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The Head of the Chair, Professor E.D.Ershov
The Head of the Chair, Professor E.D.Ershov
The first Chair of Geocryology in the world was founded at the Faculty of Geology of MSU in 1953. (Till 1986 it was known as the Chair of Perfrostology). The subject of inquiry of geocryology are frozen rocks, including surface and underground masses of snow and ice. The spread area of permafrost rocks (cryolithozone) amounts to 65% of the territory of Russia and their thickness varies from several meters along the southern boundary of the cryolithozone to hundreds of meters in high mountain regions of Eurasia, in Greenland and Antarctica.

The chair offers courses in all disciplines of geocryology within the following specializations: General Geocryology, Engineering Geocryology and Ecological Geocryology. Every year 10 - 15 people graduate from the Chair. For the last 50 years the Chair has trained 552 specialists, including 120 PhDs. Later 16 people out of these 120 earned their Grand PhD degrees.

The professors of the Chair give a course in Geocryology to all students of the faculty. Besides that the courses in The Basics of Criogenesis of the Lithosphere and Rational Nature Management are taught to students of the Chair of Geological Engineering. More than 20 courses are offered to students and candidates for a master?s degree. They are: "Dynamic Geocryology", "Physics, Chemistry and Petrography of Frozen Rocks", "Underground Waters of the Cryolithozone", "Geophysical Methods of Investigation into the Cryolithozone", "The Basics of Cryolithogenesis", "Geocryological forcast", "The Basics of Geotechnics in the Cryolithozone", etc.

Assosiate Professor O.M.Lisitsina studies underground ice (the Laptev Sea region, summer 2001)
Assosiate Professor O.M.Lisitsina studies underground ice (the Laptev Sea region, summer 2001)
The specialty program includes the following courses: "Ecological Geocryology", "The Formation of Frozen Masses on the Earth", "Ecological Problems of Geocryology", "Global Climatic Changes, the reaction of the Cryolithozone and the Ecological Effects", "Geocryological monitoring", etc.

In recent years the Chair has issued two manuals. They are "General Geocryology" by E.D. Yershov and "Geophysical Methods of research of the Cryolithozone" by Y.D. Zykov.

Students of the Chair participate in specialized summer field study near the town of Zvenigorod and in winter field study at Messhora scientific training centre. The students of the Chair and candidates for a master's degree undergo practical training in expeditions together with the Chair staff and research fellows from other organizations in various regions of this country and abroad.

The Chair is currently at work on such lines of fundamental research as Physics, Chemistry and Mechanics of Frozen Soils, Cryology of Planets, Dynamic, Lithogenetic, Regional, Historical, Engineering and Ecological Geocryology.

Practical training in investigation of physical properties of the frozen rocks
Practical training in investigation of physical properties of the frozen rocks
On the basis of fundamental research the scientists of the Chair have been working recently on a number of applied themes, such as Reliability Management of Geotechnical Systems in Cryolithozone, Interaction of Organic Polluntants with Freezing and Frozen Soils, Construction of Protection Barriers for Land Burial of Radioactive and Toxic Wastes Using the Natural and Artificial Cold, etc.

The results of scientific activities for the recent 10 - 15 years have been summarized in the five-volume monograph "Geocryology of the USSR" (1988-1989), which was awarded the State Prize of Russian Federation in 1993, in Geocriologic Map of the Former Soviet Union, scale 1:2 500 000 (1997), in the five volumes of "The Theoretical Footings of Geocryology" (1995-2001), in the monograph "Geocryological Hazards in Russia" (2000), etc.

  Russia, Moscow 119899, Vorobievy Gory, MSU, Faculty of Geology , Phone: (095)939-2970 Fax: (095)932-8889, E-mail:  
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