Advanced search

Community Ice Cellars In Eastern Chukotka: Climatic And Anthropogenic Influences On Structural Stability

Full Text:


The large community ice cellar designs in eastern Chukotka are unique within the Arctic due to the mixed influences from the indigenous Chukchi people and western industry. Community ice cellars here were designed and constructed in the 1950s-60s to accommodate both food stores for local indigenous residents and feed stores for Arctic fox fur farms. Like much of the Arctic, this region is undergoing unprecedented climate change. Air temperatures within the study area have been increasing at an average rate of 0.7°C per decade since the 1950s. Exacerbating the adverse effects of the warming climate is the lack of ice cellar maintenance in communities where the fur industry did not survive the transition to a market economy. Today, all but two community ice cellars in eastern Chukotka have flooded or collapsed. Presented in this work are thermal records from two cellars in the region that allow for both climatic and anthropogenic influences on the cellars’ structural integrity to be evaluated. Particularly effective ice cellar maintenance practices utilized in the community of Lorino were 1) wintertime ventilation, and 2) placing large blocks of river ice in the cellar in spring to mitigate spring and summer warming.

About the Authors

Alexey A. Maslakov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography

Leninskie Gory 1, 119991 Moscow.

Kelsey E. Nyland
The George Washington University
United States

Department of Geography

2036 H St. NW, 20052 Washington, DC

Nina N. Komova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography

Leninskie Gory 1, 119991 Moscow.

Fedor D. Yurov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation

Faculty of Geography

Leninskie Gory 1, 119991 Moscow.

Kenji Yoshikawa
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
United States
2160 Koyukuk Dr. 99775 Fairbanks, Alaska

Gleb N. Kraev
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science of the Russian Academy
Amsterdam 1081


1. Biskaborn B.K., Smith S.L., Noetzli J., Matthes H. et al. (2019). Permafrost is Warming at a Global Scale. Nature Communications, 10(1), 264, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08240-4.

2. Bulygina O.N., Razuvayev V.N., Trofimenko L.T., Shvets N.V. (2020). Automated Information System for Processing Regime Information (AISPRI). Available at: [Accessed on 19 May 2020].

3. Canadian Museum of Nature. (2020). A Community Ice House Dug Deep into Arctic Permafrost. Available at: [Accessed on 12 April 2020].

4. Darling M. Corps extends Permafrost Tunnel and Mission. Available at: [Accessed on 16 May 2020].

5. Federal State Statistics Service. Available at: [Accessed on 31 March 2020].

6. Genest M. (2017). Cold Storage Solutions: Tuktoyaktuk Ice House. First We Eat. Food Security North of 60. Avaliable at: [Accessed on 12 April 2020].

7. George J.C., Wetzel D., O’Hara T.M., Robertson K. et al. (2008). An Analysis of Ancient Bowhead Whale Mangtak from Gambell Alaska: What can it Tell Us? International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee Documents, SC-60-E2, Santiago, Chile: International Whaling Commission.

8. Guo D., Wang H. (2016). CMIP5 Permafrost Degradation Projection: A Comparison Among Different Regions. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121(9), 4499-4517.

9. Ivanov V.F. Quaternary Sediments of Eastern Chukotka Coastal Area (1986). Vladivostok: DVNTS AN SSSR (in Russian).

10. Kalnay E., Kanamitsu M., Kistler R., Collins W. et al. (1996). The NCEP/NCAR 40-Year Reanalysis Project. American Meteorological Society,77, 437-471.

11. Kenny T.A., Wesche S.D., Fillion M., MacLean J., Chan H.M. (2018). Supporting Inuit Food Security: A Synthesis of Initiatives in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Northwest Territories. Canadian Food Studies/La Revue Canadienne des études sur L’alimentation, 5(2), 73-110.

12. Kintisch E. (2015). These Ice Cellars Fed Arctic People for Generations. Now They’re Melting. National Geographic. Available at: [Accessed 02.03.2020].

13. Kozlov A.I., Nuvano V., Zdor E. (2008). Chukotka Diet, Khimiya and Zhizn, 4, 42-45 (in Russian).

14. Kottek M., Grieser J., Beck C., Rudolf B., Rubel F. (2006). World Map of the Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification Updated. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 15, 2, 259-263.

15. Kozlov A. (2004). Impact of Economic Changes on the Diet of Chukotka Natives. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 63 (4), 235-242, DOI: 10.3402/ijch.v63i3.17717.

16. Krainii Sever, Chtoby i s morzhom i s ryboi (To have Both: Walruses and Fish). (2019). Available at: [Accessed 24.05.2019].

17. Krupnik I.I. Arctic Ethnoecology. (1989). Moscow: Nauka. (in Russian with English summary).

18. Maslakov A.A., Belova N.G., Baranskaya A.V., Romanenko F.A. (2018). Massive Ice Beds on the Eastern Coast of the Chukchi Peninsula During Climate Warming: Some Results of the 2014-2018 Expeditions. Arctic and Antarctic, 4, 30-43, DOI: 10.7256/2453-8922.2018.4.28528. (in Russian with English summary).

19. Maslakov A., Shabanova N., Zamolodchikov D., Volobuev V., Kraev G. (2019). Permafrost Degradation within Eastern Chukotka CALM Sites in the 21st Century Based on CMIP5 Climate Models. Geosciences, 9(5), 232, DOI: 10.3390/geosciences9050232.

20. Melnikov V.P., Fedorov R.Yu. (2018). The Role of Natural Cryogenic Resources in Traditional Subsistence Systems of the Peoples of Siberia and the Far East. Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta (Tomsk State University Journal), 426, 133-141, DOI: 10.17223/15617793/426/17 (in Russian with English summary).

21. Mosmetrostroy. Available online: [Accessed 15 May 2020].

22. Nyland K.E., Klene A.E., Brown J., Shiklomanov N.I., Nelson F.E., Streletskiy D.A., Yoshikawa K. (2017). Traditional Iñupiat Ice Cellars (SIĠļUAQ) in Barrow, Alaska: Characteristics, Temperature Monitoring, and Distribution. Geographical Review, 107(1), 143-158.

23. Obu J., Westermann S., Bartsch A., Berdnikov N. et al. (2019). Northern Hemisphere Permafrost Map Based on TTOP Modelling for 2000–2016 at 1 km2 Scale. Earth-Science Reviews, 193, 299-316.

24. Oparin D.A. (2012). Chukotsky Autonomous Okrug. In: The North and the northern people: Current Situation of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Far East of Russia. Eds: Novikova N.I., Funk D.A. Moscow: IEA RAS. (in Russian).

25. Pachauri R.K., Allen M.R., Barros V.R., Broome J. et al. (2014). Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Geneva: IPCC.

26. Porter C. et al. ArcticDEM. Available online, DOI: 10.7910/DVN/OHHUKH [Accessed 1 March 2019].

27. Shur Y., French H.M., Bray M.T., Anderson D.A. (2004). Syngenetic Permafrost Growth: Cryostratigraphic Observations from the CRREL Tunnel near Fairbanks, Alaska. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 15(4), 339-347.

28. The Population of the Russian Federation by Municipalities. (2020). [online]. Available at: [Accessed 13 March 2020].

29. Weather in the World. (2020). [online] Available at: [Accessed 28 February 2020].

30. Weingartner K., Antonov E., Maslakov A. (In Press). Assessing Energy Security in Nome and Lavrentiya. How Breaking Down Energy and Governance Silos Makes a Difference. In: Urban Sustainability in the Arctic: Measuring Circumpolar Progress, 129-159.

31. Whalers of the Chukotka Region have Fully Mastered the Quota for the Hunting of Gray Whale. (2019). Available at: [Accessed 5 March 2020].

32. Yoshikawa K., Osipov D., Serikov S., Permyakov P. et al. (2016). Traditional Ice Cellars (Lednik, Bulus) in Yakutia: Characteristics, Temperature Monitoring, and Distribution. Arctic 21 Century. Environmental Sciences, 1(4), 15-22.

For citation:

Maslakov A.A., Nyland K.E., Komova N.N., Yurov F.D., Yoshikawa K., Kraev G.N. Community Ice Cellars In Eastern Chukotka: Climatic And Anthropogenic Influences On Structural Stability. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 0;.

Views: 88

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)