Wednesday, Oct 18 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Today Siberia is a vast region of bustling metropolises and magnificent landscapes'
A. J. Haywood

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE Siberian crater

By Anna Liesowska
12 November 2014

Haunting beauty of massive hole as scientists examine frozen lake formed after giant blowout.

'We managed to go down into the funnel, it was a successful expedition'. Picture: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

A mission this week to the newly-formed crater on the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia is expected throw fresh light on how this and other such phenomenon were formed. Experts are working on a theory that gas hydrates caused underground explosions in the same way as eruptions under the Atlantic Ocean may have led to the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon.

Our new pictures show how, for the first time, scientists used climbing equipment to reach the base of the crater - a lake at least 10.5 metres deep with a frozen surface.

Leader of the new mission, Vladimir Pushkarev, director of the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, told The Siberian Times: 'We managed to go down into the funnel, all was successful. We used climbing equipment, and it is easier to do this in winter, than in summer, with the ground now hard.

'We took all the probes we planned, and made measurements. Now scientists need time to process all the data and only then can they draw conclusions.'

The funnel of the crater is about 16.5 metres deep, not including an earthen rampart on the surface, formed in the blowout, of several metres in height.

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

It is possible other such phenomenon existed but were not noticed earlier. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

At the base is a frozen lake. 'The depth of the mini-lake is about 10.5 metres but it can be deeper. We are waiting for the exact information from readings taken by the scientists', Vladimir Pushkarev said. 

The research to the largest of three known holes - all recently formed - in northern Siberia was initiated by the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration, and included experts from a number of institutes. 'They did radiolocation tests at a depth of 200 metres, took probes of ice, ground, gases, and air. Now they all went back to their institutes and labs and will work on the material. The next stage is processing of the gathered information. 

'Then we plan to explore the surrounding area, comparing images from space, and even those taken in the 1980s, to understand if there are - or were - some similar objects'.

It is possible other such phenomenon existed but were not noticed earlier. 

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

'As of now we don't see anything dangerous in the sudden appearance of such holes'. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Mr Pushkarev claimed it is too early to draw conclusions on theories on the  crater's formation, including the suggestion from Russian scientist Igor Yeltsov, the deputy head of the Trofimuk Institute, that heating from above the surface due to unusually warm climatic conditions, and from below, due to geological fault lines, led to a huge release of gas hydrates, causing the eruption.

When the crater was first highlighted, earlier this year, it stoked many different theories including a manmade hoax, the work of aliens from outer space, a meteorite or even a stray missile. These are now discounted. 

'I've heard about this Bermuda Triangle idea, but I repeat, our scientists need to work on materials first and only then draw some definite conclusions. At the moment we don't have enough information,' said Mr Pushkarev, a climber, rescuer and explorer who led the experts to the scene in temperatures of minus 11C.

'We haven't worked with other funnels yet. We plan to do this, but first of all we need to understand completely the nature of this very funnel to be able to create a model which then we'll use to compare with other craters'. 

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater


Exclusive new pictures INSIDE mystery Siberian crater

The research to the largest of three known holes was initiated by the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration. Pictures: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration

Mr Pushkarev stated: 'As of now we don't see anything dangerous in the sudden appearance of such holes, but we've got to study them properly to make absolutely sure we understand the nature of their appearance and don't need to be afraid about them'.

Gas hydrates are ice-like forms of water containing gas molecules, notably methane. They exist in permafrost regions such as northern Siberia, but also under the oceans in some parts of the world. 

'The main element - and this is our working theory to explain the Yamal crater - was a release of gas hydrates. It turned out that there are gas hydrates both in the deep layer which on peninsula is several hundred metres down, and on the layer close to the surface', said scientist Vladimir Potapov before the latest expedition. 'There might be another factor, or factors, that could have provoked the air clap. Each of the factors added up and gas exploded, leading to appearance of the crater.'

He stressed: 'The crater is located on the intersection of two tectonic faults. Yamal peninsula is seismically quiet, yet the area of the crater we looked into has quite an active tectonic life. That means that the temperature there was higher than usual.'

The name Yamal means 'the end of the world', which ironically is also a description applied to the Bermuda Triangle for those lost on boats and planes. The areas stretches from the British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean to the Florida coast, to Puerto Rico. 

Professor Yeltsov said: 'There is a version that the Bermuda Triangle is a consequence of gas hydrates reactions. They start to actively decompose with methane ice turning into gas. It happens in an avalanche-like way, like a nuclear reaction, producing huge amounts of gas. That makes ocean to heat up and ships sink in its waters mixed with a huge proportion of gas.

'The same leads to the air to get supersaturated with methane, which makes the atmosphere extremely turbulent and lead to aircraft crashes'.

Comments (91)

I'm sorry looking at the hole looks just like the crops that came up in the fields.. I do believe, I do believe, you scientologist have a theory for everything so optimistic. Until the day comes like it happened on that movie Nicholas cage came out. The world ended and 2 were taken to procreate. We will never know.
Norm Ann, corpus christi tx
17/11/2014 21:44
2
19
The outside entry part is a slope from top to bottom entry point, does that not mean that this was caused externally and not from inside.
Siva Chellapermal, Vallauris, France
17/11/2014 09:25
3
8
Very adventurous, I would love to visit this place and explore the area
Atul jain, mumbai, India
16/11/2014 22:45
13
1
Geologic beans.
Kaniksu Kidd, Northern Idaho, USA
16/11/2014 07:29
1
6
This is so interesting! I would love to have been exploring this with those scientists. While we reach out into space there are still things yet to learn about how things work right here on Earth.
john poyhonen, United States
16/11/2014 07:03
36
1
Very exciting, brave men and women.
Craig Mr., Roseburg/USA
16/11/2014 00:51
Religion, when education and thinking are too hard.
Pat, Cambridge, ON
15/11/2014 20:45
24
20
I admire these scientists. I guess they also have to be expert mountain climbers to pursue their arctic research. Thank you Siberian Times for the photos and the article. I look forward to your publishing the results of their tests.

Erlee, Edmonton, Albertam Canada
E. Espinosa, Edmonton, Albertam Canada
15/11/2014 19:21
24
1
Here is one pretty critical detail that was not mentioned -
This last summer a expedition from the Scientific Center of Arctic Studies found methane concentrations of 9.6% at the bottom of the crater – 50,000 times the atmospheric average. The possibility that methane released by melting permafrost produced the crater had been a favored hypothesis from its discovery in mid-July.
David, Port Angeles, USA
15/11/2014 10:10
35
2
I thought this cavity was much deeper. I would not like to end up in it anyway.
Narbonne, London, England
15/11/2014 10:05
4
1
Here is one pretty critical detail that was not mentioned -
This last summer a expedition from the Scientific Center of Arctic Studies found methane concentrations of 9.6% at the bottom of the crater – 50,000 times the atmospheric average. The possibility that methane released by melting permafrost produced the crater had been a favored hypothesis from its discovery in mid-July.

David, Port Angeles, WA. USA
15/11/2014 09:52
8
5
As mentioned in the article the temperature at the bottom is higher than expected and presence of a tectonic fault under it could we conclude it to be the emergence of a new volcano or a hot water spring...............and the high temperature can be explained by the nature of ice to act as an insulating jacket combining with internal hot gasses from the mantle due to the melting of minerals and rocks.....................This is what I suggest pleased do correct me if I am wrong
zishan Shaikh, Pune, India
15/11/2014 08:21
5
3
Hydrocarbons exist through the Universe and on Earth are the byproduct of fission heat and daughter atoms, see "Fracturing the Fossil Fuel Fable"....and "Earth's Missing Geothermal Flux" at the FauxScienceSlayer site. Oil well driller have encountered similar events, web search "gas well blowouts" for photos.
FauxScienceSlayer, Occupied Texas
15/11/2014 08:02
2
9
They are coming back and collecting their things. Things they left here long ago.
Mikey, USA
15/11/2014 07:09
9
6
A methane gas explosion has requirements such as proper mixture of oxygen and methane and a source of ignition. If methane was release from below which is plausible then how did air with oxygen get in from another formation and more elusive is what caused ignition and how did it get in there?
Henry A Kolesnik, Green Valley AZ USA
15/11/2014 05:47
5
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
EUR67.46USD57.34GBP76.15Other...