In 1997 the Institute of Experimental Mineralogy, RAS, continued the investigations under the total reduction of State budget financing of basic researches and the reorientation towards the support of, primarily, scientific projects of specified purpose (the system of grants). The Institute preserved the major trend of research being carried our throughout its 30-year history on Physical-chemical problems of the process of formation of minerals, rocks, and ores in the Earth's crust and mantle as a basis for the forecast and search for mineral deposits and upheld the basic character of the work performed. The research works were concentrated on 13 fundamental, one applied and one search topics. Some domains of the topics are included into:
The investigations carried out at the Institute were supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research projects (in 31 of which the Institute was the head organization), by four INTAS projects and by some other Russian and foreign grants.
In 1997 in connection with the reconstruction of the RAS the Institute's structure was substantially reorganized, the research subject matter was amalgamated, efforts were taken to still more increase the efficiency of the scientific work, to employ the financial, material, and personnel and staff potentialities to the fullest extent. Now there are 5 structural research laboratories and two scientific research groups at the Institute. Their work is aided by the laboratory of physical studies, scientific information bureau, and experimental - technologic department. The number of the topics is reduced from 15 to 8, centering on the solution of fundamental problems of geology, geochemistry, mineralogy, and physical-chemical petrology in line with the research priorities stated by the Government of the Russian Federation.
Physical-chemical studies of the composition and structure of deep Earth's zones with the goal of creating the foundations of geodynamic and new methods of diamond synthesis;
Radioecologic investigations (creation of novel matrices and models for burial of radioactive waste);
Physical-chemical problems of magmatism and the associated ore-formation (thermodynamic, structural, and physical-chemical properties of melts, magmatic dynamics, modeling of ore genesis processes);
Physical-chemical problems of hydrothermal processes (thermodynamics of water-salt and water-gas systems, mineral equilibria involving soluble complexes, mathematical simulation, physical-chemical problems of metasomatism and the associated mineralization);
Physical-chemical problems of metamorphism as the base for understanding the Earth's evolution (geodynamic one included) and the lithosphere formation processes, for forecasting and controlling the processes occurring in the Earth's interior and the ecological consequences);
Synthesis and modification of minerals and rocks (crystal growth technology, investigation of crystal-physical processes for creating novel technologies and materials).
Every year young specialists Higher School and University graduates come to the Institute. In 1997 the leading scientists of the Institute V.A.Zharikov (RAS member), A.A.Marakushev (RAS member), L.L.Perchuk (Dr.Sci. in geology and mineralogy, professor), G.P.Zaraiskii (Dr.Sci. in geology and mineralogy, professor), A.R.Kotel'nikov (Dr.Sci. in geology and mineralogy), T.V.Gerya (Ph.D. in geology and mineralogy) along with their research work directed much effort towards pedagogical work giving lectures and supervising laboratory exercises at the Moscow State University, Dep. of Geology. Students of this department and of other Russian Higher Schools do their practical work in the laboratories of the Institute before they defend their degrees and diplomas. 5 students are taking their post-graduate course at the IEM RAS, two post-graduates take their courses in the USA.
Beginning in 1997 the Institute joined the Federal Research program 'Integration' aimed at promoting a better relationship between the Higher School and academic sciences.
As a result of a competition selection of the research priorities and competent supervision of these priority work by the Institute's leading scientists the standard and efficiency of research work have considerably increased. The IEM RAS excels many other institutes of geological profile in the number of grants (31 grants form the Russian Foundation for basic Research, 5 foreign grants) and in the number of publications in the distinguished foreign journals per one scientist.
Most important theroretical and experimental results were obtained in 1997 in a number of research demains, contributing appreciably to the development of the Earth's science.
Out of most significant results obtained in the year 1997 the following are worth mentioning.
1. For the first time diamond was synthesized in unconventional alkali-carbonate systems Na2Mg(CO3)2 C (graphite) and Na2KMg(CO3)2 C (graphite) compositionally related to carbonate inclusions in natural diamonds from kimberlites. Transparent octahedral crystals of diamond (0.10-0.15 mm grains) were synthesized under pressure of 80-100 kbar. Also, diamond single crystals were seed-grown. The growth of the diamond faces was found to proceed in octahedral layers similar to the growth processes of natural diamond single crystals which is of great importance for the understanding of their crystallization mechanism, for designing the physical chemical model of diamond genesis in the Earth's mantle, and for the production technology of synthetic diamonds (Yu.A. Litvin (Dr. Sci., in Chemistry), L.T. Chudinovskikh (Ph.Dr. in Geology and Mineralogy).
2. The concept of the phase and chemical compatibility (PCC) in the system matrix-host rock was formulated. The processes of sorption of elements-simulators (Sr,Cs,Ce) on alumosilicate and circonium-phosphate sorbents were experimentally studied. The synthesis conditions of crystalline matrix materials were optimized. It was shown that the phase transition temperatures are within 840-1000oC for alumosilicate sorbents. Samples of matrix materials demonstrating high leaching resistance were synthesized at these parameters (A.P. Kotel'nikov (D.Sci. in Geology and Mineralogy)).
3. Methods of thermodynamics of irreversible processes were used to obtained general expressions for substance fluxes at metasomatosis as a function of P,T, Kin. Intricate types of metasomatosis G int +G dif, G inf + G T, G inf + G K in were analysed and their topomorphic features revealed (V.A. Zharikov, academician).
4. New data were obtained on the metamorphic conditions of granulate regions of the Baltic and Indian shields. The abundance of N2- and CaCl2-containing fluid inclusions unknown in the other regions was first found in the Cenral Cola peninsula granulite region. Low geothermal gradients of 5-10oC were found in the granulite metamorphic zones. Low geothermal gradients of 5-10oC were defined in the zones of granulite metamorphism for the block of Nilgiri and Lapland belt. The results enable the formulation of a new model of a polycyclic granulite metamorphism (V.I.Fonarev (Dr.Sci. in Mineralogy and Geology)).
5. The boundary T-P conditions were defined for various facies of magnesial and lime skarns in the light of the new experimental data obtained. (V.A. Zharikov, academician).
6. Using the molecular computer modeling results the space and energy characteristics of hydrogen bonds were analyzed in detail for the first time as a functions of temperature and pressure in the supercritical water at hydrothermal parameters. The unique theory of the supercritical state was formulated on the base of the experimental and theoretical data obtained by us, enabling the explanation and prediction of the fluid behavior in a broad range of temperatures and pressures (A.G.Kalinichev (Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics, Yu.E. Gorbatii, Dr.Sci. in Physics and Mathematics).
In 1997 36 papers were published in the Russian and 16 papers in the foreign journals. A Special Issue of the journal "Experiment in Geosciences" published 64 brief reports in the English language summing up the work of the Institute over the period of 1991-1996. 58 papers are to be published (34 papers in the Russian journals, 24 in the foreign journals). Over 90 abstracts were submitted to conferences, symposia, and meetings. In 1997 2 RF patents were granted, 1 invention is applied for, one Ph.Dr. thesis was defended.
RAS member, academician V.A.Zharikov
Ph.Dr. in Geology and Mineralogy V.V.Fed'kin