New Siberian Sink Holes Found

February 24, 2015

crater1It’s a remote area, so probably no surprise that, now that people are looking for them,  more of these have been discovered.  Still not possible to characterize what these processes are, and what they mean.

Barents Observer:

Scientists say they have discovered another eight sinkholes in a 10 km radius from the Bovanenkovo field. The craters are all located around the major hole discovered by oilmen in July 2014, Yamalpro.ru reports.

The sinkholes could pose a serious challenge to the quickly expanding gas industry in the area. Gazprom has invested billions in the development of the Bovanenkovo field, the biggest gas structure in the peninsula with an estimated 4,9 trillion cubic meters of resources. A new railway now connects the field with the national rail grid, and a west-bound pipeline brings the gas to European buyers.

That infrastructure could be put in jeopardy if more local craters appear.

Gazprom is in the process of developing several more gas fields in the area, and also other companies are heavily represented, among them Novatek in the Yamal LNG project and Gazprom Neft in the Novoportovsky project.

The first Yamal sinkhole made headlines all over the world. A crater with a diameter of up to 60 meter, the phenomenon was soon branded the Black Hole of Yamal. Scientists believe that the hole was created following the release of gas methane and subsequent collaps of permafrost.

The eight new sinkholes are smaller in size than the one discovered in July last year. The researchers believe that the bigger sinkholes are likely to be surrounded by smaller ones, and are now mapping the peninsula in order to be able to predict the sites for new holes.

Huffington Post:

Now, with the help of satellite imagery, researchers have located four additional craters–and they believe there may be dozens more in the region. That has them calling for an urgent investigation to protect residents living in the area.

I am sure that there are more craters on Yamal, we just need to search for them… I suppose there could be 20 to 30 craters more,” Prof. Vasily Bogoyavlensky, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, told The Siberian Times. “It is important not to scare people, but to understand that it is a very serious problem and we must research this.”

Researchers ventured deep inside one of the holes last November, collecting data in an effort to learn why the holes formed. The leading theory is that the holes were created by gas explosions triggered by underground heat or by rising air temperatures associated with climate change, the Siberian Times reported last December.

crater2

Since scientists can’t predict when or where gas explosions will occur, it’s dangerous to study them, according to Bogoyavlensky. But he said his team is planning to launch a new expedition, and to put stations in the area to detect earthquakes that might strike when the craters open up.

“We need to answer now the basic questions: what areas and under what conditions are the most dangerous?” he told the Siberian Times. “These questions are important for safe operation of the northern cities and infrastructure of oil and gas complexes.”

Dr. Carolyn Ruppel, a research geophysicist at the Woods Hole Field Center in Massachusetts and chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Gas Hydrates Project, told The Huffington Post in an email that she was not surprised that new holes had been found.

Ruppel, who is not involved in the Siberian research effort, called for more research on the holes.

“The processes that are causing them to form likely occur over a wide area of the continuous permafrost in this part of Siberia,” she said in the email. “Scientists should definitely conduct more research on these features to determine the processes that cause their formation, how they evolve with time, and whether it is possible to predict where new ones will occur.”

 

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5 Responses to “New Siberian Sink Holes Found”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    It has been 7 or 8 months since the crater story began, and the picture that led off this Climate Progress piece then was “really scary” and “jaw dropping”. It showed a couple of dozen craters, and caused me to go WTF??!! when I saw it

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/01/3466466/siberian-craters-permafrost-climate-change/

    And now, many months later, we hear talk of being “….sure that there are more craters on Yamal, we just need to search for them… “? Sorry, but the crap detectors are going off. Someone is dragging their feet and/’or not telling all they know, and reading stuff like “….It is important not to scare people, but to understand that it is a very serious problem and we must research this….” is not encouraging—-sounds like there may be a serious SHTF episode going on and they are trying to avoid a panic. And where are the Russian lady scientists that we heard from back then? Have they been sent to the Gulag?

    “The leading theory is that the holes were created by gas explosions triggered by underground heat or by rising air temperatures associated with climate change, the Siberian Times reported last December”. Yeah, that sure sounds to me like it ought to be the “leading theory” and the proof may be that the methane bomb starts erupting all across the arctic. Then what?


    • Dude. Helps if you expand your horizons a bit. They’re called pingos. And that was figured out last year.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/07/18/new-pictures-of-the-hole-in-yamal-and-pingo-was-its-name-o/

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Sorry, Russell. I’m glad to respond to you BRIEFLY so that you can get your Heartland Shill time card punched, but am forced to tell you to go away with your parroted WUWT BS. Those big craters are not pingos, which look quite different and have water in them.

        “The leading theory is that the holes were created by gas explosions triggered by underground heat or by rising air temperatures associated with climate change, the Siberian Times reported last December”. Yep, still sounds good!

        And that was TWO months ago, not the SEVEN months ago that Watts put out his denier explanation. I myself have more confidence in what the folks who live in Russia and Siberia had to say recently than in what one of your fellow fossil fuel funded shill buddies had to say way back when.

        3…….2……1…… GO AWAY!

  2. redskylite Says:

    I tend to agree with the DOG on this, Russia is not the most open of states and has huge investments in fossils, so we can not expect too much from them in the way of news. The fact that a Russian deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute has called for urgent investigation, indicates the seriousness. The fact he says “It is important not to scare people” isn’t very comforting, I seem to remember that phrase being spoken in certain apocalypse sci-fi movies.

    At the same time the Washington Post has a very strong story from Chris Mooney at the same latitude, but in the West.

    We can all see the exaggerated temperature rises at the Northern high latitudes, which actually make the well published global averages, rather academic, misleading and give a false sense of security.

    A stable balance is obviously becoming disrupted and we do need to understand what is happening to our “Goldilocks” planet, to try and keep it that way.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/24/the-remote-alaskan-village-that-needs-to-be-relocated-due-to-climate-change/


  3. […] depth and circular perfection of the basin made me think of the Siberian sinkholes that have been causing puzzlement and perhaps some concern over the last few […]


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