The mysterious crater on the Yamal Peninsula unites the Earth with icy planets

The mysterious crater on the Yamal Peninsula unites the Earth with icy planets

The staff of the geological faculty of MSU named after M. V. Lomonosov conducted a comprehensive study of the Arctic crater on the Yamal Peninsula, found the cause of education and has opened a new geological phenomenon previously known only for icy planets and planetoids. The results of the research September 10, was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


The first mysterious crater formed by the explosion of gas on the Yamal Peninsula, was discovered in the summer of 2014 and has aroused the interest of scientists. This crater was located away from known deposits of natural gas and the exact cause of its formation was unclear. New and understudied phenomenon could pose a danger to the local population and main communications.

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“Unusual size and shape of the Yamal crater immediately gave rise to many hypotheses, including the most fantastic. On the Yamal Peninsula, actively explore the gas fields, and such phenomena are a threat. Therefore, it was necessary to establish the nature of the crater and to understand how this phenomenon is associated with the development of the Arctic or global climate change, says co-author Andrey Bychkov from MSU. — For our staff to explain a new natural phenomenon was a serious challenge. To solve such a task possible only by combining different specialists of MSU, not just geocryologic. The use of different methods led to the same conclusion: the Yamal crater is a new phenomenon of nature, which we decided to call cryovolcanism by analogy with the term adopted in planetary science. This means that the Arctic has not been studied and, possibly, prepares more surprises”.

In the course of complex geocryological expedition the staff of the geological faculty of Moscow state University have studied the characteristics of freezing talkovich water, the structural features of subsurface ice content and distribution of the gas component of frozen rocks, and also undertook geochemical analysis of the mineral components and melt water.

Based on these results the researchers decided that the crater was formed as a result of the accumulation of gas in the talik — a layer of non-frozen land area of permafrost.News“Earth fell, the forest was gone.” As there are craters in the ground

Chemical and isotopic analyses of the gas showed that it was formed by biogenic, that is a result of microorganisms.

The formation of craters is usually preceded by the appearance of bumps with a height of from two to five meters. Inside the hill under the permafrost layer sandwiched gas, which as a result of hydrostatic pressure resulting from freezing and thawing of ice in permafrost, explodes. After the explosion formed a crater.