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Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 11 Aug 2014, 18:13:13

Siberian craters - Yet another reason that we need action to stop Climate Change

A team of Russian scientists have now researched the area and reported in the prestigious science journal Nature that methane was found in the crater at a concentration of 9.6%, a massive increase over the average of 0.000179% found in the atmosphere. Nature adds that “Over the past 20 years, permafrost at a depth of 20 metres has warmed by about 2°C, driven by rising air temperatures, notes Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten, a geochemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

Hubberten speculates that a thick layer of ice on top of the soil at the Yamal crater site trapped methane released by thawing permafrost. “Gas pressure increased until it was high enough to push away the overlying layers in a powerful injection, forming the crater,” he says. Hubberten says that he has never before seen a crater similar to the Yamal crater in the Arctic.” (Read more at http://www.nature.com/news/mysterious-s ... -to-meth... )

Methane Hydrate may have “abundance range between 100 and 530,000 gigatons of carbon. Values between 1000 and 5000 gigatons are most likely. That is around 100 to 500 times as much carbon as is released into the atmosphere ­annually by the burning of coal, oil and gas.” Scientists think most of these deposits are in areas not likely to be effected by global warming in the short term. But the existence of deposits like those that appear too be the case of the Siberian craters was previously “controversial, as such shallow gas hydrates would clearly be highly susceptible to dissociation in response to climate warming.” (Read more at http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledg ... s-and-co... )

The concern is the possible creation of a major posse feedback loop where climate change resulting in increased temperatures in the tundra leads to permafrost thawing and the release of methane. The methane causes additional warming leading to additional release of methane etc. At the moment looking at available evidence many scientists think such a loop is unlikely but as with other aspects of climate change it’s not fully predictable and represents yet another potentially disastrous tipping point.


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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 12 Aug 2014, 18:49:58

Why those huge craters in Siberia are a climate wake-up call

What created huge holes in Siberia?

Permafrost is soil that’s been frozen year-round for at least two years, and it can be as deep as 5,000 feet. Nearly a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere is covered by permafrost.

We’re now learning that those eerie craters in Siberia were likely caused by thawing permafrost:

Summers on the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia were about 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal in 2012 and 2013.

Over the past 20 years, permafrost at a depth of 65 feet has warmed by about 4°F.

Methane concentrations in the crater were at 9.6 percent, about 55,000 times higher than standard air levels.

Scientists say it’s obvious that material was ejected outward, rather than the ground collapsing.



Further, large deposits of methane gas known as methane hydrates are trapped in ice at deeper depths than the organic material, and become unstable at higher temperatures causing an eruption of methane.

Scientists say the Siberian crater in Yamal is at least 150 feet deep, meaning that it’s possible it was caused by a massive methane hydrate eruption.


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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 13 Aug 2014, 00:28:08

basil_hayden wrote:Melt a giant ice cube in the Arctic in one summer? Who said is was a giant ice cube and not simply a veneer of ice?
Stop pulling answers from your rear end and start coming up with the right questions first.
??? Are you saying the huge pit was already there under a veneer of ice?
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 19 Aug 2014, 12:02:24

Inside the crater---photos from inside the ejection pit

photos from inside the Siberian sinkhole crater

Dr. Pleshnikov confirms that there was no explosion, but instead the sediment was "ejected" from the ground to form the crater. This is consistent with the methane release idea and proves it is not a pingo collapse scar.

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 20 Aug 2014, 17:30:30

Let's bump this thread up. It seems the only person promoting pingos on this board is you know who. That discussion really ought to be in this thread. Here is the latest report in the media:

Methane 'Blowholes': The Next Phase of Climate Change

The mysterious sinkholes in the Yamal Peninsula on northern Siberia are not sinkholes at all. Not in the traditional sense, in which limestone strata erode underground and the earth above opens up, swallowing roads, houses and buildings. Those events occur annually from Mexico and Central America, to Florida and Pennsylvania.

Reviewing the onsite photos that scientists took showing deposits of earth blown around the rim of the crater, suggests the force came from within and not outside. The belching force runs counter to a hole that "sinks" or opens up due to water erosion.

What is the natural power behind the holes, which need to be renamed to depict the geologic process that creates them?

First seen as one massive, 260-foot diameter crater, the anomaly has since been joined by other such gigantic holes appearing in a different region of Siberia. From one to three or more such gaps, the anomaly has become a phenomenon. Perhaps worst, the trend casts a dark omen to the rapid changes man has injected into the climate -- the superheating of the planet by human activity.


The methane blowholes act line mini volcanoes. The buildup of stored methane gas -- dormant for millions of years -- being awaken by the warming earth has blown its "frost caps" off the top of the holes, ejecting layers of soil and sediment around the rims, while releasing tons of methane to the air.

How does process work?

Frozen Methane Hydrates Erupt

In the wake of the 2010 BP Oil Spill, forensic engineers figured out there was a build up of methane gas. It had leaked into the wellbore of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig. Once the gas migrated, it caused the explosion of the oilrig that claimed eleven lives. In its wake came the runaway oil spill that damaged coastlines from Texas to Florida and left a two-inch thick "oil-dispersed" carpet at the bottom of the gulf.

"For the oil spill, frozen hydrates acted like an ice plug. It melted as a result of the heat produced from the cementing operations on that tragic day," a nuclear engineer told me at the 2011 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas. "We use frozen nitrogen plugs all the time in the nuclear industry. The ice plugs temporarily dam one end of a pipe so that welded joints of other sections of pipe can be tested and inspected."

The same processes are taking place in Siberia. The giant ice plug melts with the heating of the permafrost, as the methane builds up to a tipping point and then erupts blowing open the soft ground.


More here.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dissident » Wed 20 Aug 2014, 17:53:13

The ring of soil around the crater mouth is the unmistakable result of ejection. There is no way this is some "collapsed" pingo of any variety. The above link highlights the growing consensus based on facts. The question is how much of the Siberian permafrost zone is a clathrate reservoir. If it is large then we are looking at much more CH4 release from permafrost melt than any of the previous estimates.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Fri 26 Dec 2014, 02:45:20

Exclusive new pictures INSIDE Siberian crater
Includes Video of Yamal crater in winter with mad scientists climbing down into it and cutting samples with chain saw.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Thu 15 Jan 2015, 12:37:34

How global warming could turn Siberia into a giant crater ‘time bomb’
25 December 2014
There is already speculation that Lake Baikal, the largest and oldest freshwater lake in the world, could also be sitting on a 'time bomb' ready to explode. The scenic stretch of water, which snakes for 400 miles through south-east Siberia, has massive reserves of the volatile 'fire ice' buried under ground.
A number of craters have appeared across Siberia over the past few years, with the first spotted in 2013 by helicopter pilots 20 miles from a gas extraction plant at Bovanenkov. The second was in the same permafrost region of northern Russia, and the third on the Taymyr Peninsula, to the east, in the Krasnoyarsk region.
Their emergence has baffled scientists, who have carried out extensive tests including taking ice probes, sampling gas levels and examining the crater walls.
A number of expeditions have taken place to the Yamal hole, the latest of which was at the beginning of November. Since then several conferences, seminars and meetings have been held by scientists and other experts to share their opinions about what caused it.
The latest data suggests the crater was formed at some point between October 9 and November 1, 2013.
A consensus is beginning to grow that elevated levels of the crystallised ‘fire ice’ gas is causing the explosions in the same way as eruptions below the Atlantic may be behind the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon.
It is thought permafrost at the sites could have one million times more methane hydrates locked inside than ordinary gas.
But what is causing this gas to erupt has caused great divide, although many scientists now believe there is a link to the rising temperatures in the region.
One of the first to view the site was Marina Leibman, a senior researcher at the Institute of the Earth’s Cryosphere, of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
She is convinced global warming is to blame, and told this to delegates at the recent Scientific Conference on Arctic Exploration.
Dr Leibman told the Siberian Times: 'We have agreed that in the area of Bovanenkovo there was an emission of gas and gas hydrates caused by the heating of the earth’s surface and geological features of the site. These phenomena caused the formation of crater.
'In the last 14 years, the overall temperature in the depths of the Yamal has increased by at least two degrees Celsius.
'In some areas of the region seasonal thawing of permafrost may affect the upper layers of ice and, under certain circumstances, cause thawing and dissociation of gas hydrates.'
She added: 'I would argue this is a new process, which was not observed previously. It can be seen as a reaction to changes in the temperature, which releases gas, possibly hidden in the form of relic hydrate, from the upper layers of permafrost.'
...
Formed in a near-perfect cylinder, the Yamal crater is slightly wider at the surface and has smooth walls, with a frozen lake at the bottom. During recent examinations of the site, thawed out permafrost was found 200metres from the top of the crater.
About a third of the crater is filled with water because of its melting walls and rain, and it is thought that within three years it will be almost full. Initially it was thought that by 2024 it will be difficult to see the 40 metres wide and 50 metres deep crater at all as it will be completely submerged by a lake.
But Dr Leibman told the Siberian Times that the crater may already be under water from the melting ice by next year. She said: 'Judging by the pace, by the end of next summer it may turn into a lake.
'I once heard a theory that deep Yamal lakes were mostly the result of emissions of gas. Then I just laughed at it. Now I take back my laughter: I think that a lot of deep lakes on Yamal were formed in this way.'
Other scientists disagree with that theory, however, and say that the permafrost is being melted by underground heat from tectonic plates.
'The Yamal crater is located at the intersection of tectonic faults,' said Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher in the Laboratory of Geo-electrics at the Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics in Novosibirsk.
'Despite the fact the region itself is seismically quiet area, there is an active tectonic life. Of course, it says the following: there was a slightly higher temperature, simply because heat rises from the centre of our planet via these cracks in the earth's crust. It warmed the permafrost.
'Or the warm stream could come from the oil and gas deposits lying under the funnel.'
There are two tectonic fault lines across the Yamal Peninsula, with one possibility being that the blow-out was caused by a deadly combination of heat leaving these rifts, a higher than normal air temperature, and the ‘fire ice’ melting.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 23 Feb 2015, 23:59:56

dohboi wrote:--- discovery of more methane holes in northern Russia:

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casest ... rn-russia/

Unfortunately, the only other place I could find an article about it was the Daily Mail, which is not a particularly reliable source, iirc. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ussia.html

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Scrub Puller » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 01:24:12

Yair . . .
In the wake of the 2010 BP Oil Spill, forensic engineers figured out there was a build up of methane gas. It had leaked into the wellbore of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig. Once the gas migrated, it caused the explosion of the oilrig that claimed eleven lives.


Totally unrelated bullshite...where does this crap come from?

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby jedrider » Tue 24 Feb 2015, 21:12:11

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 26 Feb 2015, 20:56:37

20 ‘baby’ craters appear near giant hole-turned-lake in Siberia

Scientists have discovered 20 ‘baby’ craters which appeared around a giant hole that filled with water in the Yamal Peninsula, according to a media report. This adds mystery to the region’s unexplained crater formations.

Satellite images have revealed that over 20 mini-craters have appeared around a recently discovered crater-turned-lake located not far from Gazprom’s Bovanenkovo gas field in Russia’s northern Yamal Peninsula.

“One of the most interesting objects here is the crater that we mark as B2, located 10 kilometers to the south of Bovanenkovo. On the satellite image you can see that it is one big lake surrounded by more than 20 small craters filled with water,” Vasily Bogoyavlensky, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute was quoted as saying by the Siberian Times.

Before and After

Image

According to Bogoyavlensky, seven big craters are known to researchers at the moment. Five are directly on the Yamal Peninsula, one is on the Russian territory of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, and one is north of the Krasnoyarsk region, near the Taimyr Peninsula. However, researchers know the exact locations of only four of those craters, he added.

Scientists have developed a theory that the emergence of craters is linked to methane emissions caused by the melting of permafrost due to global warming. In his research, Bogoyavlensky called these mysterious craters “gas blowholes.”

Previously, Russian researchers also warned of two potentially dangerous sites located near the B2 crater, where gas emissions could occur.

“These objects need to be studied, but it is rather dangerous for the researchers. We know that there can occur a series of gas emissions over an extended period of time, but we do not know exactly when they might happen,” said Bogoyavlensky.

Image


The Siberian crater saga is more widespread — and scarier — than anyone thought

... One potential disaster relates to the explosions themselves. No one has been hurt in any of the blasts, but given the size of some of the craters, it’s fair to say the methane bursts are huge. Researchers are nervous about even studying them. Who knows when a methane geyser will shoot off again?

“These objects need to be studied, but it is rather dangerous for the researchers,” Bogoyavlensky told the Siberian Times. “We know that there can occur a series of gas emissions over an extended period of time, but we do not know exactly when they might happen. … It is very risky, because no one can guarantee there would not be new emissions.”

Making matters worse, the gas is extremely flammable. One of the methane bursts has already caught fire. Nearby residents in a town called Antipayuta say they recently saw a bright flash in the distance. “Probably the gas ignited,” Bogoyavlensky said. “… This shows us that such [an] explosion could be rather dangerous and destructive. Years of experience has shown that gas emissions can cause serious damage to drilling rigs, oil and gas fields and offshore pipelines.”

Of particular interest is the Siberian crater B2. Since its emergence, only six miles away from Bovanenkovo, a major Gazprom gas field, it has turned into a lake. But even now, photographs show, there are wisps of methane. The crater, covered by water, is still leaking gas. “This haze that you see on the surface show that gas seeps that go from the bottom of the lake to the surface,” Bogoyavlensky told the Siberian Times. “We call this process ‘degassing.’”
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Synapsid » Thu 26 Feb 2015, 21:19:04

Me, I'm waiting for the creatures that cause these pits to emerge.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 26 Feb 2015, 22:25:37

What are you thinkin' here, Syn; like something out of Dune? Tremors? Lot's of little ones around the big one suggests that whatever they are are breeding!! :shock: 8O :lol:
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Fri 27 Feb 2015, 00:32:22

before going near one of those, I'd toss in a flare and see if it coughed up a fireball.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sun 05 Apr 2015, 10:53:41

The scientific report is out ...

NEW PERMAFROST FEATURE – DEEP CRATER IN CENTRAL YAMAL (WEST SIBERIA, RUSSIA) AS A RESPONSE TO LOCAL CLIMATE FLUCTUATIONS.

Page 68-80 of the pdf.

http://www.rgo.ru/sites/default/files/gi214_sverka.pdf

This paper is based on field data obtained during short visits to a newly formed permafrost feature in a form of relatively narrow, deep crater. Excluding impossible and improbable versions of the crater’s development, the authors conclude that it originated from warmer ground temperatures and an increase in unfrozen water content, leading to an increase in pressure from gas emissions from permafrost and ground ice. This conclusion is also supported by known processes in the palaeo-geography of Yamal lakes and recent studies of gas-hydrate behavior and subsea processes in gas-bearing provinces

The date of the crater’s formation is estimated to have been in the late fall of 2013; (5) The high concentration of methane in the hole, which
decreases in the vicinity of the hole and is negligible far from the hole, indicates the role of methane in the formation of the crater; ...

h/t to Colorado bob at neven1
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 06 Apr 2015, 00:45:45

As I understand it, they think it is methane of organic origin at depths of 100m, not seeps from the deeper gas field.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Mon 06 Apr 2015, 21:57:19

In anaerobic ocean sediments, methanogenic bacteria digest their food in a process much like fermentation - they are adding electrons and hydrogen rather than oxygen. This is similar to how yeast make ethanol. I don't know if the permafrost methane was formed in ancient seabeds, or if this was formerly a marsh. In the ocean, methane forms an ice-like clathrate when temps are about freezing and you have the pressure of about 1000 (1500?) feet of water. That's why natural gas bubbling or being piped in deep sea drilling operations forms "ice." I don't know the parameters of methane freezing in the permafrost and if it forms clathrates or if it is just trapped in pockets in the permafrost. Also, permafrost can have different textures I think, and I don't know what it's like there. Stuff I've seen is like wet cement, frozen.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Mon 06 Apr 2015, 22:24:58

I get the feeling that there is a lot below the surface up there that we just don't understand.

It seems clear that there a lot of areas where there are pockets, sometimes very big pockets, that are right on the very edge of stability, and a little bit of warming brings about sudden, and in these cases, explosive change of state of some kind.

People who have been studying the ecosystem up there all their lives say they don't know anyone who fully understands what is going on with these pits.

So I don't want to try to pretend I know.

But I think it's pretty clear that the people who are stating that they know for sure exactly what CAN'T happen up there, on land or in the sea bed, are just blowing smoke.

We clearly don't know everything there is to know about these soil types and their variability and their vulnerability to sudden rapid explosive change...

This isn't something that just happened...this is a building horror...
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dissident » Mon 06 Apr 2015, 22:52:06

Several months ago I did and internet search and found a paper on the clathrate formations in this and other regions. They are not just due to biotic activity. The Yamal peninsula has actual seeping natural gas deposits.

http://www.arlis.org/docs/vol1/ICOP/407 ... 151104.pdf

Drilling for gas in the Yamal deposits has produced blowouts on numerous occasions.
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