, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 573–583 | Cite as

Geology, permafrost, and lake level changes as factors initiating landslides on Olkhon Island (Lake Baikal, Siberia)

  • Sebastian TyszkowskiEmail author
  • Halina Kaczmarek
  • Michał Słowiński
  • Elena Kozyreva
  • Dariusz Brykała
  • Artiom Rybchenko
  • Viktoria A. Babicheva
Original Paper


Permafrost decline, observed in the last few decades as a result of climate change, causes an activation of cryogenic landslide processes. This study on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal (Eastern Siberia), located within the discontinuous permafrost zone, was aimed to determine how strongly the landslide forms found there are associated with climatic conditions and if they can react to climate change. It was also important to identify which type of landslides in this area is the most sensitive indicator of the observed changes and to what extent they can react to them. For this purpose, landslides were identified, and their morphology, geological structure, and thermal parameters were assessed. The results show that the key process is the increase in thickness of the active layer, partly due to the presence of Miocene lake clays and changes in water level in Lake Baikal.


Landslide Permafrost Solifluction Climate change Olkhon Island Eastern Siberia 



This study was part of the project “Exogenous processes as human pressure indicators in water bodies and their zone of influence—continuation” (2011–2013). It was partly supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Warsaw, Poland (grants N N306 033033 in 2007–2009, N N306 086037, and N N306 085037 in 2009–2012) and by the Virtual Institute for Integrated Climate and Landscape Evolution (ICLEA) of the Helmholtz Association. Authors would like to thank V. A. Pellinen from the Institute of the Earth’s Crust, Russian Academy of Science, for the help in obtaining weather data from the weather station in Khuzhir at Olkhon. Authors would also like to thank anonymous reviewers from Landslides for reviewing the paper, which has helped to improve it significantly, and they wish to express their appreciation for the kind support received from the Editor.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Tyszkowski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Halina Kaczmarek
    • 1
  • Michał Słowiński
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elena Kozyreva
    • 3
  • Dariusz Brykała
    • 1
  • Artiom Rybchenko
    • 3
  • Viktoria A. Babicheva
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Resources and Geohazards, Institute of Geography and Spatial OrganizationPolish Academy of SciencesToruńPoland
  2. 2.GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Section 5.2—Climate Dynamics and Landscape EvolutionPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Laboratory of Engineering Geology and Geoecology, Siberian BranchInstitute of the Earth’s Crust Russian Academy of SciencesIrkutskRussia

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