Wednesday, Jun 29 2022
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Today Siberia is a vast region of bustling metropolises and magnificent landscapes'
A. J. Haywood

Giant new 50-metre deep 'crater' opens up in Arctic tundra

By Anna Liesowska
29 August 2020

Blocks of soil and ice thrown hundreds of metres from epicentre of the funnel at the Yamal peninsula.

 The new funnel filmed from air by the team of Yamal-based TV station. Picture from July 2020 by Vesti Yamal

The recently-formed new hole or funnel is the latest to be seen in northern Siberia since the phenomenon was first registered in 2014. 

It was initially spotted by chance from the air by a Vesti Yamal TV crew en route from an unrelated assignment. 

A group of scientists then made an expedition to examine the large cylindrical crater which has a depth of up to 50 metres.

Such funnels are believed to be caused by the build up of methane gas in pockets of thawing permafrost under the surface.

Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 
Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 

Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 
Pictures of B1, the very first funnel seen in summer 2014 on the Yamal peninsula, and a map of the first four funnels in both Yamal and Taymyr peninsula. Pictures: Vasily Bogoyavlensky


Scientist Dr Evgeny Chuvilin, a leading researcher at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, said: ‘What we saw today is striking in its size and grandeur. 

'These are the colossal forces of nature that create such objects.’

The 'crater' - these holes are called hydrolaccoliths or bulgunnyakhs by scientists - is given the number 17, and is seen as the most impressive of the large holes to suddenly appear in recent years as the permafrost thaws. 

Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, of the Russian Oil and Gas Research Institute in Moscow, told Vesti Yamal: 'This object is unique. It carries a lot of additional scientific information, which I am not yet ready to disclose. 

'This is a subject for scientific publications. We have to analyse all this, and build three-dimensional models.’

Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 


Giant new 50-metre deep crater opens up after explosion in Arctic tundra 
A new funnel was noticed by chance by a crew of Vesti Yamal TV as they were flying from an unrelated assignment. Pictures from July 2020 by Vesti Yamal


The craters appear because ‘gas-saturated cavities are formed in the permafrost…

’In a literal sense, a void space filled with gas with high pressure. The covering layer distends, the thickness of which is 5-10 metres approximately.’

Explosions have happened in swelling pingos, or mounds in the tundra which erupts when the gas builds up under a thick cap of ice. 

Bogoyavlensky has previously claimed that human activities, like drilling for gas from the vast Yamal reserves could be a factor in the eruptions. 

He is concerned at the risk of ecological disasters if pingos build up close to a gas pipelines, production facilities or residential areas. 

‘In a number of areas, pingos - as we see both from satellite data and with our own eyes during helicopter inspections - literally prop up gas pipes,’ he said previously.

Comments (37)

What happens if it keep getting bigger an bigger
Daishon, Macon county il
03/09/2020 23:01
0
5
Why are most holes not that deep?
Lol, Decatur Illinois
03/09/2020 19:43
1
1
Notre lutte contre les émissions de gaz d'échappement me semble ridicule par rapport à ce que peut laisser échapper de telles explosions de méthane .
,
03/09/2020 14:19
1
1
This is Putin's result or Cremlin's vertical of government during last 20 years.....
Rimvydas, Panevezys/Lithuania
03/09/2020 12:23
1
2
This phenomena will soon be accelerating with the thaw & increased temperatures. When the temperature went over 100°F in June, the runaway wildfires and melting permafrost across the Arctic Circle that's not limited only to Siberia. This is going to be a long term problem needing cooperation between Climate Scientists of the world.
Gregory Louderback, United States
03/09/2020 10:29
4
3
This Is Bad.
kenneth, sweden
03/09/2020 02:54
0
0
@Cindy: I'm guessing from the photos that it was deep enough to have opened an underground water channel. The liquid is water mixed with sediment, etc. In other words, it formed a new pond.
Eric, Aberdeen, United States
03/09/2020 01:11
0
0
Maybe I'm stupid..but last I checked weve been drilling oil for hundreds of years, ..oil that took thousands if not millions of years to accumulate. I'm pretty damn sure we are sucking it out of the ground a LOT quicker than it is forming. Does anyone elsewhere believe that a huge cache of oil like that is probably leavin a huge air gap between the land above it .

+..and the the pressure released when they tap into a vein. Letting the land sift down until a funnel occurs and boom..these holes. That I personally hadnt see until maybe at best 10 years ago. Hmmph
Cort, Phoenix
03/09/2020 00:46
4
3
c'est la faute à poutine!
prout, gazamoi
02/09/2020 18:43
0
0
BEWARE of the PINGO!
David, Los Angeles
02/09/2020 10:00
2
1
Mother nature is trying to kill us.
Dan, USA
02/09/2020 02:00
3
2
So deep
Pene Trator, Town, Country
01/09/2020 20:46
0
0
I second Igor from Minsk, this bulbs should be tapped before they burst. The tundra is then protected longer term and the pure methane doesn't reach the atmosphere.. Sadly these regions are so remote from habitation the endevour would be very costly
Greetings.
Nestor Pilos, Kapellen, Belgium
01/09/2020 15:18
2
6
@Igor Very dangerous because of the pressure and not really a lot of gas, as it seems

@Cindy It rained

@Anonymous Its methan not nitrogen or helium. It got there by rotten plant matter

@Olly brazilian f*rt p*rn
BEN, Germany
01/09/2020 13:33
4
0
It should be the obligation of oil and gas industry to be capturing methane up there but they wont even capture it at their wells.
Micajah, Texas
31/08/2020 21:30
4
0

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR53.86USD51.16GBP62.42Other...