FSBI "VNIIOkeangeologia"
Leading Research Institute in the field of marine geology

Laboratory of the Geomonitoring of the mineral resources

Laboratory of the Geomonitoring of the mineral resources

Main directions:

The Laboratory of Geomonitoring of the mineral resources has been working since 1995 to determine the background state of the geological environment in the coastal shallow waters and the shores of the White, Barents, Kara and Okhotsk Seas. Starting in 2012, the task of the Lab included monitoring of the state of the subsoils of coastal-shelf zones in connection with intensive economic development of the territory (the Sea of Japan, Peter the Great Bay).

Key areas of work to determine the background state of the environment conducted by the laboratory:

  1. Kandalaksha Gulf - (map scale 1: 200 000);
  2. Zolotitskiy district - (map scale 1: 200 000);
  3. Czyoszkaya Bay - (map scale 1: 500 000);
  4. Varandey - (map scale 1: 200 000);
  5.  Baydaratskaya Bay- (map scale 1: 1 000 000);
  6. Kolguyev Island - (map scale 1: 500 000);
  7. Gulf of Ob - (map scale 1: 1 000 000);


  • A modern estimate of the background state of bottom sediments, water column and shores in the areas of expected intensive industrial and economic development and the forecast for the development of dangerous geological processes, including triggered by industrial impact on the geological environment;
  • Assessment of the geochemical state of the components of the environment (bottom sediments, water column) and identification of the main flows of pollutants, the conditions for their migration and accumulation;
  • Assessment of the state and development of geodynamic and lithodynamic processes in shallow areas and shores with the detection of the sector of washing-out, transit and accumulation of sedimentary material, including pollutants;
  • The current state of the geocryological conditions of the coastal zone and the forecast of changes in the geological environment under the influence of anthropogenic load in the process of industrial and economic development of the region;
  • The current state of hydrogeological conditions of the territory and the assessment of the possibility of using supermafrost waters for economic and industrial needs in the process of industrial and economic development of the region;
  • Assessment of the general geological and ecological situation, including the search and the assessment of pollution sources
  • Obtaining of information on the structure and lithological composition of surface bottom sediments on a depth of up to 40 m; the presence and character of the distribution of permafrost, the depth of their bedding and distribution (high-frequency acoustic profiling), the study of the geomorphological features of the bottom surface (location of the lateral survey);

Main achievements (on the example of the Ob Bay):

The following significant results were obtained as a result of works to determine of the background state of the geological environment in the northern part of the Ob Bay:

  • A spatial relationship has been established between the concentration of mercury in the suspended bottom layer of the water column and gas condensate fields and promising structures;
  • Various elements of the types of permafrost layers are isolated and mapped, the main problems of technical and domestic drinking water are covered and the prospects of water supply in the region are estimated;
  • The sections of roofing of perennial frozen rocks have been identified and the depth of their occurrence has been determined;
  • A section with gas outlets directly into the water column was identified;

Current project:

State contract 30/07 / 60-13 "The state monitoring of the state of subsoil resources of the coastal shelf zone of Peter the Great Bay in connection with intensive economic development of the territory".

Technical support:

The laboratory is provided with a computer and office equipment. There is equipment for the field works - bottom samplers, dredges, 10 m long hydrostatic soil tube, 3 m long gravity tube, profile recorder  Edge Tech SB-216S, echo sounder - chartplotter Lowrance HDS 9 Gen 2 Touch, gradienter Sokkia b4OA, Ford-Transit, inflatable boat Frigate-420 with a outboat motor Honda-30. Also there is the laboratory equipment for the extraction of petroleum hydrocarbons, extraction of suspended matter from water, separation of the gas phase from bottom sediments and water, determination of physical and mechanical parameters of bottom sediments.

Proposals for contract work:

 ​In addition to solving the problems mentioned above the laboratory of the geomonitoring of the subsoil can search for solid minerals, including placer deposit and building materials. So, for example, we discovered a field of gravel-pebble mixture near the Kolguev island.