Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17 ( 2017 ) 277 – 279
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1878-5220 © 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of WRI-15
15th Water-Rock Interaction International Symposium, WRI-15
Great role of W.M. Edmunds in the development of
hydrogeochemistry in Russia
, Chudaeva V.A.a
aFar East Geological Institute, FEB RAS, Vladivostok, 690022 Russia
This article discusses the joint work of Professor W.M. Edmunds (UK) with his Russian colleagues. He had an important role in
the development of hydrogeochemistry in Russia. He was an initiator of the joint research projects with Russian scientists and
was actively supporting the idea of holding international conferences on the territory of Russia. In addition, as a follower of V.I.
Vernadsky, he was actively promoting Vernadsky’s ideas outside of Russia.
© 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of WRI-15.
Keywords: W.M. Edmunds; hydrogeochemistr; water-rock interaction
Mike Edmunds made a considerable contribution to the formation and development of hydrogeochemistry in
Russia while working with his Russian colleagues in the Far East of Russia. His efforts were focused in several
areas. He was working on the expansion of contacts between European and Russian scientists, through the
organization of international meetings on the territory of Russia. In addition, he was organizing joint international
projects to be implemented in Russia, and was assisting in the development of modern analytical laboratories in the
The first contacts with Russian scientists Mike Edmunds began in 1989. He was the Secretary General of WRI-6
Symposium in Malvern (UK). He supported the participation of several Russian scientists from different cities,
including scientists from Vladivostok (Far East Russia), in this meeting. During that meeting, the idea to hold one of
the future WRI Symposium in Russia was proposed Mike, along with few other members of the WRI International
Working Group which supported this idea, paying a tribute to the fact that a professor of Moscow State University
M.G. Valyashko was one of the founders of the WRI International Working Group. The Russian delegation
proposed Vladivostok as the host city of WRI-8, with a pre-session field trip to Lake Baikal and a post-session field
trip to Kamchatka Peninsula, and this initiative was accepted by the committee members. This initiative took 6 years
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© 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
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278 O.V. Chudaev and V.A. Chudaeva / Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17 ( 2017 ) 277 – 279
of preparation, including i) multiple visits of Mike Edmunds to Russia, ii) meetings with chief members of the
Russian Academy of Sciences, and iii) initiation of many joint research projects in the Far East of Russia. In 1995
Vladivostok held WRI-8, the largest international geological symposium carried out on the territory of Russian
Federation to that date. It played an important role in for Russian hydrogeochemists, and was undoubtedly a great
achievement thanks to Mike Edmunds and other members of the WRI Working Group.
In 1994-1999, Mike Edmunds developed two major projects between the British Geological Survey and the Far
Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Pacific Institute of Geography and the Far East Geological
Institute, Vladivostok) funded by the European Union. The first project, INTAS A2-075, was devoted to the mineral
waters of Primorye (Maritime territory of the South Far East Russia). Mineral water in Russia plays an important
role as a supply of drinking water and as a part of medical treatment. Mineral water, according to Russian
guidelines, included waters with high salt contents (with TDS higher than 1g/L), high contents of specific
components (e.g. Br, I, As), dissolved gases (CO2, H2S, Rn) or those having high temperature. These water
properties traditionally had been considered to enhance the medical and balneological properties. Sikhote-Alin ridge
(Primorye territory) has 75 areas of mineral water sources, with water rich in CO2, thermal water rich in N2, N2-CH4
and other. Despite the use of these types of mineral waters in Primorye, their chemical content remained poorly
understood. Therefore, the main purpose of the two-year project was a detailed hydrogeochemical study of these
waters using modern techniques established in the laboratories of the British Geological Survey in Wallingford, UK.
This was aiming to provide a better insight into the migration of dissolved components and the interaction of the
water with the different rock types in Primorye. Mike Edmunds and his colleague Paul Shand conducted several
expeditions in Primorye, visiting places within the deep forest (taiga), encountering wild animals and bad roads
along the way. All of the major springs and wells of mineral waters of Primorye were examined. As a result, a
detailed geochemical classification of mineral waters was made, along with a related geochemical database. Also,
these studies uncovered the processes that lead to the salt composition and the sources of the chemical elements in
mineral water. This data was published in major scientific journals, both in Russia and abroad. The result of this
research was summarized in a book1. This book was so requested among geochemists and hydrogeologists, that it
became a rarity.
After the success of the project on mineral waters, Mike Edmunds proposed a new one, related to Kamchatka
Peninsula. He admitted that this far and wonderful land had been catching his attention for many years. Kamchatka
is a unique land that hosts over 30 active volcanoes and multiple thermal vents and fumaroles. Intensive
hydrothermal activity in Uzon Caldera and in the vicinity of Mutnovsky, Tolbachek and other volcanoes stimulates
contemporaneous mineral and ore formation in the south of Kamchatka. Over 75 % of the thermal waters in Russia
are concentrated there, creating a huge energy resource. In 1996 -1998, participants of Kamchatka project carried
out a study on hydrothermal waters in southeastern and central areas of Kamchatka. So far, the chemical analysis
provided by the British Geological Survey helped in providing reliable and detailed data on hydrothermal water
composition. The use of the geochemical code SOLMINEQ helped in modeling water-rock interaction processes,
calculating temperature of underground water reservoirs, and in assessing the dilution of mineralized waters by
ground and surface waters. Most of the research was done in relation to the vents of Paratunka, Mutnovsky, and
Uzon-Geyser geothermal regions, with some less detailed research conducted within the vents of the Malki-
Apachinsky region. In addition to the studies of thermal and non-thermal groundwater, investigations were also
carried out on key surface waters, since the surface waters may form from hydrothermal systems. This project was
successfully completed and all obtained data was published in peer reviewed journals and in a book2.
It should be noted that this book helped the inclusion of the Geysers Valley in UNESCO Heritage site. Working
alongside with Mike Edmunds, Russian hydrogeochemists had an access to the advanced expertise in
hydrogeochemistry. He brought field laboratories and computers, which at that time Russian laboratories did not
have access to and were still working with analytical equipment.
Mike Edmunds was an avid advocate of creation of modern analytical centres in Russia. He held meetings with
the authorities of the Far East Russia, directors of research institutes, the administration of the Academy of Sciences,
trying to promote the establishment of such centres. His efforts payed off: a centre equipped with the most modern
equipment was established and is currently functioning in the Far East Geological Institute.
In Russia, Mike Edmunds left many followers who successfully continue their scientific careers, many in the
hydrogeochemical research laboratory of the Far Eastern Geological Institute mentioned earlier. In September of
2015, Far East Geological Institute and the Far Eastern Federal University organized a Scientific Conference
“Water-rock interaction (geological evolution)”, dedicated to the professor W.M. Edmunds. The proceedings of this
meeting were published3.
O.V. Chudaev and V.A. Chudaeva / Procedia Earth and Planetary Science 17 ( 2017 ) 277 – 279
Finally, we would like to mention that professor W.M. Edmunds was a dedicated follower of a Russian scientist
V.I. Vernadsky. He appealed scientific ideas of V.I. Vernadsky in his studies of hydrosphere and biosphere. In fact,
his last paper “Geochemistry of natural waters - The legacy of V.I. Vernadsky and his students”, published in
Applied Geochemistry Journal, was dedicated to Vernadsky and was exploring his ideas in great detail4. We still
remember the presentation of W. M. Edmunds on WRI-14, in 2013 in Avignon (France) at the session dedicated to
the anniversary of Vernadsky. And now, three years later, at WRI-15 Symposium here in Portugal, we are
dedicating a session to remarkable scientist, our friend and colleague Mike Edmunds.
The participation in WRI-15 symposium was supported by Russian Scientific Foundation, grant 14-17-00415
1. Chudaeva VA, Chudaev OV, Chelnokov AN, Edmunds WM, Shand P. Mineral waters of Primorye (chemical aspect). Vladivostok: Dalnauka;
2. Chudaev OV, Chudaeva VA, Karpov GA, Shand P, Edmunds WM. Hydrogeochemistry of geothermal territory of Kamchatka. Vladivostok:
3. Water-Rock Interaction: geological evolution. Proceedings of the Second Russian Scientific Conference with International Participation.
Vladivostok: Dalnauka; 2015. 630 p.
4. Edmunds WM, Bogush AA. Geochemistry of natural waters - The legacy of V.I. Vernadsky and his students. Appl Geochem 2012; 27: 1871-