Siberia and Mongolia

A view towards the frozen Lena River from the entrance of Ledyanaya Lenskaya Cave (Icy Lena Cave) in Eastern Siberia. This picture was taken by A. Vaks during the March 2010 fieldwork funded by NERC.

Our work in Siberia and Mongolia is focused on constraining the Pliocene-Quaternary history of permafrost and desert aridity from a latitudinal series of Siberian and Mongolian speleothems (cave deposits) using precise and accurate U-Th and U-Pb ages. It includes an assessment of the onset of the permafrost conditions during the Pliocene-Early Pleistocene global cooling, the changing extent of permafrost during the glacial-interglacial cycles, development of desert conditions in Mongolia and the relationship between the Siberian permafrost, Mongolian desert aridity and mean global temperatures. This research is performed in collaboration with O. Gutareva from Institute of Earth’s Crust (Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk); A. Osinzev from the Arabica Caving club in Irkutsk, Russia; E. Avirmed from Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and S. Breitenbach, EHT, Zurich, Switzerland.