Tomsk State University
36 Lenina Pr.
Russia, 634050
Station Manager:
Sergey Kirpotin

TA/RA contacts:
Olga Morozova

Other contacts:
Sergey Astakhov

Collaborator in the project until spring 2022


The Aktru Research Station belongs to the National Research Tomsk State University, Russia.


The Aktru Research Station is located in the south-eastern part of the Altai Republic close to the borders to Mongolia and China in the centre of the Eurasian Continent (50°06’03” N, 87°40’14’’ E). With an altitude of 2150 m a.s.l., the station is situated in the high alpine part of the Altai Mountains. The nearest settlement is Kuray village about 30 km southeast of the station. The nearest town is Gorno-Altaisk, about 250 km northwest of the station.


The Aktru Research Station is surrounded by a wide range of ecosystems changing with altitude: Kuray basin intermountain steppe, steppe belt on the mountain slopes, forest belt, high mountain belt with alpine landscapes and glaciers, high-mountain tundra (“goltsy”) as well as cryophyte steppe landscapes. A typical high-mountain vegetation is the “Pseudo-tundra”, formed in the periphery of glacial fields under Pleistocene continental climate conditions. Some rare animal species reside in Aktru valley, e.g. snow leopards, wolverines, lynx, musk deer, mountain goats, cranes, and lama ducks.


The Aktru Research Station was founded in 1956 by V.M. Tronov and has been in operation until today. From 1975 to 1995, a meteorological station was operated by the State Hydrometeorological Service. Since 2008 new buildings were constructed comprising a staff house, a dining room for 150 persons, a summer cafeteria for 30 persons, a diesel station as well as showers and toilets. The older buildings, recently renovated includes a ‘hospital’, classrooms, three apartments (housing c. 60 people), a warehouse, a Banya (Russian sauna), and a tent camp for 200 persons.


The research at Aktru Research Station focuses on glaciology, hydrology, meteorology, geomorphology, ecology, botany, zoology, and soil science. The main aims are to study climate-driven glaciers dynamics, hydrological regimes, cryogenic processes, landscape patterns, and biota. Different international projects investigate mountain mires in terms of climate-driven changes of landscape patterns, biogeochemistry, and productivity. Kuray Basin, an inter-mountain depression, situated at the foot of the North-Chuya Range (10 km from Aktru Station) is a key site for studying the Altai mega floods. Existing databases contain records on climate, hydrology, and glacier dynamics as well as on plants and vegetation-cover ecology.


The traditional Altai’s and Kazakh’s culture still plays a major role in the daily life of the region (nomadic animal husbandry, fishing, and hunting). Also ecological tourism, alpine tourism, and research are important for the local economy.


The Aktru Research Station can be reached from Kuray village (30 km of bad road, four-wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended and can be rented in Kuray village). The nearest airports are Barnaul (650 km), Tolmachevo in Novosibirsk (880 km), and Bogashevo in Tomsk (1150 km). All these airports are connected to Moscow by daily flights.


This service is provided by INTERACT partner MAPILLARY

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