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Mystery 24,5 million cubic meters

RGO scientists understand the reasons for the landslide on the Storm

Employees of the Khabarovsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society once again visited the site of the collapse of the ground in the Bureya Reservoir. Alexey Makhinov, chairman of the regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society, deputy director for scientific work at the Institute of Water and Environmental Problems, said why the incident was not a meteorite, a rocket and not a curse of a shaman.

Mystery 24,5 million cubic meters
Photo: "Amur truth"
"Drunk forest" as a sign

The incident on the Bureya reservoir happened 11 December last year. It became known about him only at the end of the month, when local hunters happened to be on the spot.

There were many versions, and not scientific ones at all: the fall of a meteorite, the fall of a rocket or its steps, the fall of a strongly heated metal object that still lies at the bottom, some gravitational ejection and even a spiraling ether in the rotator loop of the ethersphere. Khabarovsk scientists have never heard of the latter and cannot even imagine what it is. And the version about the curse of a certain shaman, who in the Bureya region was thrown out of the plane by the Chekists, is considered to be nonsense at all. Now scientists are firmly and bluntly claiming a grand landslide in the reservoir.

“Such landslides occur on the globe in large numbers, mainly in large mountains. On the Bureyskoye reservoir, the stall wall, the sliding surface, the landslide body and one of the most characteristic phenomena - “drunken forest” - slipped, bent trees are perfectly visible, ”explained Alexey Makhinov.


One of the reasons for the landslide was the soil rock. It turned out that in this place it is very ancient - about 600 years old, while loose and fragile. Near the wall of failure, scientists have discovered many cracks, and this suggests that such landslides will occur more than once. However, it is difficult to predict exactly where it will happen, when, and by what strength. Scientists feared that this could happen during military explosions, but then it cost.

“The rocks were broken by a rift that went from the opposite slope. They are fragmented to such an extent that they are erased to places in a clay composition, ”said Alexey Makhinov.

TOO cool

The power of the landslide was influenced by the steep slope. Breaking down, the ground with great force collapsed in the reservoir. A wave has risen more than 50 meters in height. The water flooded the slope on the opposite bank and, leaving, swept trees away from it, either went into the tributaries of the Bureya and damaged the banks in the valley of the Sandar river, or simply walked along the reservoir.

Now this tsunami is reminiscent of living frost, blocks of ice on the hills and dumped trees almost at the top of the slope.

“All the trees that the backward wave brought turned into slivers. The reservoir and tributaries are clogged with a huge amount of such debris. When we drilled ice to measure its thickness, we had to cut its upper part, because it was filled with this wood, ”said Alexey Makhinov.

Scientists claim that the hunters did not cheat by reporting about hot stones near a landslide, but the reason for this was not an explosion or the fall of something hot, but water that leaked after the tsunami into the ground filled cracks and began to evaporate due to the heat inside the earth. Nor did the devices that showed the thermal anomaly around the landslide lie. Nothing supernatural happened: the ground frozen to -38 degrees collapsed and exposed the rock that was deeper and was much warmer - up to + 7 degrees.

“This contrast is from temperatures where almost 40 degrees of difference, you can even feel it by touch. This thermal anomaly satellites and spotted. Two days passed, and the anomaly disappeared. Where? It's just that the surface is frozen, ”explained Machinov.

Another cause of the landslide, according to the scientist, was the reservoir. When it was built, the lower part of the slope was flooded with water. For cracks and voids, it penetrated deep into the slope and made it even more unstable. However, this incident will not affect further conclusions on the construction of hydropower plants and reservoirs. They will continue to be built, but when designing, they will carefully conduct geological studies of the shores.


Scientists call the two main problems of the landslide - the lack of water for the hydropower station and the flooding of the village Chekunda and other settlements, as well as the BAM infrastructure. If the first problem was solved by the military due to 11 explosions and the creation of a canal on the reservoir, then you can’t do anything with the second one.

“Explosions are not the solution. The channel solves the problem of hydroelectric power station, it will work next year. But hopes that the water will wash away the shores and expand the canal are few. Therefore, there remains the threat of flooding the village of Chekunda. In the summer or in the autumn floods, water can rise very high. The village, despite all the actions of the military, is doomed, it must be resettled, ”says Alexey Makhinov.

Another problem may be the very fragments of trees that were in the river after the tsunami. According to the scientist, there is a lot of wood and the problem is to collect it. If special vessels of hydroelectric power plants collect it from the lower side of the reservoir, then nobody can come up from the upper side - navigation will be disturbed: barges will not be able to walk, it is also difficult for local residents, who in the summer move along the Bureya by boats.

“A dam is a long time, maybe a thousand years to exist. There is no way to find a workaround there - on the other hand, very strong rocks, so the decision to break through the channel on the spot was the most correct one. This itself is not eliminated, a large number of rocks collapsed, and only their unevenness allowed the channel to be broken through, ”the scientist explained.


The landslide volume amounted to 24,5 million cubic meters of soil, while a significant part of it is under water. Above it - all 4,5 million cubic meters. This is the main problem.

Not all the rocks in the Bureya region are of the same loose composition as those that descended in December, but there are such areas and they need to be looked for. This requires detailed geological work. They are planning to organize RusHydro in the near future. Khabarovsk scientists in any case intend to conduct their research and go to a place closer to the summer.

“We will not stop the landslide, we will not attach it to the slope, but we will know that such a phenomenon can occur, and in the surroundings, where it can happen, do not build hunting lodges, recreation centers, berths, and overnight stays,” noted Makhinov.
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