15 October 2019

2020 International Summer School on Rockslides and Related Phenomena in the Kokomeren River Valley (Kyrgyzstan)

Posted by Dave Petley

ICL summer school

International Summer School on Rockslides and Related Phenomena in the Kokomeren River Valley

2020 International Summer School on Rockslides and Related Phenomena in the Kokomeren River Valley (Kyrgyzstan) (ICL Kokomeren Summer School)

Rockslides and rock avalanches are among the most hazardous natural phenomena in mountainous regions. Though relatively rare, in comparison with landslides in non-lithified soils, they threaten large areas due to the enormous amount of material involved (sometimes up to billions of cubic meters), high mobility of debris and ability to create large natural dams, which result in inundation of the valleys upstream and catastrophic outburst floods downstream. The aim of the International Summer School is to demonstrate rockslides of the planar, rotational, wedge and compound types, most of which had converted into flow-like rock avalanches, sometimes with the extremely long-runout. Some of these slope failures formed natural dams, either intact or deeply eroded. Various methods of their identification, mapping, dating, as well as of the detailed examination and analysis of internal structures and grain-size composition of rockslide deposits are demonstrated.

About 20 rockslides and rock avalanches ranging from a few millions to more than 1 billion cubic meters in volume are concentrated in the Kokomeren River valley (Central Tien Shan) within a limited area of about 100×50 km at a one-day trip distance from Bishkek – capital city of Kyrgyzstan. Most sites are located near a road along the Kokomeren River and require several hours driving and few kilometers long hiking with up to 300-500 m rise to reach them.

Due to the arid climate and sparse vegetation, rockslide morphologies are well preserved and recognizable. Some rockslide deposits up to 400-m thick are deeply dissected by erosion which opens their internal structure to detailed study. Evidence of valley inundation caused by rockslide damming and of associated outburst floods could be found in the valley as well. Along with the bedrock slope failures several very large landslides in weakly lithified Neogene and Quaternary deposits can be found in the adjacent neotectonic depressions. Besides providing an exceptional learning experience, it is a very beautiful mountainous area inhabited with kind and hospitable people.

Besides numerous rockslides and landslides, the study area provides impressive manifestations of the Neotectonics and Quaternary tectonics such as active faults, one of which was ruptured during the 1992 M7.3 Suusamyr earthquake, and numerous examples of tilted and folded pre-Neogene planation surfaces. One of the topics of the training course is the paleoseismological interpretation of large rockslides and rock avalanches.

The 2020 ICL Kokomeren Summer School will be held out from 1st to 15th August 2020. The participation fee is EURO 500 (or equivalent amount in US dollars, Russian roubles or Chinese yuan), which includes all costs at the site: camping (in tents; though some tents can be provided by the organizers, participants are asked to bring their own tents and sleeping bags), food, local transportation, detailed full-color guidebook. Electricity will be available in the base camp. Fee should be paid in cash at the participants’ arrival. Cash receipt vouchers and certificates confirming attendance at the ICL field training course will be provided.

Organizers will provide help obtaining visas if necessary. Please check if you need visa to come to Kyrgyzstan or not. List of countries which citizens do not need visas to visit Kyrgyzstan is available at http://www.centralasia-travel.com/en/countries/kirgistan/visas. Those who have to apply for visa should send the copy of his/her passport to Prof. Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov before June 1st, 2020. Participants should have personal medical insurance.

Participants should arrive to Bishkek not later than the early morning of 1st August. They will be picked up at the arrival desk of the Bishkek airport. Bishkek is connected with Moscow, Istanbul, Urumchi, Dubai, Ulan-Bator and Delhi by direct flights. Arrival via Almaty airport is possible as well. Organizers can help arranging the hotel/hostel for the participants who will arrive earlier than 1st August or will depart after 15th August. The cost of the hotel/hostel in Bishkek selected by organizers for one night from 14th to 15th August  is included in the registration fee.

The detailed full-color ICL Kokomeren Summer School guidebook can be downloaded from the ICL homepage: http://iplhq.org/ (Download GUIDEBOOK).

Those who are interested, please contact:

Dr. Alexander Strom,

Chief expert of the Geodynamics Research Centre,

Volokolamskoe Shosse, 2, 125080, Moscow, Russia

e-mail: [email protected]

tel: +7 910 4553405


Prof. Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov

Director of Institute of Seismology, National

Academy of Science,

Asanbay 52/1, Bishkek 720060, Kyrgyzstan

e-mail: [email protected]

tel: +996 777 403480