Forum 2008


Yakutsk, Russia, August 5-28, 2008


The Melnikov Centenary International Forum for Young Scientists was held in Yakutsk from August 5 to 28, 2008. This Forum celebrated the centenary of the birth of Academician P.I. Melnikov, the founder of Siberian geocryology, first president of the International Permafrost Association and first director of the Permafrost Institute (Yakutsk, Russia). The Forum included two events: the Geocryological Conference and the Field Workshop. 

Conference Group Photo

The Geocryological Conference was held at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, during four days from August 5 to 8, 2008). The Conference program consisted of four paper sessions: Response of Permafrost Terrain to Climate Change and Human Activities; Periglacial Processes and Forms; Hydrology and Hydrogeology in Cold Regions; and Regional and Historical Geocryology. In total, 35 oral and 19 poster papers were presented. Following the Conference, local excursions were organized to the MPI research sites in the vicinity of Yakutsk, to the Yakutsk Co-Generation Plant – the first large industrial building on permafrost, and to local museums.

Hans Hubberten

Dr. Hans Hubberten, IPA President, made a talk on Russian-German cooperation in geocryology.

Vladimir Romanovsky

Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky (UAF) presented the TSP project.

Alena Shestakova

Alena Shestakova (MPI) won the best presentation award for her presentation on permafrost-landscape differentiation of Mongolia.

Mikhail Permyakov

Mikhail Permyakov (Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics, Novosibirsk) was awarded for his presentation on thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of media simulating hydrate-bearing bottom deposits.

Field Trip Route

The field workshop was held from August 11 to 28. Participants traveled from Yakutsk to the Chara Basin to observe how permafrost affects and is affected by various human activities, including mineral and coal mining, railroads and roads, pipelines, groundwater mining, and settlements.

Groundwater activity in central Yakutia

Groundwater 1

Groundwater 2

Amur Yakutsk Railroad

Amur 1

Amur 2

Neryungri Coal Mine, southern Yakutia

Neryingri 1

Neryungri 2

East Siberia – Pacific Oil Pipeline



Kuranakh Gold Mine

Kuranakh 1

Kuranakh 2

Nakhot Mineral Hot Springs

Nakhot 1

Nakhot 2

Kerak Diabase Quarry

Kerak 1

Kerak 2

Skovorodino – a permafrost station was established here as early as 1928

Skovorodino 1

Skovorodino 2

Gulag camp

Gulag 1

Gulag 2

Chara Basin – the final point of the field trip where intensive permafrost observations have been conducted since Soviet times. As a result of this Filed Workshop, summer course sites have been established in the Chara Basin by the Moscow and Tyumen Universities

Chara Route

Chara Nature

Chara Basin – windblown sands and kurums

Chara Sands

Chara Kurums

Cheena Copper Mine access railroad

Chara Cheena 1

Chara Cheena 2

Chara Basin – abandoned copper mines and temperature boreholes

Chara Mine

Chara Borehole

Chara Basin – ice-wedge permafrost and groundwater seeps

Chara Permafrost

Chara Groundwater

Making friends


Around the campfire.


Singing to the guitar.


Remy from the Angers University, France


Gulnaz from the Tyumen Petroleum University and Alexander from the MPI

Zhenya Yulia

Zhenya from the Moscow State University and Yulia from the Institute of Environmental Geoscience, Moscow

Leniza Yulia Petr

Leniza, Tyumen Petroleum University, Yulia, Institute of Environmental Geoscience and Petr, Moscow State University