In 1948, on the basis of mining and geological services of the Chief Directorate of the Northern Pole Route, the Scientific Research Institute of Arctic Geology (SRIAG) was established to study the geological structure and appreciate the prospects for minerals in the Central and Eastern sectors of the Soviet Arctic. It was here where the country's economy shattered by the war, could count on expanding its mineral and raw materials base.
The first director of the Institute was the geologist of the pre-war school, battle-front veteran Boris V. Tkachenko.
Within the short period of time, huge areas from the Urals and Pay-Khoy to the Northeast region, including the islands of the Arctic Ocean, were mapped in the millionth, and then in the two-hundred-thousandth scale. State geological mapping of the Arctic land led to the systematic scientific and informational basis for such discoveries as "Big Norilsk", Ust-Yenisey gas, apatite and rare earth/rare metal giants of the north of Yakutia and the Krasnoyarsk region, gold on Taimyr and Northern Earth. The fundamental consolidated maps of the Arctic developed by the scientific school of SRIAG have received wide recognition in the international geological forums.
At the turn of the 1950s and 60s, the SRIAG specialists at first on their own initiative, and then due to the state programs, proceeded to the Arctic Ocean with the large geological and geophysical works that had the economical, international legal, navigational and defense significance. The results of these years of research are in high demand now, when the Arctic has again become an object of special state interest.
The boundary of the 1960-70s was marked by a radical turn of activity of SRIAG from the Arctic land to the water area. In 1972 “Sevmorgeo” Research and Production Association was established as part of SRIAG (parent organization), as well as other several large geological prospecting expeditions that gave the start to the purposeful works in the oil and gas field on the Arctic shelf, that was a new branch of the country’s national economy.
The distinguished scientist, academician Igor S. Gramberg, whose name is worn today All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean, became the Director-General of the new Association and simultaneously the Director of the Institute.
The form of the research and production association turned out to be most effective. In less than two decades, the West-Arctic offshore oil and gas province, that was the energy base of the future, was discovered and prepared for development by the marine enterprises of the USSR Ministry of Geology and the Fuel and Energy Department under the scientific and methodological guidance of the Institute.
Guided by the idea of integrated development of the minerals of the ocean, the Institute initiated the study of the placers of the Arctic shelf and islands.
The initial task was to create sheets of a geological map at a scale of 1: 1,000,000 in the water area of the Arctic shelf, and later also in the adjacent oceanic region.
In the 1970-80 the Institute gained international recognition as a leader in studying the natural phenomenon of the submarine gas hydrates.
The second turning point in the history of the Institute was exploration of the deep-sea region of the World Ocean outside the Arctic and Antarctic (boundary of the 1970s-1980s).
In 1981, SRIAG was renamed into the All-Union (now All-Russian) Scientific and Research Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean. The revolutionary role was played by the project "Ocean Geotraverses" that was a fundamentally new method for studying the ocean's lithosphere based on a backbone network of unified geological and geophysical "Corridors".
In 1976, the Institute established the scientific unit for the study of solid minerals of the World Ocean bottom. The main expedition works was assumed by the marine exploration companies of the world level (Yuzhmorgeologiya, Polar Marine Geosurvey Expedition JSC etc.), while the Institute performed the formation of the fundamental basis for the new scientific area - ocean minerageny and the current scientific and methodological support of the forecasting and searching process. As a result, our country received the sites from the International Seabed Authority to study iron manganese nodules (1987) and deep-sea polymetallic sulphides (2011).
The 1990s were difficult for native geology. For VNIIOkeangeologia it was the period of processing of a huge array of accumulated geological and geophysical information at the most modern level. During this period were established the comprehensive generalizing papers relating to the main field of activity.
On October 19, 2002, academician I.S. Gramberg who was the head of the Institute for three decades, passed away. The third director became the well-known geophysicist and organizer of marine expeditionary works, now corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Valery Dmitrievich Kaminsky.
In the 2000s, the main research objects of VNIIOkeangeologia entered the stage of industrial development (oil and gas of the Arctic shelf) and geological prospecting (solid minerals of the World Ocean). Accordingly, the Institute has proceeded to a fundamentally new field of activity that is information and analytical support of subsoil use (geological and economic assessment of resource facilities, monitoring of status of the water area investigation and monitoring of the license process, preparation of regulatory documents, etc.). The entire complex is aimed at justifying the strategy of resource activities on the shelf and in the ocean and establishment of the relevant state programs.
The driving force of research activities in the last decade has become an important geopolitical problem of justifying the outer limit of the Russian continental shelf in the Arctic by geological and geophysical methods. The works were began by All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of the World Ocean named after academician I.S. Gramberg in the 1980s, and now they are carried out on a broad interdepartmental basis using the latest technologies and technical means. At the same time, the Institute shall provide the methodological support of researches and prepare the final application. The unique field experiments carried out in the Arctic Ocean have given information on the lithosphere structure. The new non-standard geological and geophysical material requires both the establishment of adequate methods for its processing and interpretation, as well as new conceptual approaches in perception of the geological evolution of the Northern Polar region of the Earth.
The ultimate goal of fundamental researches is the development of a general model of Arctic mineralogenesis that links the processes of the ocean, shelf and continental formation of oil and ore, with the resulting forecasting and search for new super-large and unique deposits. The main geological and economic task is to determine the importance of the mineral potential of the Arctic in the general mineral and raw material balance of Russia and to develop a state strategy for its exploration.
190121, Saint-Petersburg, Angliyskiy av., 1