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200,000-Year-Old Soil Found at Mysterious Crater, A 'Gate to the Subterranean World'

200,000-Year-Old Soil Found at Mysterious Crater, A 'Gate to the Subterranean World'


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By The Siberian Times reporter

Locals have heard 'booms from the underworld' in a giant ravine but now scientists say it holds secrets of the planet's past.

Many Yakutian people are said to be scared to approach the Batagaika Crater - also known as the Batagaika Megaslump: believing in the upper, middle and under worlds, they see this as a doorway to the last of these.

The fearsome noises are probably just the thuds of falling soil at a landmark that is a one-kilometre-long gash up to 100 metres (328 feet) deep in the Siberian taiga.

Batagaika started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared: the land sunk, and has continued to do so, evidently speeded by recent warmer temperatures melting the permafrost, so unbinding the layers on the surface and below. Major flooding in 2008 increased the size of the depression which grows at up to 15 metres per year.

Such 'thermokarst depressions' can be observed in the north of Canada, but Batagaika is two-to-three times deeper. Pictures: Alexander Gabyshev, Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North

The result is an unparalleled natural laboratory for scientists seeking to understand the threat to permafrost due to climate change.

A recent expedition to the partially manmade phenomenon sought to date the layers of soil which had been frozen in time as permafrost, and also to gather samples of plants and soil.

Until now, it was believed the layers of soil were around 120,000-years-old. But Professor Julian Murton from the University of Sussex - who inspected the site near the village of Batagai, in Verkhoyansk district, some 676 kilometres (420 miles) north of Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic - determined that the correct age is around 200,000 years old.

'This project will allow us to compare the data of similar objects in Greenland, China, Antarctica. Data on ancient soils and vegetation will help us to reconstruct the history of the Earth,' he told Russian journalists.

Professor Julian Murton: 'Batagaika itself struck my imagination - its size is amazing, the crack itself is perfectly exposed, uncovered, all the layers are perfectly visible and can be thoroughly studied.' Pictures: Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North

'I was both surprised and excited to learn that we can date the samples found in the lower horizon as 200,000 years.' He explained: 'We found several layers of buried soils. Two of them look especially promising. They show that thousands of years ago the climate in the region of Verkhoyansk was the same as it is now, and even warmer.

'We took the samples of the remains of trees to find out what kind of forests grew in this area. We also took the sediment samples - they will help us to find out what kind of soil predominated here in ancient times. Due to the permafrost, the preservation of organic is excellent.

'Batagaika itself struck my imagination - its size is amazing, the crack itself is perfectly exposed, uncovered, all the layers are perfectly visible and can be thoroughly studied.'

The expedition was a 'pilot study' at one of 'most important' sites in the world for the study of permafrost. The samples will be examined in more detail at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, near Moscow, he said.

The 'most important' sites in the world for the study of permafrost is located near the village of Batagai, in Verkhoyansk district, some 676 kilometres (420 miles) north of Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic. Pictures: NEFU, The Siberian Times

The next stage of work here will 'study samples of ancient ice'. He noted that such 'thermokarst depressions' can be observed in the north of Canada, but Batagaika is two-to-three times deeper.

The director of the Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North, Gregory Savvinov, said: 'In the 1960s there was a road between the village of Batagai and some industrial facilities. The forest was cut down, and this led to the formation of the ravine. In recent years, against the backdrop of climatic changes, due to the warming, the ravine grew to the size of crater.'

In 2009 the carcass of a Holocene era foal - some 4,400 years old - was discovered, and a mummified carcass of a bison calf. Remains of ancient bison, horses, elks, mammoths, and reindeer were also found here.

The area is one of the coldest places on the planet, and competes with Oymyakon, from the same region, for the title of the world's coldest inhabited place.


Siberia&rsquos Mysterious Crater

Someone sent me this BBC article from a few months ago:

Near the Yana river basin, in a vast area of permafrost, there is a dramatic tadpole-shaped hole in the ground: the Batagaika crater.

The crater is also known as a “megaslump” and it is the largest of its kind: almost 0.6 miles (1km) long and 282ft (86m) deep. But these figures will soon change, because it is growing quickly.

Locals in the area avoid it, saying it is a “doorway to the underworld”. But for scientists, the site is of great interest.

Looking at the layers exposed by the slump can give indications of how our world once looked – of past climates. At the same time, the acceleration of the growth gives an immediate insight into the impact of climate change on the increasingly fragile permafrost.

There are two types of permafrost. One is from glacier ice, left over from the last Ice Age and now buried underground. The other type, the one present around the Batagaika crater, is ice that has formed in the ground itself. Often, this ice is trapped beneath a layer of sediment and has been frozen for at least two years.

The Batagaika crater opens up a vast area of previously buried permafrost, some of which first formed many thousands of years ago.

The trigger that led to the crater started in the 1960s. Rapid deforestation meant that the ground was no longer shaded by trees in the warmer summer months. This incoming sunlight then slowly warmed the ground. This was made worse by the loss of cold “sweat” from trees as they transpire, which would have kept the ground cool.

“This combination of less shading and less vapid transpiration led to warming of the ground surface,” says Julian Murton of the University of Sussex in the UK.

As the ground surface warmed up, it caused the layer of soil right above the permafrost to warm. This caused the permafrost itself to thaw. Once this process started and the ice was exposed to warmer temperatures, melting escalated.

But, of course, someone has to mention global warming!

Frank Günther of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany, and colleagues have been monitoring the site for the last decade, using satellite images to measure the rate of change.

During their study, the head wall of the crater has grown by an average of 33ft (10m) per year. In warmer years, the changes have been even greater, sometimes up to 98ft (30m) per year. Günther announced these findings at the American Geophysical Union meeting in December 2016.

He also has reason to believe that the side wall of the growing crater will reach a neighbouring eroding valley in the coming summer months. This in turn will “very likely” be a new trigger for more growth.

“On average over many years, we have seen that there’s not so much acceleration or deceleration of these rates, it’s continuously growing,” says Günther. “And continuous growth means that the crater gets deeper and deeper every year.”

This has other worrying consequences.

Many of the ice deposits that are now being exposed formed during the last Ice Age. This ground ice contains a lot of organic matter, including plenty of carbon that has been locked away for thousands of years.

“Global estimations of carbon stored in permafrost is [the] same amount as what’s in the atmosphere,” says Günther.

As more permafrost thaws, more and more carbon is exposed to microbes. The microbes consume the carbon, producing methane and carbon dioxide as waste products. These greenhouse gases are then released into the atmosphere, accelerating warming further.

“This is what we call positive feedback,” says Günther. “Warming accelerates warming, and these features may develop in other places. It’s not only a threat to infrastructure. Nobody can stop this development. There’s no engineering solution to stop these craters developing.”

There is no indication that the erosion of this crater will slow down any time soon, as it continues to grow year on year.

That makes the future of Siberia’s permafrost look very wobbly indeed.

But there is absolutely no evidence that the crater has anything to do with local temperatures, never mind global ones.

The 1960s, when the hole first appeared were relatively cold years in the local area. Although there were a couple of warm years in 1997 and 2008, most years recently are only slightly less cold than the 1930s and 40s.

Much more important though are the summer temperatures, which are much higher than one would maybe intuitively expect. Again, there is no evidence of any untoward warming.

The BBC report actually gives the clue to what actually happened – deforestation. As the scientists themselves say, cutting down trees allowed the sun to do its work.

Furthermore, it also increased the effects of erosion.

There is, however, one aspect of the scientific work going on which the BBC forgot to mention, but which the Siberian Times reported on:

The director of the Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North, Gregory Savvinov, said: ‘In the 1960s there was a road between the village of Batagai and some industrial facilities. The forest was cut down, and this led to the formation of the ravine. In recent years, against the backdrop of climatic changes, due to the warming, the ravine grew to the size of crater.’

In 2009 the carcass of an Holocene era foal – some 4,400 years old – was discovered, and a mummified carcass of a bison calf. Remains of ancient bison, horses, elks, mammoths, and reindeer were also found here.

So we learn that the region was at least as warm as now 4400 years ago, and probably much warmer for horses to survive then. Yet we did not get runaway warming caused by the release of methane, which is now predicted.

There are many other such holes scattered around Siberia and northern Canada, albeit much smaller. But we have only recently possessed satellites and aircraft to film these, so we cannot say there is anything remotely unusual about them.

But it appears highly likely that deforestation is the key behind many of them.

Please note that I originally stated that:

“it appears highly unlikely that deforestation is the key behind many of them”

This was a typo, which should have read

“it appears highly likely that deforestation is the key behind many of them.”


“Hell Holes” and stuff …

In places like northern Canada and Siberia, a memory of ice ages long past is locked away in the very soil.

And when permafrost melts it changes the land around it: Giant craters form, methane blow holes and strange methane pockets ready to blow appear. It’s the new landscape of the changing northern Hemisphere.

In Canada and Siberia, if you dig about three feet down in the ground, you’ll encounter a layer of frozen earth running from 200 feet to almost a mile deep in some places. It’s like a great glacier secreted away underground and covering about 19 million square kilometers of the Northern Hemisphere. We call this frozen ground permafrost.

An Enormous Pile of Sequestered Carbon

Permafrost generally forms in regions where the mean annual temperature is below zero degrees Celsius. And the presently large expanse of permafrost has formed over the past 2-3 million years in which long, cold ice ages and short, and somewhat warmer interglacial periods have dominated.

Map showing the permafrost carbon content in the Arctic and Antarctica. via International Permafrost Association

Locked away in all that permafrost is a massive store of carbon. Recent research indicates that up to 120 billion tons of carbon could be released through thawing permafrost this Century due to Earth changes.

Evidence of Thaw and a Building Carbon Feedback

Scientific evidences show that the Arctic to rapidly warm — at about 3 times faster than the rate of warming for the rest of the globe (0.6 C per decade in the Arctic). As a result, the permafrost is melting.

Permafrost thaw ponds in Hudson Bay, Canada in 2008. via Wikipedia and other images here

When permafrost melts it changes the landscape. Land subsides and deforms as the icy permafrost below collapses when it thaws. The resulting underground cavities can also telegraph to the surface in the form of sinkholes. In places where microbes or hydrates are present, the cavities can fill with gas — which can sometimes erupt in a methane blow hole or ‘hell’s mouth’ crater. In Canada, a new study recently discovered that 52,000 square miles of northwestern permafrost is already thawing. The thaw is producing large sink holes, causing coastlines to rapidly erode, and proliferating the round ponds known as thermokarst lakes.

200,000 year old soil found at mysterious crater, Batagaika crater also known as the ‘gate to the subterranean world’ in Siberia. via Google Earth

But it’s not just Canada that’s feeling the thaw. In Siberia, warming is also eating away at the permafrost. And what is happening there is arguably on a much grander and more disturbing scale than what we presently see in Canada. In East Siberia, for example, a 100 meter deep, 1 kilometer long crater has formed in the sagging Permafrost. It is officially called the Batagaika crater. But the locals know it as the Gateway to the Underworld. The crater began as a small deformation during the 1960s when permafrost thaw in the region initiated. It has, over the decades, grown considerably larger — with the growth rate accelerating along with permafrost melt during recent years.

Further west, the Yamal region of Russia is seeing strange bulges dispersing across the land. The bulges are being caused by bubbles of methane gas beneath the surface. The scientists state that these formations are likely being triggered by warming — in which either methane hydrates trapped within the permafrost are thawing or where microbes have come in contact with thawed permafrost carbon to break it down and produce methane.

These same researchers now note that some 7,000 underground methane bubbles exist in this region and that warming is pushing them to erupt. When the pressure below the land surface reaches a critical point, the land above can be displaced — bursting outward.

Touchy Subject Scientifically and Politically

Permafrost thaw producing high volumes of feedback carbon release is a touchy subject in the sciences and politically. But it has to be further discussed and better understood in order to protect the future of next generations to come. I don’t want to leave my children with a northern Gruyere Swiss cheese landscape.


RELATED ARTICLES

Dr. Julian Murton of the University of Sussex, one of few people studying the site, says the crater will likely keep growing – and it won't be the only one.

The dramatic slumping now seen in Siberia hasn't occurred since the Earth moved from the Palaeolithic Ice Age into the current Holocene, a transition period which took place 10,000 years ago, the researcher tells Motherboard.

The monstrous sounds are likely produced by falling soil, but locals are afraid to approach the ever-growing gash in the landscape. For scientists, however, the structure provides insight on the past and future conditions of the Earth

The enormous crater sits near the village of Batagai, in the Verkhoyansk district, and reaches depths of more than 300 feet. This region is one of the coldest places in the world

But in recent decades, numerous similar craters have opened up in Siberia, and many scientists believe this is a result of the warming temperatures from global climate change.

The Batagaika Crater initially began to form after the clearing of forest land in the 1960s warming temperatures then sped up the process, causing the layers of soil on the surface and below to sink as permafrost melted.

In 2008, major flooding made the depression even larger.

Murton has been visiting the Batagaika Crater since 2009, working with the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North-East Federal University in Yakutsk.

Murton has been visiting the Batagaika Crater since 2009, working with the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North-East Federal University in Yakutsk

In the past, researchers at the site have found the remains of ancient bison, horses, elk, mammoths, and reindeer, some dating back as far as 4,400 years.

They've even discovered the mummified body of a bison calf.

As the work continues, researchers will examine the permafrost and sedimentary layers to understand ancient changes in the landscape, and their implications for the future.


RELATED ARTICLES

Among the layers, they've found the remains of wood, indicating the presence of two forest beds. And, the lower bed contains high amounts of pollen

By looking at the ancient layers exposed in the process, scientists can create a picture of what the landscape once looked like, helping them to predict the changes yet to come

Over the last few decades, the rapidly growing crater has shaken the Siberian taiga with terrifying 'booms,' causing locals to believe it is the 'Gateway to the Underworld.'

Since the massive Batagaika Crater opened suddenly toward the end of the last century, it has expanded at a rate of roughly 60 feet each year, now stretching almost a mile long.

While it may not actually be a portal to the next life, scientists have their own concerns regarding the 'megaslump,' as it hints at the threats of melting permafrost due to climate change.

The monstrous sounds are likely produced by falling soil, The Siberian Times reports, but locals are afraid to approach the ever-growing gash in the landscape.

In a new study, published to the journal Quaternary Research , researchers analyzed the sequence of permafrost deposits in the Batagaika crater, revealing a number of different environmental conditions throughout the years

For scientists, however, the structure provides insight on the past and future conditions of the Earth.

The enormous crater sits near the village of Batagai, in the Verkhoyansk district, and reaches depths of more than 300 feet.

This region is one of the coldest places in the world.

A recent expedition to the site revealed that the soil once frozen in permafrost is roughly 200,000 years old.

Researchers now classify the Batagaika Crater as a megaslump – a massive hollow created as a result of melting permafrost.

The monstrous sounds are likely produced by falling soil, but locals are afraid to approach the ever-growing gash in the landscape. For scientists, however, the structure provides insight on the past and future conditions of the Earth

The enormous crater sits near the village of Batagai, in the Verkhoyansk district, and reaches depths of more than 300 feet. This region is one of the coldest places in the world

While slumps are common in the Arctic, some scientists consider Batagaika to be an anomaly, according to Motherboard.

Dr. Julian Murton of the University of Sussex, one of few people studying the site, says the crater will likely keep growing – and it won't be the only one.

The dramatic slumping now seen in Siberia hasn't occurred since the Earth moved from the Palaeolithic Ice Age into the current Holocene, a transition period which took place 10,000 years ago, the researcher tells Motherboard.

But in recent decades, numerous similar craters have opened up in Siberia, and many scientists believe this is a result of the warming temperatures from global climate change.

The Batagaika Crater initially began to form after the clearing of forest land in the 1960s warming temperatures then sped up the process, causing the layers of soil on the surface and below to sink as permafrost melted.

In 2008, major flooding made the depression even larger.

Murton has been visiting the Batagaika Crater since 2009, working with the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North-East Federal University in Yakutsk.

In the past, researchers at the site have found the remains of ancient bison, horses, elk, mammoths, and reindeer, some dating back as far as 4,400 years.

They've even discovered the mummified body of a bison calf.

As the work continues, researchers will examine the permafrost and sedimentary layers to understand ancient changes in the landscape, and their implications for the future.

Murton has been visiting the Batagaika Crater since 2009, working with the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North-East Federal University in Yakutsk


თერმოკარსტი

თერმოკარსტი, თერმული კარსტი, კრიოკარსტი [1] (ძვ. ბერძნ. θέρμη — სითბო და კარსტი) — ნიადაგისა და მათი ქვენაფენი ქანების არათანაბარი ჩაწოლა მიწისქვეშა ყინულის ან მზრალი გრუნტის გამოლღობის შედეგად. ეს პროცესი ჰაერის საშუალოწლიური ტემპერატურის მატების შედეგია. თერმოკარსტის დროს უმეტესწილად წარმოიქმნება რელიეფის უარყოფითი ფორმები — ველის დუბეები, ტბიური ქვაბულები, ალასები და აგრეთვე ჩანაქცევები და მიწისქვეშა სიღრუეები, მათ შორის: გროტები, ნიშები, ორმოები იშვიათად ფორმირდება დადებითი ფორმები — ბაიჯარახები და ბორცვნალი პოლიგონები. [2]

თერმოკარსტი მრავალწლოვანმზრალი ქანების ზონაში განვითარებული სპეციფიკური მოვლენაა, უფრო იშვიათად გვხვდება ნიადაგისა და გრუნტის სეზონური გაყინვის შედეგად. დამახასიათებელია ძირითადად ჭარბად ნოტიო მხარეებისთვის, რომელთათვის ნიშანდობლივია ტბებისა და ჭაობების სიუხვე. თერმოკარსტი შეხამებულია სოლიფლუქციასთან, სუფოზიასთან, ეროზიასთან და სხვა რელიეფწარმომქმნელ პროცესებთან. [3]

ბუნებრივ მიზეზებთან (კლიმატის დათბობა, მდინარეთა მოქმედება და სხვა) ერთად თერმოკარსტი შეიძლება გაძლიერდეს ანთროპოგენური მოქმედების შედეგად, რომელიც არღვევს ნიადაგისა და ქვეფენილი ქანების წყლისა და სითბურ ბუნებრივ რეჟიმს (მათ შორის სამრეწველო და საქალაქო მშენებლობის შედეგად, ტყეების გაჩეხვისას და გზების დაგებისას). [2]

თანამედროვე გეოლოგიურ ეპოქაში თერმოკარსტი აქტიურად არ ვითარდება, ხოლო მისი მრავალრიცხოვანი ფორმები წარმოადგენს ადრე და განსაკუთრებით შუა ჰოლოცენში მიმდინარე დათბობის შედეგს. კლიმატის დათბობა იწვევს კრიოლითოგენის ჩრდილო მხარეებში სეზონური ლღობის სიღრმეების მატებას, ხოლო სამხრეთისაში — ქანებისა და ყინულების მრავალწლოვან ლღობას. თერმოკარსტი ჩვეულებრივ ვთარდება პროგრესიულად. თერმოკარსტული ტბების ქვეშ ხშირად წარმოიქმნება გამჭოლი და არაგამჭოლი მღვალობები. ტბათა მიგრაცია და დაშვება თერმკარსტული ქვაბულების წარმოქმნის შედეგია, რომელთაც იაკუტიაში ალასებს, ხოლო დასავლეთ ციმბირში ხასირეის უწოდებენ. [4]

თერმოკარსტული ფორმების მორფოლოგია, მათი ზომები და სიღრმე დამოკიდებულია გენეზისსა და მაღალყინულოვანი დანალექებისა და ყინულის ბუდობების განფენილობასა და სიმძლავრეზე. ტბების ზომები პირველი ათეული მ-იდან 10-20 კმ-მდეა განივში, სიღრმეები 1,5-2 მ-იდან 15 მ-მდე, იშვიათად 30-40 მ-მდე. თერმოკარსტულ ქვაბულებში გროვდება 5-6 მ სიმძლავრის ტბიურ-ჭაობური სინკრიოგენული დანალექები, რომლებიც შეიცავს განმეორებად-ძარღვეულ ყინულებს. თერმოკარსტული ტბების დაშრობის შედეგად წარმოიქმნება ინიექციური პინგო. ტექნოგენურ ნგრევებს თან ახლავს თერმოკარსტული სიღრუეების წარმოშობა. მათთან ბრძოლის ძირითადი საშუალებებია დრენაჟი და ზედაპირის დაშრობა. თერმოკარსტის განვითარება მრავალწლოვანმზრალ ნიადაგ-გრუნტის მხარეებში რელიეფწარმოქმნის დინამიურობის ერთ-ერთი მაჩვენებელია. [4]

თერმოკარსტი გავრცელებულია ძირითადად სუბარქტიკულ სარტყლის ზღვისპირა დადაბლებებზე. თერმოკარსტის ფარგლებს გარეთ გვხვდება რელიქტური თერმოკარსტული რელიეფის ფორმები, რომლებიც ხშირად გარდაქმნილია დენუდაციური, ეროზული და სხვა პროცესებით. თერმოკარსტი კარგად არის გამოხატული ციმბირის, ალასკის, კანადისა და სხვა ტერიტორიებზე. [4]

დიდი თერმოკარსტული დადაბლების კარგი მაგალითია ბატაგაიკის კრატერი ჩერსკის მთაგრეხილზე. [5] პირველად ტერმინი „თერმოკარსტი“ გამოიყენა მიხეილ ერმოლაევმა 1932 წელს. [6]


Journalist and blogger David French believes passionately that the constitutional "right to bear arms" is rooted in a more ancient God-given right. "It is quite clear," says French, "that God has not merely sanctioned the right of self defense but has explicitly approved even the use of deadly force to protect human life."

Biblical scholarship is like building a picture puzzle. The box says 1000 pieces, but there are only 200 in the box. Biblical scholars, working with the pieces they have, try to come up with a coherent overall picture of what the entire puzzle might look like.


Палеонтологічні знахідки [ ред. | ред. код ]

З 2011 року тут проводять дослідження співробітники Науково-дослідного інституту прикладної екології півночі. Швидке розширення кратера оголює безліч скам'янілих матеріалів, включаючи праліси, пилок і туші тварин, таких як вівцебик, мамонт і кінь, а також інших тварин. Ώ] Δ] У 2009 році тут були знайдені в кістяки лошати віком 4 400 років і рештки дитинчати бізона, які збереглись у хорошому стані. Ε]

Це також дозволяє отримати уявлення про кліматичних дані за 200 тис. років. Ζ]


Mysterious Siberian crater, Batagaika, 'gateway to a subterranean world'

Locals hear 'booms from the underworld' in giant ravine but now scientists say it holds secrets of the planet's past.

Many Yakutian people are said to be scared to approach the Batagaika Crater - also known as the Batagaika Megaslump: believing in the upper, middle and under worlds, they see this as a doorway to the last of these.

The fearsome noises are probably just the thuds of falling soil at a landmark that is a one kilometre-long gash up to 100 metres (328 feet) deep in the Siberian taiga.

Batagaika started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared: the land sunk, and has continued to do so, evidently speeded by recent warmer temperatures melting the permafrost, so unbinding the layers on the surface and below. Major flooding in 2008 increased the size of the depression which grows at up to 15 metres per year.

The result is an unparalleled natural laboratory for scientists seeking to understand the threat to permafrost due to climate change.

A recent expedition to the partially manmade phenomenon sought to date the layers of soil which had been frozen in time as permafrost, and also to gather samples of plants and soil.

Until now, it was believed the layers of soil were around 120,000 years old. But Professor Julian Murton from the University of Sussex - who inspected the site near the village of Batagai, in Verkhoyansk district, some 676 kilometres (420 miles) north of Yakutsk, capital of the Sakha Republic - determined that the correct age is around 200,000 years old.

'This project will allow us to compare the data of similar objects in Greenland, China, Antarctica. Data on ancient soils and vegetation will help us to reconstruct the history of the Earth,' he told Russian journalists.

'I was both surprised and excited to learn that we can date the samples found in the lower horizon as 200,000 years.' He explained: 'We found several layers of buried soils. Two of them look especially promising. They show that thousands of years ago the climate in the region of Verkhoyansk was the same as it is now, and even warmer.

'We took the samples of the remains of trees to find out what kind of forests grew in this area. We also took the sediment samples - they will help us to find out what kind of soil predominated here in ancient times. Due to the permafrost, the preservation of organic is excellent.

'Batagaika itself struck my imagination - its size is amazing, the crack itself is perfectly exposed, uncovered, all the layers are perfectly visible and can be thoroughly studied.'

The expedition was a 'pilot study' at one of 'most important' sites in the world for the study of permafrost. The samples will be examined in more detail at the Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science in Pushchino, near Moscow, he said.

The next stage of work here will 'study samples of ancient ice'. He noted that such 'thermokarst depressions' can be observed in the north of Canada, but Batagaika is two-to-three times deeper.

The director of the Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North, Gregory Savvinov, said: 'In the 1960s there was a road between the village of Batagai and some industrial facilities. The forest was cut down, and this led to the formation of the ravine. In recent years, against the backdrop of climatic changes, due to the warming, the ravine grew to the size of crater.'

In 2009 the carcass of an Holocene era foal - some 4,400 years old - was discovered, and a mummified carcass of a bison calf. Remains of ancient bison, horses, elks, mammoths, and reindeer were also found here.

The area is one of the coldest places on the planet, and competes with Oymyakon, from the same region, for the title of the world's coldest inhabited place.


Ep. 47: Sinkholes

What would you do if the ground simply dropped out from under your feet? What if your bedroom suddenly collapsed into a crumbling pit, burying you alive? What if a chunk of your neighborhood simply dropped into an abyss? If a sinkhole opens up near you, you might have less time to answer these questions than you’d think.

Today Jack and J. J. cover a selection of different types of sinkholes. Some strike populated areas, wreaking havoc and tragedy. Others are ancient geological formations around which people have woven ghostly mythologies. Still other sinkholes can be linked to the effects of climate change. Join us as we discuss this remarkably terrifying natural phenomenon.

Sinkholes via the United States Geological Survey

“Sinkholes: When the Earth Opens Up” (Photo Essay) by Alan Taylor. The Atlantic. 12 July 2013.

Urban and Suburban Sinkholes

  • “Remembering Seattle’s ‘Great Ravenna Sinkhole’” by Josh Kerns. KIRO Radio Reporter. http://www.mynorthwest.com. 1 March 2013.
  • “Meet the Town That’s Being Swallowed by a Sinkhole” by Tim Murphy. Mother Jones. 7 August 2013.
  • “Guatemala Sinkhole Created by Humans, Not Nature” by Ker Than. National Geographic News. 5 June 2010. via Wikipedia
  • “Body buried in Florida sinkhole leaves troubling questions” by Rick Jervis. USA Today. 16 March 2013.
  • “Massive Sinkhole That Swallowed Florida Man Reopens, Two Years Later” by Nicole Pelletiere. ABC News. 19 August 2015.

Wild Sinkholes

    via Wikipedia
  • “In Too Deep” by Li Jianbo. http://www.chinapictorial.com. 2000-2002.
  • “Sima Humboldt” via http://www.wondermondo.com. 2009.
  • “The Sinkholes of Cerro Sarisarinama” by Kaushik. http://www.amusingplanet.com. 26 February 2015.
  • “Tabletop Mountains or Tepuis of Venezuela” by Kaushik. http://www.amusingplanet.com. 11 May 2013.
  • “Great Belize Blue Hole” via Belize.com. 1995-2017. via Wikipedia

Megaslump Sinkholes

    via Wikipedia
  • �,000 year old soil found at mysterious crater, a ‘gate to the subterranean world’” by The Siberian Times Reporter. The Siberian Times. 18 May 2016.
  • “Climate Change Just Opened a ‘Gateway to the Underworld’ in Siberia” by Sarah Emerson. motherboard.vice.com. 14 June 2016.
  • “Big bang formed crater causing ‘glow in the sky’: explosion was heard 100 km away” by The Siberian Times Reporter. The Siberian Times. 7 June 2016.

Music used in this podcast:

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Watch the video: Matches Volcano VS Aquarium! Amazing Underwater Chain Reaction (July 2022).


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