International Summer School on Geology and Climatology at a potential UNESCO Geopark
Field Summer School under the auspices of UNESCO – “Madygen – 2023”
Summer school organizers:
- – Tien Shan Geological Society (Kyrgyzstan)
- – UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office
- – Institute of Geology of the Freiberg Mining Academy, (Germany)
- – Institute of Geology of the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan
- – Travel company Geopark
Dates of the summer school: August 17 – August 27, 2023
Summer School teachers are well-known scientists from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Germany and Australia
Objectives of the Summer School: Development of skills in the field of sedimentology, paleontology, stratigraphy, historical geology, geomorphology, tectonics, and paleoclimatology. Also, the tasks of the summer school are: the acquisition of experience in geological field work and paleontological excavations. Self-documentation of sections under the guidance of specialists.
The summer school is a field study for young professionals and anyone who wants to get practical skills and knowledge in the geological sciences and methodological foundations in paleoclimatology. The Summer Field School takes place in the famous Madygen stratotype area, a geological treasure of world significance located in the southern Tien Shan of Kyrgyzstan.
In 2021, Madygen entered the territory of the geopark. The 727 Geopark Project is supported by the UNESCO International Geoscience and Geoparks Program (IGCP). In September-October 2021, an international paleontological expedition was carried out, which showed significant potential for long-term studies of the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic formations of Madygen.
Upon completion of the summer school, all participants will be awarded Certificates by UNESCO, as well as by the International Committee on Stratigraphy and the Institute of Geology of the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan, the Tien Shan Geological Society and the Triassic Subcommittee of the International Commission on Stratigraphy.
During the summer school, all participants will be in close cooperation with our teachers – famous scientists and experts in the geology of the Tien Shan and especially in the stratigraphy of Madygen. For many years, these scientists have studied the geology and paleontology of Central Asia. These are famous scientists from the academies of sciences of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Germany.
The most effective way to get new high-quality knowledge is to work with real professionals during real scientific field practice.
In parallel, within the framework of the summer school on geology and climatology, a training on geomapping using a drone is being held. This will allow participants to present the geological structure of the region and make reconstructions in structural geology, historical geology and gain skills in geological mapping and exploration of geological heritage sites.
Brief overview of the area Madygen
The Madygen region in southwest Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, is known to paleontologists around the world for its unique non-marine fossil Lagerstätt of the Middle Triassic Madygen Formation (Voit et al. and amphibious animals and organisms in the continental area after the mass extinction and recovery at the end of the Permian period. The Madygen Formation unconformably overlies Paleozoic rocks and is overlain by a succession of Late Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous sedimentary formations. In turn, the Mesozoic layers are covered with Cenozoic deposits, the so-called Fergana Bay of the Paleogene Tethys Sea.
The excellent conditions of the clearly presented geological sections in a semi-arid area with little vegetation, form a colorful variegated low-mountain landscape, which facilitates litho-stratigraphic studies of rocks, as well as the collection of fossil fauna and flora. These conditions make Madygen one of the most attractive places, both for professionals involved in geological, paleontological or paleclimatic research, and for geotourists interested in landscapes and geological excursions. In the Madygen Geopark, there are also various archaeological and historical monuments of cultural heritage, which are also waiting to be explored. The unique area of Madygen represents an ideal location for the creation of the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Central Asia, which is currently being prepared under UNESCO IGCP Project 727.
At present, despite the available results, Madygen remains an unexplored geosite. This area on the Eurasian continent is for long-term research. Therefore, all participants of the summer school will have real opportunities to implement joint scientific research of the Meso-Cenozoic fossil flora and fauna and an excellent international platform for new cooperation.
In addition, the geopark presents sections with Paleozoic trilobites, as well as conodonts.
The program of field excursions includes the famous cave mine Kani-Gut and its surroundings. The ancient mine reflects the 1500 year history of the development of mining on the Great Silk Road. The first who used Kani-Gut as a deposit were the Chinese, then the Arabs, Karakhanids, etc.
Our geological routes around the geopark are designed in such a way that the participants of the summer school learn the history of the development of an ancient mine. In turn, various geological sections very clearly demonstrate to the participants examples of sedimentology and tectonics. The Madygen Geopark presents a geological history spanning 450 million years, from the Cambrian to Quaternary rock deposits. Madygen is a magnificent testing ground for knowledge of geology. Madygen is a geological treasure of international importance.
The research area is located in the Southern Tien Shan in one of the southwestern regions of Kyrgyzstan – the Batken region. The nearest airport is located in the city of Osh – an ancient provider on the Great Silk Road.
Those arriving in Osh will be accommodated in a guest house. In Osh, we will hold a briefing and partial preparation for the expedition (purchase of food, consumables, tools).
Further, the way from the Osh city to the Madygen tract (about 320 km) will take about 5-6 hours. Madygen is located 70 km from the city of Batken and 30 km from the Samarkandek village.
For those participants who want to leave earlier, a transfer will be organized to the airport or to the Batken city.
For the expedition we will use a comfortable mini bus Mercedes Sprinter for 15 passengers. We plan to use a second Mercedes car to transport luggage, equipment and food.
For field work and off-road trips in the Madygen region, we plan to use two 4WD vehicles. The place where the expedition is planned is a foothill zone with absolute heights of 900-1600 m. All geological sections have good accessibility and visibility.
All participants will meet at the airport in Osh. There are 2 options for arrival in Kyrgyzstan: 1st option – Arrival at the airport of Bishkek, 2nd option – Arrival at the airport of Osh. The second option is for those who do not want to spend 1 day to get to know Kyrgyzstan on the way from Bishkek to Osh.
We can help you purchase domestic airline tickets. That is air tickets Bishkek – Osh.
One vehicle will start from Bishkek as it will deliver equipment for the field camp. This car will also have passenger seats. The road from Bishkek to Osh will take 1 day. The path from Bishkek to Osh lies through the mountain ranges and high mountain valleys of the Tien Shan.
If you want to arrive in Bishkek, then we will offer you the most convenient hotel where all participants will stay. You can also book the hotel yourself. It is planned to hold a briefing and presentation of the expedition program at the hotel. If the participants arrive in Osh (the southern capital of Kyrgyzstan), then we will reserve a place for you at the hotel.
The field camp is located directly in Madygen – the only oasis with a luxurious grove. In the Madygen village of the same name, you will feel the real local ethnography, as well as the flavor of rural life. The field camp has a toilet, shower, summer kitchen and dining room with magnificent views of the colorful landscapes. The field camp also has a power generator for camp lighting and electricity.
Food and cuisine
During the summer school in the field camp, there will be a chef who has good experience in field trips. If you are a vegetarian, please let us know in advance.
During the summer school, three meals a day will be provided, as well as products for field radial trips and hikes. The organizers also provide field equipment for temporary field camps. If the research area is located far from the base camp, additional equipment will be provided.
Visas and permits
In Kyrgyzstan, a visa-free regime is valid for citizens from more than 70 countries. Also, a visa can be obtained in a simplified manner for citizens from more than 65 countries.
Link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan: https://mfa.gov.kg/en/osnovnoe-menyu/konsulskie-uslugi/konsulskie-vizovye-voprosy/izovye-i-bezvizovye-rezhimy
For official and legal research, our organization has all the necessary permissions from the authorities. We will also obtain customs permits for the export of samples to other countries.
Terms of participation in the expedition, cash contribution, currency
An individual contribution for participation in the summer school is intended to cover basic expenses, services, except for hotels in Bishkek. The contribution does not cover the cost of air travel to Kyrgyzstan and back.
The fee for participation in the Summer School is 7200 soms ($ 90) per day
Summer school staff
– Chef and Assistant
– Also involved are local residents (the owner of the house) who will provide us with fresh food.
Where are the teachers from?
– Institute of Geology of the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan
– Freiberg Mining Academy (Germany)
– Australian Institute of Geological Sciences
The base camp will be located in a picturesque location on one of the private plots of a local farmer. The picturesque place is an oasis formed by karst springs among arid badlands.
The Tien Shan Geological Society will provide all the necessary equipment for field work and the base field camp:
- – Large tent for the kitchen,
– Large tent or Kyrgyz yurt for dining,
– Large handkerchiefs for field laboratories
– Individual tents for each participant,
– Field tables and chairs,
– Dishes for the kitchen, individual dishes,
– Source of electricity – electric generator,
– radio stations,
– Satellite phone,
– Packing material and containers for specimens of fossil fauna and flora (to be discussed with each participant),
– Tools for work: shovels, picks, brushes, gloves, etc.
– First aid kit
– The base camp is equipped with a shower and toilet.
The duration of the summer school in the field is 11 days, not including days for flights to Kyrgyzstan and back. The base camp will be organized in the picturesque Madygen oasis.
Day 1. Meeting at the airport. Accommodation in a guest house in Osh. Briefing
Day 2. Transfer Osh – Batken – Madygen. Setting up the base camp. The main tents will be set up in advance. The field camp has a summer canteen in the form of a gazebo with a beautiful view of the Sharov valley
Days 3-10. Field summer practice in the area of Madygen and the ancient cave mine Kani-Gut. As well as the study of geological sections, tectonic and geological reconstruction, paleontological research
Day 11. Transfer Madygen – Osh
ORGANIZERS AND PARTNERS
- – Tien Shan Geological Society,
– Kyrgyz State University of Geology, Mining and Development of Natural Resources,
– Freiberg Mining Academy (Germany),
– UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
– UNESCO International Geosciences and Geoparks Program
– Institute of Geology of the National Academy of Sciences
– International Stratigraphic Committee
Gallery: Summer School under the auspices of UNESCO “Madygen 2022”