The crater of Batagaika (Republic of Sakha, Russia), known as ‘the gate to hell’ continues to increase in size, baffling Russian scientists.
Located deep in the eastern depths of Russia, this enigmatic crater is increasing in size at an alarming rate of up to 30 meters a year.
Before the 1960s, the tadpole-shaped rift was little more than a gully but in recent decades its size has increased amid rising temperatures that have thawed the permafrost in the area.
Vladimir Sívorotkin, principal investigator of the Faculty of Geology of the Moscow State University, detailed that the structure is a kilometer long, 800 meters wide, and up to 100 meters deep depends on the way in which permafrost acts with the environment.
This specialist recalled that the origin of the opening is the thermokarst, a ground surface whose upper layers are destroyed by thawing, and the permafrost is a tender formation that suffers so much from high summer temperatures – in that area, the thermometer reaches 30 ° C – such as deforestation.
In addition, the process is accelerated due to global warming in the Arctic that produces abnormal heat patches in that region.
The temperature rise and flooding occurred the permafrost began to thaw, something that alert scientists by constant landslides.
According to NASA, Batagaika has revealed a number of ancient animals, including a Pleistocene horse, prehistoric steppe bison, cave lions, and wolves.
With temperatures rising in the area, the melting of the frozen water washes away the sediment, widening its furrow in the landscape.
The situation has become even more severe this summer.
Average temperatures in the Siberian Arctic recently were 10°C (18°F) above normal.
Consequences of the gate of hell
As a consequence of the increase in its size, there are constant landslides.
Sívorotkin believes that this evolution will continue if its walls are not strengthened in some way.
At the same time, processes such as global warming in the Arctic due to degassing in the depths of the ocean contribute to the formation of abnormal heat patches over the area, with which there will be more and more thermokarst formations.
The geological origin of the Batagaika crater dates back to the 1960s when part of the forest was cut down, while the land subsidence began 25 to 30 years later and continues today.
Is this really a gateway to hell or just another natural phenomenon.
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