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MAIN PAGE > Journal "Arctic and Antarctica" > Contents of Issue 02/2016
Contents of Issue 02/2016
Natural resources of the Arctic and Antarctica
Chizhova J.N., Yanchenko N.I., Budantseva N.A., Baranov A.N., Ruzhnikov V.A., Vasil'chuk Y.K. - The assessment of the Arctic and Antarctic air masses influence on the isotope composition of a snow mantle of the city of Bratsk pp. 75-85


Abstract: The authors study the formation of isotope-oxygen composition of a snow mantle of Bratsk and the fresh snow in Baikal region and define the main trajectories of air masses, bringing precipitation to the city of Bratsk during the cold seasons. The research area covers the city of Bratsk and the points in Irkutsk region – the village Khidiakovo (18 km from Irkutsk), the village Kultuk on the southern coast of the lake Baikal, the mountain Snezhnaya of the route Irkutsk–Bolshoye Goloustnoye and the Tunkin valley in the Republic of Buryatia. The authors register the exceeded content of sodium (4-66 times) in the city snow mantle samples compared with the background snow mantle. Though the man-caused origin of sodium in snow is obvious, the natural causes are also possible. It can be brought by air masses, for example, from the Arctic coast. The study is aimed at this hypothesis testing. The research methods include the isotope method (assessment of the content of stable oxygen-18 in snow, both fresh and settled) and the reverse trajectory method, based on the Semi-Lagrangian scheme HYSPLIT for the period from December 2015 till March 2016 with the end points at the altitude of 3000m at 12 UTC. The average ratio of oxygen-18 content (expressed in the δ-ratio as the content of heavy oxygen in relation to the standard) in the snow mantle in Bratsk was -26, 54‰ in March 2015. Inside the snowpack the δ-rates vary from the horizon to the horizon from -21,52 to 28,1‰. It is considered as a relatively “heavy” isotope-oxygen composition. The authors find out that the influence of the Arctic air masses on the isotope composition of the snow mantle in Bratsk is quite insignificant. Of 44 precipitation days for the period from December 2015 till March 2016, 21 case was connected with the western air-mass transport from the Arctic, 5 cases were connected with the moisture coming from the Arctic sector, 15 cases – with the continental source and 3 cases – with the Sea of Okhotsk. 
Climates of the Arctic and Antarctica
Shestakova A.A. - The Novaya Zemlya bora: the downwind characteristics and the incident flotation structure pp. 86-98


Abstract: The Novaya Zemlya bora is the strong abrupt wind, appearing on the western shoulders of the Novaya Zemlya mountain. Such winds reckon in downwind storms, appearing upon the wind flowing over mountains. They are characterized by the increase of wind speed, air temperature jumps and the lapse of pressure on the downwind side. The character of atmospheric disturbances on the downwind side is determined by the landscape and the parameters of the incident flotation. Therefore, the authors give special attention to the structure of the incident flotation and hydrodynamic criteria of the partial blocking of the flow with mountains. Based on the observation data and the MERRA reanalysis, the authors analyze 12 episodes of the Novaya Zemlya bora. They define the specific temperature and wind structure of the incident flotation -  the presence of the raised inversion level, the low-tropospheric streamflow at the altitudes, close to the mountain height, the wind reaction to the height. The authors reveal the decrease of the partial blocking of the flow by the mountains in the moments of the bora maximum development. The authors demonstrate that the wind speed during bora is controlled, primarily, by the mesoscale pressure gradient, which can appear in the result of gravity waves distribution over the mountain (wave resistance). The authors show that the Novaya Zemlya bora is very similar to Novorossiysk bora and other winds of this type.  
Permafrost and ground ice of the Arctic
Vasil'chuk Y.K. - Geochemical composition of ground ice of the Russian Arctic pp. 99-115


Abstract: The paper studies the composition of water-soluble salts of ice wedges and massive ice of different regions of the Russian Arctic: Western Siberia, central and northern Yakutia, Chukotka. The research methodology is based on the fact, that the chemical composition of ground ice reflects the hydrochemical conditions of the period of ice formation or freezing and can serve as an important criterion for the reconstruction of a paleo-facial component in paleo-geocryological elaborations. To compare the ice of different regions, the author develops a hydro-chemical classification (systematization) of ground ice: ultra-fresh ice with mineralization less than 50 mg / l, fresh ice - 50-200 mg / l, desalted - 200-400 mg / l, light-salted - 400-1000 mg / l, mesohaline - 1000-5000 mg / l, highly saline - 5000 mg / l and more. The author finds out that ice mineralization is less than 0.05 g / l in more than a half of samples from the ice wedges in Chukotka, while the ice samples with the same mineralization reach only 16% of cases in Western Siberia and 14% of cases in Northern Yakutia. However, if we take a broader range – (mineralization less than 0.15 g / l), then the closest resemblance is observed. This range includes almost 100% of the analyzed samples in Chukotka, 89% in Western Siberia and 80% in Northern Yakutia. These findings suggest that though there are regional differences between the composition of salts in permafrost sediments of different Arctic regions of Eurasia (caused primarily by the uneven nature of air masses transport in wintertime and the different influence of seas and oceans), their similarity is much more significant. This manifests itself in low mineralization and dominance of hydrocarbons, indicating, most likely, the atmospheric nature of water that had fed ice wedges in the Late Pleistocene, in the Holocene and the present time. Certain findings of high-salt ice wedges in rare cases indicate the possibility of sea, lagoon and bog waters participation in the ice wedges formation in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene in the shallow water conditions. In the coastal areas high mineralization indicates the involvement of dead and salt-affected waters of seasonally thawed layer. Data on the hydrochemical composition of massive ice are often decisive for determining the genesis of ice layer. It had resulted in increase of salinity downward the massive ice section Ledyanaya Gora (Ice Mountain) in the Yenisei River valley, indicating the intra-ground origin of the ice. The lower horizons of massive ice in the New Siberian Archipelago formed syngenetically by the injection. Strongly mineralized (4700 mg / l) massive ice formed at epigenetic freezing process found in wells at great depths in the northern Urals and Pai-Khoi.
Grounds of Cold Regios
Kotelevets D.V., Skobelev A.D. - The ice content and the porosity of frozen grounds of the Kharasavey gas field according to electrical sounding data pp. 116-125


Abstract: The research object is the frozen grounds of the Kharasavey gas field (the Yamal peninsula), occurring at a depth of 50 m. The purpose of the paper is to study the electrophysical characteristics of frozen grounds, depending on such factors as lithology, thawed and frozen state, water salinity, humidity and porosity. At a temperature higher than the congelation temperature, the electric characteristics almost don’t depend on the temperature, but upon getting beyond this temperature point, significant changes of characteristics can be observed – a part of interstitial water freezes and turns into dielectric ice. The research was carried out in summer 2015 and was based on the electrical resistivity tomography method with the diversity from 7,5 to 221,5 m, helping achieve the desired depth. The research was carried out using the electrical resistivity tomography station “Omega-48”. The electromagnetic survey of vertical electric sounding in the modification of electrical resistivity tomography helps detect electrical characteristics of massive materials and their spacing. On the obtained electrical resistivity tomography profile the authors extract the layer of frozen sand, but its freezing within the studied area is not solid – in the eastern part the sand freezing zone decreases due to the presence of lakes, hampering sand freezing. The authors have found the geocryological structure, resembling cryopeg in its form and structure, in the studied profile. 
Military forces in the Arctic and Antarctica
Goncharov V.V. - On the Arctics role as a strategic missile-carriers base (the naval component of Russias nuclear triad) in the provision of Russias defense potential and security pp. 126-130


Abstract: The paper studies the Arctic’s role as a strategic missile-carriers’ base (the naval component of Russia’s “nuclear triad”) in the provision of Russia’s defense potential and security. The author compares the contemporary conditions of the “nuclear triad” of Russia and NATO member-states of the Nuclear Club (the USA, France and Great Britain). The author notes that the most important role in foreign “nuclear triads” is assigned to subsurface launch platforms, equipped with the advanced accurate nuclear weapons, and their numbers exceed the numbers of other two components of the “nuclear triad” (land-based intercontinental ballistic missile launchers and strategic air force). Besides, the Arctic region is the most primising place for Russian subsurface nuclear launch platforms basing from the viewpoint of their secrecy and unavoidability and suddenness of an attack against a potential enemy. The author applies the set of scientific research methods: comparative analysis, statistical, formal-logical and historical methods, modeling and prognostication. The author substantiates the further necessity to develop the forms and methods of use of the Arctic as a strategic missile-carriers’ base (the naval component of Russia’s “nuclear triad”) in the provision of Russia’s defense potential and security. It will improve the defense and security of our country, damp the ardour of NATO-states, preventing them from rash actions aimed at launching a local or a global war against Russia.  
Goncharov V.V., Poyarkov S.Y. - The Arctic in the 21st century: is the military struggle for this region possible? pp. 131-137


Abstract: The paper studies the causes and conditions of the possible scenarios that can cause conflicts between the global and regional powers over the access to the Arctic region resources. The authors suppose that the special geopolitical position of the Arctic, its natural resources, including the hydrocarbon and freshwater reserves, will have been causing conflicts between the key geopolitical actors – Russia, the US and China – from the second third of the 21st century. The authors apply the set of scientific research methods, including statistical, formal logical and historical methods, modeling and analysis. In the authors’ opinion, Russia should clearly define and substantiate the zone of its strategic interests in the Arctic basin and continental shelf, and realize comprehensive protection of this territory using political instruments. In case of military and political blackmail on the part of NATO, Russia should peremptorily formulate the idea that Russia’s part of the Arctic region is the zone of her strategic interests and any infringement on it will be repelled using all military means. 
Human, Arctic and Antarctica
Shchegolev I.B. - On the role of the Arctic in Russias economic development in the 21st century pp. 138-145


Abstract: The paper studies the role of the Arctic in the economic development of Russia in the 21st century. The author notes that the Arctic’s role in the economic development of our country hasn’t been significant so far. It can be explained, partially, by the fact that the huge mineral resources reserves of Siberia, the Urals and Russian Far East haven’t been comprehensively explored and used. However, the change of the economic situation in the world, the fall in hydrocarbons prices and the declining of freshwater resources substantiate the necessity for Russia to join the struggle for the Arctic resources development. The author applies the set of scientific research methods: description, the formal-logical method, statistical and historical methods, modeling and comparison. The author believes that not being involved in the development of the Arctic resources, Russia will not be able to keep the leading position in the economics and the status of a military superpower; therefore, there appears the risk of its dissolution, the loss of control over its territory and the deprivation of the state sovereignty and independence. 
Legal regimes of Arctic and Antarctica
Goncharov V.V., Kovaleva L.I. - The Arctic as a zone of clash of geopolitical interests of Russia and Western countries (modern problems and the ways to solve them) pp. 146-151


Abstract: The paper studies the Arctic as a zone of clash of geopolitical interests of Russia and Western countries. The authors analyze the main problems of the Arctic development by the Russian Federation and other states. These problems have become topical at the turn of the 21st century, particularly, in the result of the crisis of the global capitalist system, the depletion of hydrocarbon deposits and the shortage of freshwater. The authors offer the ways to solve these problems using the complex measures, programs and decisions of political, legal and economic character. The authors apply the set of scientific research methods, including statistical, formal-logical and historical methods, analysis and prognostication. The authors believe that the comprehensive and timely solution of these problems will help conduct proper and optimal development of raw materials resources of the Arctic waters by the Russian Federation, thus promoting the development of, on the one hand, its economic and financial spheres, and on the other hand, its defense and energy independence. 
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