June 14, 2024

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Scientists have discovered that the size of the “Gate of Hell” in Siberia is rapidly expanding

Scientists have discovered that the size of the “Gate of Hell” in Siberia is rapidly expanding

Scientists have discovered that a crater in Siberia is expanding faster than expected due to climate change, saying it is now posing problems for surrounding habitats.

The Patajika collapse, known as the “Gate of Hell” and located in the frozen Yana Highlands, covers about 200 acres of land and can be seen in satellite images taken from space.

The crater was first discovered in photographs in 1991, and has been growing in width and depth since then, as global warming causes permafrost (frozen soil deposits) to thaw.

The Patajica collapse, known as the “Gate of Hell” and located in the frozen Jana Highlands, was first discovered in photographs taken in 1991. Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS).
In the past three decades, the crater has expanded significantly in size. A recent computer-generated image shows its current size. NASA
Scientists discovered that the crater is 300 feet deep, and that there is little room for it to grow deeper, because thawing permafrost has almost reached the bedrock at the bottom. Morton et al/permafrost processes

In a new study published in GeomorphologyGlaciologist Alexander Kizyakov and his team used remote sensing and field data from laboratory samples taken in 2019 and 2023 to create a 3D view of the speed of permafrost melting.

They discovered that the hole was 300 feet deep, and that there was little room for it to grow deeper because the thawing permafrost had almost reached the rock at the bottom.

However, the hole continues to expand outward at an “accelerating rate.”

“The volume of bowl-shaped regressive melt retreat (RTS) is increasing by about 1 million cubic meters per year,” Kiziakov wrote in the study.

“The volume of bowl-shaped retrograde melt subsidence (RTS) is increasing by about 1 million cubic meters per year,” Kiziakov wrote. Reuters
Kiziakov and his team noted that the rapidly expanding crater could also increase greenhouse gas emissions, as frozen nutrients melt and are released into the atmosphere. Reuters

This will pose problems for the nearby Patagai River, as it will increase riverbank erosion and affect the surrounding environment.

Kiziakov and his team noted that the rapidly expanding crater could also increase greenhouse gas emissions, as frozen nutrients melt and are released into the atmosphere.

They estimate that between 4,000 and 5,000 tons of previously frozen organic carbon are currently released annually, and this number is likely to increase each year.

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Nikita Tananaev, a researcher at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, who was not involved in this study, told Atlas Obscura that it is not surprising that the crater expanded so quickly. Reuters
The expansion of the crater will pose problems for the nearby Batagay River, as it will increase riverbank erosion and affect the surrounding environment. Reuters

Nikita Tananaev, a researcher at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, Russia, who was not involved in this study, said: The mysterious atlas He was not surprised that the hole expanded.

“As we observe the current climate above the Verkhoyansk mountain range, near the massive Batagai slope, it is not surprising that this feature is growing so quickly,” Tananaev says.

Temperatures in the region have been above average in recent years.

“High rates of decline are expected to continue because we expect extreme air temperature warming in this region for several more years,” he said.