Mystery of the appearance of the crater in Siberia

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Photo: nature.com

Russian scientists have found the origin of the mysterious crater formed in the Yamal Peninsula in July 2014. According to their findings, the geological formation is the result of cryovolcanism activity. Article with results of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The cryovolcanism occur mainly on the other planets and their satellites. In conditions of extremely low ambient temperatures the cryovolcano spew not molten rock, but water and other chemical compounds (ammonia and methane) in the liquid and gaseous state. In earth’s permafrost — the layer of the earth’s crust, where the main rock-forming substance is ice, is also experiencing rapid geological processes, but still they were not considered as examples of cryovolcanism.

In 2014, Yamal was discovered crater of unknown origin 30 kilometres from the Bovanenkovo oil and gas condensate field. As possible causes of its appearance was called the fall of the meteorite or the melting of permafrost caused by global warming.

At the edge of the crater 20 meters in diameter were scattered fragments of rocks, and the maximum valley depth was 52 feet. She quickly filled with water and by the fall of 2016 turned into a lake.

In 2013 on the site of the crater was heaving hill (Pingo) is a hill formed by various geological processes in the permafrost zone. In the case of the Yamal crater Pingo arose during drying of the lake and subsequent freezing of the talik (frost breed). The increasing pressure formed by the ice core wet the soil within the talik, partially extrudes out of the breed that looks like a hill.

Thus there is a gradual saturation of the aqueous phase with carbon dioxide. Eventually, the pressure becomes too great, and the crust of ice is broken, spewing the wet ground.

Video, photo All from Russia.

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