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 symposia
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 geological
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 training
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 collected facts.
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
Acquire skills of observing the rules of Safety Measures in hard mountain
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 forms)
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.