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Earth News Science

Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-earth-attacks dept.
New submitter DavidMZ writes: The Siberian Times reports on a large crater of unknown origin that has appeared in the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia. The Russian government has dispatched a group of scientists to investigate the 80-meter-wide crater. Anna Kurchatova from Siberia's Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Center believes the crater was a result of an explosion when a mixture of water, salt, and natural gas exploded underground. The Yamai Peninsula is known to hold Russia's biggest natural gas reserve."

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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

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  • by SQLGuru (980662) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:49PM (#47469641) Journal

    And yet again, the Internet has lived up to my expectations.

  • nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by darkob (634931) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @02:50PM (#47469655)
    There are thousends upon thousends of similar holes (all filled with water) on Yamal peninsula. Many are few kilometers in diameter, most are smaller. This one may be new, but quite common in the area. Obviously it's due to gas eruptions of some kind. Landscape is like from the LOTR.
  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:01PM (#47469773) Homepage

    Sadly I have to agree. Doing fieldwork among Russian villagers, I had long been used to the appalling prevalance of alcoholism among the male population, but the rise in heroin use (or heroin substitute use like krokodil) is yet another nail in the demographic suicide coffin.

    That said, the Yamal Peninsula is Nenets country, and while alcoholism is known among that population, I'd be surprised if hard drug were common there yet, as it is probably off the supply chain.

  • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:47PM (#47470163) Homepage
    They call it "The Door to Hell." Video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • by Misagon (1135) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @03:53PM (#47470233)

    There are lots of gas pockets in Siberian and under the polar seas that are locked by cold temperatures only. As warming increases, more and more of these will burst, accelerating climate change.

    Scientists have been warning of these for many years. There has been lots of talks about a "tipping point" after which no reduction in man's greenhouse gas emissions would have any effect, when carbon levels in the atmosphere could increase because of cascading natural gas eruptions alone.
    This is why it is so important to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Re:nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheOriginalRevdoc (765542) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @04:34PM (#47470557) Journal
    These are probably melted pingos. http://www.smh.com.au/world/op... [smh.com.au]
  • Re:nothing new (Score:5, Informative)

    by alvinrod (889928) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @05:11PM (#47470855)
    But those holes were rather small. This one is reported to by 80 meters wide, which coincidentally is rather similar to the dimensions of the (Royal) Albert Hall which is oval-shaped with a length and width of 83 and 72 meters according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].
  • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:56PM (#47471783)

    It would be more likely to be the exit point of a miniature black hole. The entry point would likely be a very small hole.*

    I call these exit wounds; the physics is that the exiting hypervelocity thing sets up a shock wave moving matter out of the way, and it's the shock wave excavates the material in the hole. (Even a black hole does this; a decent sized one (say 10^10 kg) is very small, so not much matter would be eaten during a transit of the Earth. It does, however, pull matter towards it and its wake sets up an explosive shock wave that fractures and evacuates material.)

    * A black hole the mass of the Sun would have a radius of ~ 3 km, so one the mass of the Earth is a few mm, and a likely primordial black hole, with a mass of maybe 10^10 kg, would have a radius of 10^-17 m, or well below the size of an atomic nucleus. Such a small black hole would not "eat" much in its passage through the Earth, which might take 20 - 40 seconds or so, because not much would actually hit it. It's gravitational wake, however, would be another matter. Such a primordial black hole would leave a tiny entrance wound, but a large exit wound.

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