Norilsk Second Great Expedition Experts Will Make ‘Digital Copies’ of Study Areas – Science & Space
TASS, June 23. The second major Norilsk expedition of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences will operate in the summer. Experts will make “digital copies” of the areas and waters studied, the Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday.
In 2020, the Siberian branch sent for the first time in recent years to the Taimyr Peninsula at the invitation of Nornickel a large scientific expedition for large-scale studies of the territory to analyze the environmental consequences of the fuel spill at the Norilsk power station. During the second expedition, scientists will make “digital copies” of the areas and waters studied, said the director of the ecological research center, Nikolai Yurkevich.
“We plan to have a dynamic geographic information system model of the hydroelectric network, and hydrological and morphological-metric models of the landscapes,” the scientist said according to the statement. The model will be used to analyze the potential stability and dangers of exogenous processes as well as to see possible sources of surface pollutants for a certain area.
Over the summer, scientists will mainly focus on evaluating the dynamics of the contamination. “We plan to repeat the routes from the previous year along the rivers Daldykan, Ambarnaya, Pyasina, Lake Pyasino and the bottom areas. We see some risk of recontamination due to washing the remaining fuel from the soil by high water: we take this into consideration when planning measurements and sampling, ”he said.
The summer 21 field teams will include similar specialists, as a year earlier, from 14 research institutes, based in Norilsk, Yakutsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Barnaul. The expedition will consist of three stages. The main objectives will be to study water and soil surfaces, sediments, flora and fauna, as well as permanently frozen soils.
“First, we will focus on the hydrocarbons in the source waters. Later, we will study the soils and sediments before Nornickel begins revegetation as planned. The third step would be to analyze its effectiveness and assess the remaining risks – this will happen already in the fall, “added the scientist.
Accident on Taimyr
The fuel spill occurred in May 2020, when a tank unsealed and 20,000 tonnes of fuel flowed out. The Krasnoyarsk Region Arbitration Court partially satisfied a request from the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resource Use (Rosprirodnadzor) and a fine of 146 billion rubles ($ 2 billion). Nornickel paid the fine.