Giant Holes are Opening up in Siberian Permafrost Again
A phenomenon that made headlines back in 2014 has resurfaced in the form of a new 164-foot crater in Siberia.
Six years ago, Siberia found itself at the center of a long-running mystery as several large craters, which looked like they had been formed by explosions, appeared across the region.
Researchers spent months investigating the phenomenon and determined that the release of gas hydrates brought about by rising temperatures was the most likely explanation.
Now the same thing appears to be happening again – as evidenced by the appearance of a new crater in Siberia’s Yamal Peninsula that was spotted by a team from the Russian news agency Vesti Yamal.
This is the 17th such crater (named hydrolaccoliths) discovered to date.
“Warming and thawing of surface soil weakens the frozen ‘cap,’ resulting in the blowout that causes the craters,” Sue Natali of the Woodwell Climate Research Center told Gizmodo.
It is thought that abnormally warm weather throughout the summer may have been responsible.
While there is still much that scientists have yet to understand about the process that creates these holes, it is hoped that a renewed investigation of the phenomenon will help to reveal more.
It is also likely that many more craters like this one will open up in the region over the next few years.