Students in the
Geology-Geophysics Department of Novosibirsk State University have the
opportunity for field training practice in the Gorny Altai mountains since 1963.
The United Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is leading extensive research on
paleo-geodynamic problems in the Altai Mountains, which is the central part of
the Ural-Mongolian folded belt of Eurasia (known as the Altaides Belt). This
Institute is tighly connected to our Department and our field training grounds.
Excursions and international
We have many scientific excursions to the Gorny Altai
Region; these excursions are partly connected with the international geologic
symposia. Scientists and lecturers from the USA, Japan, Belgium, Germany and
other countries are leading field research and other international projects in
this area. Our Department, between 1986 and 1999, has repeatedly led exchanges
with universities of other countries in which their students and professors
worked with our students and professors in the Gorny Altai Region.
You’ll see a wide range of
All of the geological objects at the training
site are located along M-52 [a highway], which goes from Novosibirsk via
Gorno-Altaisk to Tashanta (a settlement near Mongolia). The mountain landscape
and geological outcrops begin on the 417th km from Novosibirsk and extends till
the 950th km after Kosh-Agach. For a distance of 500 km via the Altai mountains,
we observe many different changes; climatic and vegetable belts, altitude levels
of relief from the West-Siberian Plain to low and middle erosional mountain
relief (up to an alt. of 2500m), also high mounts with alpine type relief (alt.
3500-4200m). In regards to geology, the site has a wide range of Palaeozoic
cretional-cjllisional sedimentary, metamorphic and magmatic rock formations, and
uncomformly overlying Cenozoic sedimentary deposits of orogenic complex. There
are deposits of lignites and coals, as well as non-ferrous metals, hematite,
cinnabar and rare metal ores on the site.
Paleovolcano, Batholide &
Participating in the learning process, students
make geological observations and document the extensive diversity of objects and
geologic processes [for example - “Paleovolcano”, “Batholite”, “Row of
formations [sedimentary-volcanic]”, “Glacier”, “Seismodislocation”, “Springs”,
and so on]. All in all there are about 100 geologic objects prepared for
training. The general goals of the Gorny Altai field training practice is for
The general goals of our field
Strengthen the theoretical knowledge of Geology using examples
of concrete objects in nature;
Acquire the beginning skills of topographic orientation in
landscape, geological observations and documentation;
Acquire methods of logic analyses and generalisation of
Acquire beginning skills of organising work in independent
field research. Each of 4-person-groups of students should do all the necessary
work in the field-camp, including cooking meals at the field campfire for the
whole 38-person group;
Acquire skills of observing the rules of Safety Measures in
hard mountain conditions.
Our thematic groups and divisions
During the field educational process, the training objects are usually
subdivided into the following thematic groups and divisions:
Modern and fresh geologic processes
Geomorphology and neotectonics.
Geological bodies (composition, structure, and
Magmatic minerals, rocks, formations.
Hydrothermal minerals, rocks, formations.
Sedimentary minerals, rocks, formations.
Unconformities between geological complexes.
At the end of field practice, each student’s group has to write
collectively a short geological field-report and defend it in the field-camp on
the shore of the Katun-River, the largest river in the Altai mountains.