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Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI)

Field Studies 2020: Ozernaya Party

From June 16 to July 6, 2020, employees of the FGBU VSEGEI Department of Regional Geoecology and Marine Geology carried out geological and geophysical surveys on Lake Baikal on the Professor A.A. Treskov research vessel of the Baikal Museum at the Irkutsk Scientific Center SB RAS.

Sunrise on Lake Baikal

All surveys were conducted in accordance with the geological assignment, the schedule and the Field Work Program under the State Contract Geological Study of Hazardous Processes caused by Hydrocarbon Migration in the Central Ecological Zone of the Baikal Natural Territory.

The surveying company consisted of five people: V.A. Shakhverdov (work coordinator), O.V. Dron (head of the Party), M.V. Shakhverdova (geologist), L.M. Budanov, A.A. Moskovtsev (geophysicists), and V.V. Khlybov (employee of OOO PGK Sibgeokom).

Members of the surveying company aboard the R/V Professor A.A. Treskov

Most of the studies 2020 were focused on the South and Central depressions of the lake and in the Maloe More (Small Sea). Geophysical surveys and geological observations were aimed at more detailed studying and monitoring of previously identified targets of hydrocarbon migration and assessing the prospects for identifying new targets within the lake water area. A set of maps is being compiled based on the results of the field work: environmental geological, geomorphological, lithological map of bottom surface (scale 1: 1,000,000 with inset maps at a scale of 1:200,000 and larger) and seismic geological sections of bottom sediments based on continuous seismic-acoustic profiling.

At the first stage, which lasted from June 18 to June 25, comprehensive geophysical surveys were made. At the second stage, from June 26, geological-geochemical and gas hydrochemical studies were carried out.

Maloe More. Shaman Kamen

During the expedition, observations were carried out at 36 stations (including stations for photo- and teleprofiling). Seafloor sampling with a box-corer bucket was performed at 32 stations, and with an immiscible benthic tube at 22 stations. The total amount of continuous seismoacoustic profiling has been 480 linear kilometers. A total of 45 profiles have been completed.

Geophysicists Leonid Budanov and Alexander Moskovtsev preparing the container with the Sparker emitter for operation

The data obtained from studying seismoacoustic sections in areas of gas crystallohydrate occurrences made it possible to identify a number of new potentially hydrate-bearing structures.

In addition, results of field observations indicate an essential role of geological processes in the mechanism of the formation of “ice rings” on the ice surface of Lake Baikal.

The importance of in-situ analytical studies of rapidly changing physicochemical characteristics of water and bottom soils for studying processes associated with the migration of hydrocarbons was confirmed by studying thermal springs on the bottom of the lake in the Zmeinaya Bay at a depth of about 3 meters.

In-situ measurements of rapidly changing physicochemical characteristics of water (V.A. Shakhverdov, M.V. Shakhverdova)

Diagrams of field measurements of the redox potential (Eh) of bottom water, the pH value of bottom water and soil, and the temperature demonstrate anomalous characteristics of the outgoing gas-saturated thermal water in the Zmeinaya Bay.


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