Ruskeala, Russia

Name of the facility, web page, ownership and contact person

“Ruskeala” Underground Lab was organized by the tourist operator JSC “Kolmas” together with Karelian Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences as the pilot innovation structure in mining industrial heritage investigations.
The information about the activities of the Lab is shown at

Contact person is Vitali Shekov, Coordinator external relations

Geographical location, size and depth of the facility

61° 56’ 51.6” North / 30° 34’ 48.4” East
UL “Ruskeala” is located in the Ruskeala area in the municipality of Sortavala in Russian Karelia. The Ruskeala Mining Park is located 25 km north of the centre of Sortavala and based on the old marble quarry with underground space, see Figure 1 a. The underground part of the laboratory consists of several tunnels from the quarry lake to the big underground area with cellars (see Fig. 1 D. The depth of Ruskeala mine is 0-36 m. Most of the experiments and full-scale demonstration tests are carried out at the first level, see Figure 1c.

Major rock type(s)

The dominant crystalline rock type in Ruskeala is marble. The age of these rocks is approximately 1.6 – 2.0 G years.

The original purpose, current use and future plans

The “Ruskeala” UL was organized for the test, design and construction of touristic destinations in old lost quarries and mines. The current use is for different methodological and technical development of the roof control, investigation of weak zones – which could be a danger for visitors and also environmental, conduct geotechnological, photogrammetry investigations of the underground space etc. The aim is to transfer the experience to other historic mines and quarries in the territory of Russian Federation.


The Ruskeala Mining Park can be reached by car from Petrozavodsk (about 250 km), from Sortavala (about 25 km), from Joensuu (Finland) – about 130 km. The nearest airport is located also in Joensuu. Most of the visitors come from Sankt-Petersburg by tourist buses.

Overall data availability

All data from the Ruskeala Underground Lab are stored in the Institute of Geology KRC RAS. Nowadays the data are under the transferring stage to databases. It is still available for Karelian researchers.

Specialised knowledge, services

Specialised knowledge in geology, geophysics, rock mechanics, rock engineering. Scientific and technical experts available in the Institute of Geology KRC RAS. Organisation for guiding, planning and starting external projects including experimental services ranging from geophysical to tectonophysical study of the area, photogrammetry and other investigations are available in the Karelian Scientific Centre.