Geologists unraveled the mystery of deep Siberian crater

Geologists unraveled the secret of a deep Siberian craterA photo from open sources On the eternally cold Siberian peninsula of Yamal an unusual geological object is located – a large crater of obscure origin. After much debate, Russian scientists seem to found a reasonable explanation for the formation of the Siberian depression: according to researchers, it was formed as a result of powerful emissions methane from melting permafrost. The air at the bottom of the crater contains unusually high concentrations of this gas – about 9.6%. To such scientists concluded as a result of studies conducted on July 16 2014 during the expedition. Leading author of works, Andrey Plekhanov, archaeologist from the Arctic Research Center in Salekhard, reports that usually the concentration of this gas is not more than 0.000179%. Hypotheses on the origin of a crater whose diameter is about 30 meters, were very different: so deep According to experts, a hole could be formed by gas explosions, and meteorite fall, and even alien activity. But Plekhanov and his team believe that the history of the formation of the Siberian crater much more prosaic. In all likelihood, she is associated with the abnormal heat that was observed in the summer seasons of 2012 and 2013 years. The temperature at that time kept above the average as much as 5 ° C. As temperatures rise, permafrost thawed and released jets of methane, which was previously trapped in icy land. Scientists reported these findings. in an article published in Permafrost and Periglacial Processes Other researchers believe that everything can be blamed. be global warming. According to scientists who did not accept participation in the Plekhanov expedition, two hot seasons are not enough in order to melt permafrost and provoke so powerful methane release. Over the past 20 years, frozen at a depth of 20 meters warmed up at about 2 ° C – this could cause gas release. According to Plekhanov and his colleagues, such craters may become more common in areas permafrost, as the region gradually heats up more and more and more. In Siberia, large methane gas fields are now hidden in the ice, forming the so-called gas hydrates. Being frozen, methane remains stable, but when heated the internal strength of permafrost decreases and it loses the ability to retain gases within itself. Usually gas hydrates occur at depths of at least 100 meters. Exact depth Siberian crater is unknown. When Plekhanov and his team tried to measure depth using a camcorder tied to 50 meter rope, the camera never reached the bottom. But the video shows that the depth of the reservoir located at the bottom of the crater, is about 70 meters, reports Plekhanov. To confirm their hypothesis, geologists will need to visit the Siberian crater yet times and measure the concentration of methane in the air trapped in it walls. Plekhanov also said that recently Siberian reindeer herders reported the discovery of a similar hole near the Yamal crater. And although its presence has not yet been confirmed by scientists, they are already fear that high methane emissions could be harmful local industry.

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