwater icing


Close-up view of the ice.

Lena Valley

View on the Lena River valley. On the right is the serge, a totem pole of the Yakuts.

Subpermafrost water

Qian Jin (CAREERI), Wang Jiliang, Li Huiyu (Heilongjiang Institute of Cold Region Engineering, Harbin) and Leonid Gagarin (MPI) taste hydrogen sulfide water from below the permafrost.


One person one tent.


Lin Zhanju, “a masterchef” from China is giving a cooking class (background) and Ilya Churkin of MPI is putting into practice what he has learned.


Alass is a typical landscape for Central Yakutia produced by thawing of a large area of thick and exceedingly ice-rich permafrost.

Wedge ice

Alass formation is initiated by melting of thick ice wedges like these.


A bulgunnyakh, or a pingo, is the final stage of alass development.

Lecture Bosikov

Nikolai Bosikov (MPI), a distinguished expert on thermokarst, is giving a field lecture on alass stages.

Lecture Kolesnikov

Writing everything down, before forgetting.

Mamontova Gora

Mamontova Gora (‘Mammoth Mount’) is an exposure of permafrost along the Aldan River300 km of the Aldan and Lena Rivers confluence. The permafrost is rich in ice and Pleistocene fauna remains.

Mamontova Gora Exposure

Moving along the exposed ground ice.

Mamontova Gora Camp

Field camp on the Aldan River bank.



Digging Down

Digging into permafrost from top down…

Digging Laterally

or better from the side?