RAS scientists investigate Taimyr water bodies pollution level

RAS scientists investigate Taimyr water bodies pollution level

July 05, 2021

The Big Norilsk Expedition will compare last year's figures with the current ones.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The participants of the second season of the Big Norilsk Expedition continue comprehensive studies of the territory’s ecological state and the dynamics of its changes. As in 2020, the main research will take place on water, soil and bottom sediments. In addition, experts will check the flora, fauna and permafrost soils.

“There will be three stages in our work. At the first stage, we measure hydrochemical indicators, as well as the flow of the water level in the Bezymyanny brook, the Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers. This is necessary to find out the level of pollution in the spring flood. At the second stage, we will measure the level into low water, and at the third – into autumn water”, says Sergey Sheshukov, a junior researcher at the Institute of Petroleum Geology.

The main task, as noted by scientists, is to determine the level of pollution and background concentrations of various pollutants.

“The places were chosen according to the coordinates of those points that were laid down last year”, explains Sergey Sheshukov. “We have a background point, which is located higher along the Bezymyanny stream, and there is also a polluted area. In addition, points down the stream, where we will determine how the pollution of water and bottom sediments changes depending on the distance. Now, our group of the Big Norilsk Expedition does not see any pollution in the area of the Ambarnaya river. The picture will become clearer when the tundra blooms. Botanists will be watching whether changes are taking place in the landscape”.

It is planned that at the second stage of the study, the number of participants will increase to 18. In mid-July, a new team of scientists – zoologists will arrive in Taimyr. In addition, at the end of the month soil scientists, hydrobiologists, geochemists, botanists and permafrost scientists, will join them.

As already reported, the second season of the Big Norilsk Expedition includes specialists from the same directions and 11 research institutes in Norilsk, Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Barnaul, as in the previous year.

During the field stage, scientists will move along the surface watercourses of the Daldykan, Ambarnaya, Pyasina rivers and lake Pyasino. The main tasks of the expedition this year are to assess the possibility of re-pollution in the event of a flood and to take into account all risks.

The main objects of research will be surface waters, soils and bottom sediments, flora and fauna, permafrost. The expedition members will begin to study the rate of deformation of thawed soils based on radar satellite imagery, and will use GIS systems, digital twins of territories and other cutting-edge tools to obtain and process data.

“The main objects of the second Big Norilsk expedition research will be watercourses and the water surface of the Daldykan and Ambarnaya rivers, as well as lake Pyasino. In addition, we investigate background areas, soils, bottom sediments, flora and fauna. The field stage will last about two months. By November, we expect to receive the results – a report from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences on the state of this territory’s ecosystem”, says Denis Anikeyev, head of the directorate for oil spill response at CHPP-3 Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company JSC.

Based on the results of the Big Norilsk Expedition, Nornickel, as an industry leader in the region, intends to revise the existing approach to industrial development of the territory.

In addition, the applied nature of the research results, available to all participants operating in the Arctic zone of the country, opens up an opportunity for further sectorial partnerships in the region for the benefit of preserving its ecosystem.

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ext: Elena Popova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division press office

July 05, 2021

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