Saturday, Nov 18 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Siberia's navigable rivers are more than long enough to encircle the globe'
W.Bruce Lincoln

The crater that keeps swallowing up houses

By The Siberian Times reporter
03 September 2015

Giant sinkhole threatens more homes as it widens each week.

It looks as if a meteorite has struck from outer space, but in fact the crater lies above a collapsing potash mine. Picture: Odnoklassniki

A huge abyss is gradually widening, and sucking in more holiday homes as the earth collapses. It looks as if a meteorite has struck from outer space, but in fact the crater lies above a collapsing potash mine.

In the Perm region of the Urals, the crater started caving in at the end of 2014 and when it was first reported its dimensions on the surface were a modest 20 x 30 metres.

By April this year, the Solikamsk hole's surface measurements were 58 by 87 metres. Now - five months later - it measures 122 by 125 metres and is still enlarging, as it threatens new dachas - holiday homes - and forest. The crater, visible from space,  is believed to be more than 75 metres deep. 

In April, an expert examining the hole said it was 'more or less stable', predicting it would 'remain so'. Yet it has still grown, with latest images taken from a helicopter over the hole show it far closer to the forest on both sides. 

Hole in Solikamsk


Hole in Solikamsk


Hole in Solikamsk


Hole in Solikamsk


Hole in Solikamsk

By April this year, the Solikamsk hole's surface measurements were 58 by 87 metres. Now - five months later - it measures 122 by 125 metres. Picture: Odoklassiki

The crater is close to the Solikamsk-2 mine owned by the world's number one potash producer, Uralkali. In November last year, there was underground flooding at the mine and the 1,300 employees were successfully evacuated. The sinkhole appeared around the same time.

The company, listed on the London and Moscow stock exchanges, linked the problems to an earlier mine flooding in 1995, which has been blamed on an earthquake. Uralkali is taking extensive action to limit the damage.

'Uralkali continues to eliminate the accident consequences and to minimize potential adverse effects,' said a company publication. 'The company continues pumping brines, working to strengthen the bridges between the mining fields Solikamsk-1 and Solikamsk-2, as well as plugging water carrying channels. 

Hole in Solikamsk


Hole in Solikamsk

In November last year, there was underground flooding at the mine and the 1,300 employees were successfully evacuated. The sinkhole appeared around the same time. Pictures: Ilya Lipin, Vsolikamske

'As of August 24, 2015 the dimensions of the of the hole at the level of the earth's surface is 122 to 125 metres. 

Uralkali also conducts hydraulic filling of old mines in order to reduce deformation of the rock mass. Mid inflow [of the brine] during the last ten days was 310 cubic meters per hour.' Owners of houses that disappeared into the hole have been told they will be compensated. 

The cause of the sinkhole is seen as different to the appearance of craters in northern regions of Siberia recently.

The Siberian craters - in permafrost regions - were the result of the melting of soil containing gas hydrates, leading to dramatic blowouts, say scientists.

Comments (3)

This is because of too many empty oilchambers in the eatrh. This is same what happens in USA but they try to keep silence about it.
Leiah Sariell, Lapland countryside/Finland
06/09/2015 01:12
5
1
Considero muy probable es consecuencia de la explotación de potasio, tan cercana.
Néstor Ventoso, Neuquén, Argentina
05/09/2015 20:36
2
0
It becomes a challenge for many geologists from any where to find the profesional answer to that and many other events like that appearing in several countries. The surprising matter is that almost all of those holes suddenly appearing in different continents are circle shaped which makes them surprisingly much more interesting and questionable.

Besides investigators also scientifics have this special phenomenal events in their quest to find the technical answer for those and many other surprising events.

I wish I would send this in russian, unfortunately the language barrier is that, a barrier, fortunately hope this Inglish which is not my first language would be understandable. Just in casi my e.mail is azile-5@hotmail.com here in South America. Best wishes from Luis Boluarte.
Luis Boluarte, Lima Perú
05/09/2015 10:41
7
4
1

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
EUR70.36USD59.63GBP78.92Other...