Vilyuy HPS-1,2 Dam and Reservoir

Located on the Vilyui River at the town of Chernyshevsky in western Yakutia.

The Vilyui HPS-1,2 was the first generating project in the world constructed in the continuous permafrost zone. It provides electrical power for communities and mines in the diamond-mining district. Its embankment dam, 600 m in length and 75 in max height, was completed in 1969. The MPI’s Vilyuy Permafrost Research Station in Chernyshevsky has been conducting research and monitoring of permafrost conditions at the dam and reservoir site since 1965.

Current monitoring and research
Thermal and geophysical monitoring of seepage and talik development in the right abutment using crosshole radio-frequency electromagnetic imaging, electrical resistivity tomography, seismic methods, small-loop TDEM, electromagnetic profiling, ground penetrating radar, capacitively coupled resistivity, and an automated borehole temperature and piezometric control system.
Research on applicability of microseismic sounding for talik mapping and monitoring. Integration of ERT and waterborne self-potential method for locating flow conduits.

Read more
Zhang R.V., Velikin S.A., Shesternev D.M. (2017). The thermal regime of permafrost at the Vilyuy 1,2 Dam: Geocryological monitoring. Gidrotekhnicheskoe Stroitelstvo, 6: 10-23 [in Russian].

Dams 1



Sytykan Project

The Sytykan Project is a water scheme utilizing Sytykan River to meet the municipal, rural and industrial water needs for the town of Udachny, surrounding communities and diamond mines in western Yakutia. The project located within the zone of continuous permafrost was commissioned in September 1976.

In 1995, major seepage occurred through the dam foundation and the right bank of the reservoir due to thawing of the permafrost. Seepage is still occurring in the thawed carbonate rocks beneath the spillway and in the right abutment with seepage exits (boils and effluents) in the downstream zone. Seepage in the dam foundation has been cut off by remedial measures (freezing + grouting). In the right abutment, the seepage continues and the seepage area comprises a significant portion of the abutment in the upstream.

Geophysical investigations have been conducted using an array of ground-based and downhole geophysical methods to assess flow direction and rates, as well as temperature changes in the seepage zone. Thermal and geophysical (ERT and AMT) monitoring continues to
control the development of the thaw zone.

Dams 5

Dams 2



Myaundzha Dam

The dam is located on the Myaundzha River in the town of the same name in Magadan Province, Russia (63°02
¢03¢¢N, 147°10¢50¢¢E). It was constructed between 1952 and 1955 to create a cooling water reservoir for the Arkagalinskaya Power Station. It was the first dam in northeastern Russia designed as a frozen core structure. However, the frozen core did not perform as planned and the freezing system was shut off in 1996. Since 1997, the MPI’s station in Magadan has monitored the thermal and flow regimes to document on-going changes.

Current monitoring program
Temperature and seepage monitoring of the dam foundation and embankment; assessment of concrete structures; water levels in piezometric boreholes; summer spillway flow

Read more
Гулый С.А. (2017). Особенности температурного и фильтрационного режимов грунтовой плотины на р. Мяунджа. Наука и Техника в Якутии, 2: 16-22 [Gulyi S.A. (2017). The temperature and seepage regime of the Myaundzha embankment dam. Nauka i Tekhnika v Yakutii, 2: 16-22]


Dams 3

Myaundzha dam, general view.

Dams 4

Freezing apparatus used to maintain the frozen core, 1957 (Photo by L.E. Vedernikov)