The Russian Committee on the Earth Cryology as the head organization of the 10th International Conference on Permafrost continued to prepare for the main forum of permafrost scientists jointly with other co-organizers of the conference: Tyumen State Oil and Gas University and Government of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. The scientists of the Institute of Earth Cryosphere carried out field research on the Yamal peninsula and Polar Ural area in order to determine places of field excursions within the conference framework.
Exposure of massive ice on the Western Yamal, Marre-Sale cape – One of the features to be seen in the TICOP excursions.
The longest polar railway bridge across the Yurebey river, Yamal peninsula – to be seen in one of the TICOP excursions.
The Fourth conference of Russian permafrost scientists and specialists took place on June 7-9, 2011 at the Geology Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The conference was dedicated to a 100th anniversary of V.A. Kudryavtsev – the founder of the first permafrost department at the university. The main organizer of the conference was the Geocryology Department of MSU. There were the following scientific topics presented at the conference: physics-chemistry, thermal physics and mechanics of frozen grounds; geophysical survey in the permafrost zone; lithogeneous geocryology; gas and gas hydrates in the Earth’s cryolithosphere; regional and historical geocryology; dynamic geocryology; cryology of planets and biological problems in permafrost zone. The problems of engineering permafrost studies were considered within the following sections: problems of oil and gas fields development in the permafrost regions; engineering geocryology; ecological problems of permafrost; research and design in permafrost areas. The presentations within the section methodology and education in geocryology were dedicated to training of specialists in the field of permafrost studies. There were 196 scientific presentations introduced on these fields within the conference framework. Preparation of the presentations was carried out by 356 authors representing 118 scientific, scientific-practical and production organizations from various regions of Russia, as well as foreign participants from the USA, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Japan.
IX International Symposium on the problems of engineering permafrost studies was arranged on September 3-7, 2011 in the city of Mirniy. The main organizer of the Symposium was the Melnikov Permafrost Institute. During the work of three sections and a round table there were 59 oral and 28 poster presentations introduced and discussed. Among the works of the Symposium there were 90 presentations published, from which 26 presentations of the foreign scientists from 22 organizations of China, USA, Iran, England, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Poland, and Sweden. The Russian scientists were presented by the employees of 34 different organizations from 19 cities (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tyumen, Novosibirsk, Yakutsk, Nizhniy Novgorod, etc.).
In 2011 the Russian scientific organizations and university research groups continued the monitoring research of thermal state of permafrost and stability of cryogeneous geosystems at climate change and industrial disturbances in continental regions and in the Arctic. For a closer collaboration of researchers and development of a common methodological and technical basis of monitoring research in the permafrost zone there are the main representatives of Russian workgroups appointed: Andrey A. Abramov is the official officer in the TSP-group focusing on permafrost temperature; Galina V. Malkova is the official officer in the CALM focusing on the active layer depth measurements. David A. Gilichinskiy is the main coordinator of GTN-P program.
N.Oberman, Komi group of the State Monitoring Regional Center, there is a map of ecological conditions of the reserves is made, the scale is 1:3 500 000 for the Atlas of the Komi Republic. On the map, made on the base of the 20-year monitoring research, the following is shown: the southern border of permafrost in Bolshezemelskaya tundra, as for the year of 1970 and its shift towards the north for 35–40 km as for the year of 2005; cryogenic processes active development areas, the ice content of the annual thermal exchange layer and the temperature at its base.
The design institute Fundamentproekt (Director M.A. Minkin) – the Russian leader in engineering-geocryological research and investigations in the permafrost zone has celebrated its 60th anniversary. Another company is the Scientific-Production Association FundamentStroyAkros (the city of Tyumen) honoring its 20th anniversary arranged the International Conference on Engineering Permafrost Studies. One of the conference topics concerned the main company’s activity – the temperature stabilization of the frozen grounds.
The detailed complex of investigations on design and monitoring of transportation systems (automobile and railroad) in the permafrost zone is carried out by the Research Company TransIGEM ( prof. V.G. Kondratyev).
The staff members of the Geocryology Department, MSU (A. Brushkov, I. Komarov, L. Roman, L. Khrustalev, and others) took part in updating the main regulatory documents concerned with building the engineering constructions on the frozen grounds (Construction Norms and Rules and State Standards) in the following fields: probability methods of calculating the bearing capacity of permafrost bases, physical and thermal-physical properties of frozen saline and biogenic grounds, strength characteristics of frozen saline and biogenic grounds, classification of grounds (development of the main definitions of classification criteria of frozen saline and peaty grounds, distinguishing the main structures of frozen grounds. Compliance with the European classifications), engineering-ecological research.
Under supervision of professor N.N. Romanovskiy there research was carried out on the dynamics of training ground microrelief in the Yano-Indigirskaya lowland within the framework of the project «POLYGON” with a support of the joint Russian-German grant “Polygons in tundra wetlands: state and dynamics under climate variability in Polar Regions”.
In 2011 the Department of Cryolithology and Glaciology, MSU jointly with the G. Washington University (District of Columbia, USA) organized and carried out a summer field international student practice with the following route «Krasnoyarsk – Igarka – Norilsk» (the supervisor of the practice: Dr. V. Grebenets, Prof. N. Shiklomanov, Dr. D. Streletskiy). The Russian and American students investigated the landscape-frozen peculiarities, cryogenic processes, engineering-geocryological problems, geoecological and social-economic-geographic conditions of the North of Russia, and participated in the researches within the international programs IPA (CALM, TSP). Another area of the summer student practice was the Austrian Alps. In July – August, 2011 the students of this Department jointly with the Bavarian Academy of Sciences (Germany) and Innsbruck University (Austria) organized the international students courses with the studies of glacial and frozen complexes, processes and phenomena near the glacier Fernargtferner at The Ötztal Alps, Austria (supervisor – Associate Professor V. Popovnin, Prof. M. Kun, Prof. L. Braun).