The laboratory was founded in 1989 under the name "Laboratory of Aerospace Methods of Ocean Research". The first and many years of its leader was V.N. Pelevin. After the death of V.N. In 2005, Pelevin headed the laboratory of P.O. Zavialov, who leads it to date.
Due to a slight shift in the main research topics, the laboratory was renamed and acquired its current name in 2006. It should be noted, however, that the development of methods for remote sensing of the ocean is still one of the activities of the team. So, in recent years, the developed by V.N. Pelevin's method of laser mapping of chlorophyll concentration fields, suspended matter and dissolved organic substances, including pollutants, while the vessel is in motion by analyzing the spectra of stimulated fluorescence of the ocean surface. This method provides a very high horizontal resolution (from the first meters), almost unattainable by any other means. Specialists of the laboratory have created and tested in natural conditions of different seas prototypes of new equipment - ultraviolet fluorescent lidars. The team has also developed its own algorithms for calculating satellite images of surface sea currents (the so-called “method of maximum cross-correlation”), the spread of river flow and suspension transfer. The laboratory also includes a separate group of ocean synoptic processes.
Nevertheless, the center of gravity of the laboratory research now lies in the field of natural research of the coastal zone of the seas and inland waters. Our research interests focus on the processes of interaction of the ocean with the freshwater continental runoff, as well as the mechanisms of anthropogenic pressure on marine and coastal systems, including anthropogenic pollution of the marine environment. The main thematic areas of recent years are the development of the own Lagrangian numerical model of river plumes in the sea, an assessment of the pollution of the seas near the mouths of a number of rivers, the detection of groundwater discharge into the sea, a forecast of the risk of underwater landslides and others. One of the central places in these studies is occupied by the Black Sea, in which specialized field observations are conducted annually for more than 10 years. The geography of the expeditionary research laboratories also includes the Caspian, Kara, South China seas, the Atlantic shelf of South America and several large inland waters. Our scientific credo includes the idea of the unity of oceanology, limnology and hydrology of land - we believe that modern methods and means of oceanological research can and should be applied not only to the ocean and the seas, but also to lakes and reservoirs. In recent years, laboratory workers have carried out field measurements on the lakes Balaton and Issyk-Kul, as well as on the Gorky reservoir. The scientific community have been particularly informed as to our results in Aral Sea monitoring, but may have possibly overlooked those regarding the current hydrological state of remaining water mass that have been obtained by our team since 2002. And we should be proud to say that 22 expeditions to the Aral Sea enabled us to scrutinise the whole kitchen of hydrophysical, hydrochgemical and hydrobiological processes that govern this reservoir in its current state of deep ecological crisis. According to the results of these works published two books.
Laboratory specialists published dozens of articles (some of the most important of them are listed at the end of this informational message). Currently, the laboratory performs research within the framework of two grants of the Russian Science Foundation, two government contracts of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, two grants of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and several international projects. Today 26 employees (including part-time workers) work in the laboratory, including 6 doctors and 9 candidates of science. The team includes scholars of all age categories, from young graduate students who start an academic career to “aksakals” who have given science 50 years and more, which ensures the continuity of scientific generations.
We are pleased to invite students to cooperate for internship, graduate work, and in the future, perhaps, admission to graduate school. The proposed research areas include field observations and numerical modeling of the dynamics of river plumes in the sea, modeling and expeditionary monitoring of the transfer of pollution and suspended terrigenous substances in the Black and Caspian Seas, the study of the hydrophysical and hydrochemical features of the Aral Sea and Issyk-Kul Lake, laboratory measurements of the physical properties of sea water abnormal ion-salt composition, the development of lidar sensing methods of the ocean surface and other topics.