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Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Tue 07 Apr 2015, 10:52:32

It could be seeping from natural gas deposits since even a couple hundred feet down it would be warmer than the permafrost, then it rises up to the permafrost and gets trapped. As a clathrate? These holes suggest some sort of local mechanism that propagates mechanically or chemically like a house of cards going down.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 07 Apr 2015, 12:16:30

"seeping from natural gas deposits"

That's what I've always thought, but I thought the recent scientific study ruled that out.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Thu 09 Apr 2015, 21:17:56

dohboi wrote:"seeping from natural gas deposits"

That's what I've always thought, but I thought the recent scientific study ruled that out.


Is that based on isotopic ratios?
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dissident » Thu 09 Apr 2015, 22:17:47

At the same time, component and isotopic analysis of
gas from the hydrate stability zone in the Prudhoe Bay
area (Collett, 1993) have indicated the possibility of
thermogenic gas within the permafrost section, where
good pathways to lower reservoirs exist. According to
data presented by T.S. Collett, gas in hydrates below
permafrost were of mixed composition: thermogenic
(50-70%) and microbial (30-50%). A part of the hydratecontaining
massif continues into the permafrost zone
without any lithological barrier (except the permafrost
base), so it is possible to suppose that gas within the
permafrost part of this massif has a similar
composition.


From the linked PDF. They have not done this sort of analysis but leave open the possibility for thermogenic CH4 in the clathrates.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Fri 10 Apr 2015, 00:52:21

Don't we have any geologists here who are experts on permafrost?
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 14 Apr 2015, 00:00:27

Carolyn Ruppel is promoting a pingo-ish theory:
New Theory Behind Dozens of Craters Found in Siberia
Scientists narrow down the cause and think it is related to warming.
By Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 27, 2015
When a massive and mysterious hole was discovered in Siberia last July (see pictures), social media users pointed to everything from a meteorite to a stray missile to aliens to the Bermuda Triangle as possible causes. But the most plausible explanation seemed to be the explosive release of melting methane hydrate—an ice-like material frozen in the Arctic ground—thanks to global warming.


Now, scientists are arguing that the methane theory is unlikely, based on new satellite surveys released by Russian researchers that found dozens of new craters in Siberia.

"The jury is still out" on the cause of Siberia's craters, says Carolyn Ruppel, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Gas Hydrates Project. But she and other scientists say the new satellite mapping suggests another explanation that has to do with the rapid melting of ice cores called pingos.

A pingo is a plug of ice that forms near the surface over time and has a small mound or hill on top.

When an ice plug melts rapidly—as many have been, thanks to unseasonably warm temperatures in Siberia over the past year—it can cause part of the ground to collapse, forming a crater. But that process alone isn't enough to explain the ejected rocks that have been found around the rim of the craters, which suggest some sort of explosion.

Instead, Ruppel theorizes that the craters were formed by a sudden release of natural gas that had been stored in the permafrost but was kept under pressure by the weight of the pingo.

This theory is bolstered by the Russian satellite data, which show pingos—they appear as small mounds—in the exact positions where the craters later formed.

There are many more pingos across Siberia, as well as on Alaska's North Slope, so there's substantial risk of additional craters opening up as the planet continues to warm, Ruppel says.

"Urgent Investigation"

Until this week, scientists had known about only three of the craters. In November, scientists from the Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration donned climbing gear and explored one of them, which was 54 feet (16.5 meters) deep.
...
But Ruppel says methane hydrates are found only in permafrost on land at about 740 feet (225 meters) or deeper, which is much deeper than any of the observed craters (which are around 50 feet, or 15 meters, deep).

Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic has the depth wrong. You can see from the videos it is a lot deeper than 15 metres.
The depth of the Siberian crater is not known. When Plekhanov and his team tried to measure its depth with a video camera tied to a 50-metre rope, the camera did not reach the bottom. But the video footage suggests that the depth to a pool of water at the bottom of the crater is around 70 metres, Plekhanov says. The water could add considerably to that dry depth, he adds.
http://www.nature.com/news/mysterious-s ... ne-1.15649
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 00:28:54

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/n0302-startling-changes-revealed-in-mystery-craters-in-northern-siberia/
By Anna Liesowska
10 July 2015
... Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky, who led the latest expedition, told The Siberian Times: 'I think that next year it will be full of water and it will turn completely into a lake; in 10-20 years it will be difficult to say what happened here. The parapet will be washed away with rains and melting snow, the banks will be covered with water.
Image
'This large crater fills with water rather fast - in just two years, so we need to examine such objects quickly.'
The professor, deputy director of the Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: 'We can now say more confidently about the process that led to the formation of the famous Yamal crater B-1. It was combination of a thermokarst (a form of pre-glacial topography) process and the migration of gases from the depth'.
It was also created from a pingo, he believes, something that experts initially doubted.
'It was a pingo or bulgunnyakh (mounds with an ice core common for Arctic and sub-Arctic regions), and then, due to the Earth’s heat flow this pingo starts to thaw and its half melted ice core is filled with gas that originates from the depth through cracks and faults in the ground.
'We know for sure that there is a fissure in the ground under this spot, probably even two intersecting faults - gullies around the spot confirm this. Through the cracks, natural gas got into the melting ice core, filled it and the pingo erupted. It was also heated by a stream of warmth coming from the bowels of the earth through the cracks.'
It is believed methane gas was largely responsible, though readings taken by the latest expedition showed no abnormal gas levels at the site.
The process is different than usual, because 'normally pingos thaw and collapse, forming the craters and then lakes which is quite a normal process.
'Here we see that the pingo erupts due to the gas which fills its core. It's a very interesting process, which we have never observed before'. ...
Just a pingo. Move on folks, nothing to see here.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 10:31:00

Except that it's a pingo that explodes! Note the last part of your quote:

Here we see that the pingo erupts due to the gas which fills its core.

It's a very interesting process, which we have never observed before'.


Further:

"the formation is something 'never observed' before, linked to warm weather in recent years"

"here the gas went not from the depth via the cracks in the ground, but it was gas hydrate located close to the surface."


http://siberiantimes.com/science/casest ... n-siberia/

Still some mysteries, but climate change and hydrates are about as likely to be involved as anything.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 12:57:26

dohboi wrote:Except that it's a pingo that explodes! Note the last part of your quote:


http://siberiantimes.com/science/casest ... n-siberia/

Still some mysteries, but climate change and hydrates are about as likely to be involved as anything.[/quote]
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 16:58:55

When surface temperatures were lower and the permafrost frozen, free gas built up in pockets beneath this cap. Where temperature and pressure were conducive, hydrates formed within and beneath the permafrost.

So you have an upper layer of permafrost acting as a cap.

Another layer of hydrates forming beneath and within the permafrost where temperature and pressure are conducive.

Then a third layer of free gas beneath composed of gas from deep reservoirs and dissociated gas from hydrates due to heat from below.

Raise the temperature on the surface, or some of the gas leaks out through pathways through the permafrost reducing pressure and additional hydrates dissociate. this releases gases at 70X the volume when frozen.

Pressure builds rapidly and the cork blows out at the point of least resistance.

Since most hydrate research programs are funded by the fossil fuel industry, you need to be mindful of the source. Some explanations are better (for them) then others.

1. Where there is gas and permafrost there are always hydrates.

2. The gas is not igniting, the blowout is caused by a rapid increase in pressure.

3. The only explanation for a rapid increase in pressure is hydrate dissociation.

4. The oil and gas industry has been dealing with rapid hydrate dissociation for decades, This is what causes blowouts on rigs. Drill into a reservoir and release the pressure and you get hydrate dissociation, too much pressure for the rig to handle and you get Deepwater Horizon.

There is no mystery here. The fossil fuel industry would very much like to sow some uncertainty and doubt, as this could threaten their billions in investment towards mining hydrates.

They can't afford any bad press with regards to hydrates.

One more thing, remember the Pingo-Like-Structures, you know them better as methane chimneys. Gas pressure beneath the permafrost pushes the sediment/soil upward through the permafrost at weak points forming mounds.

They call them PLSs because they look just like Pingos. Would be impossible to tell the difference from photos. Just saying.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 22:46:26

+1
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Cog » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 05:17:24

Cid_Yama wrote:4. The oil and gas industry has been dealing with rapid hydrate dissociation for decades, This is what causes blowouts on rigs. Drill into a reservoir and release the pressure and you get hydrate dissociation, too much pressure for the rig to handle and you get Deepwater Horizon.


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was caused by faulty cementing procedures, among other unsafe drilling practices, and not because there was "too much pressure for the rig to handle"
Last edited by Tanada on Thu 16 Jul 2015, 08:10:30, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed broken quote
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 08:18:15

I don't recall if I said so when these pits were discovered but I figured even then they would fill up with water pretty rapidly forming a narrow deep lake/pond. I am slightly surprised it will take two years as the region is quite low and wet terrain.

Something to keep in mind, as these pits fill with water they become large thermal storage devices filled with deep water slightly above freezing that in the winter is capped with ice. As a result any methane seeping in will accumulate under the ice surface and escape as soon as spring temperatures thin the ice enough for cracks to form. Then over the summer the water column will warm a little from direct sunlight, and that warmth will seep into the sides of the pond/lake/pit melting the permafrost via direct contact. As the innermost layer melts it will slump away to settle in the bottom gradually making the pit wider and shallower until the slope of the walls is stable instead of nearly vertical as it is now. I wonder how long this process will require and what the ultimate dimensions of the resulting lake/pond will be?
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 10:13:52

Deepwater methane hydrates caused the BP Gulf explosion
The vast deepwater methane hydrate deposits of the Gulf of Mexico are an open secret in big energy circles. They represent the most tantalizing new frontier of unconventional energy — a potential source of hydrocarbon fuel thought to be twice as large as all the petroleum deposits ever known.

For the oil and gas industry, the substances are also known to be the primary hazard when drilling for deepwater oil.

Methane hydrates are volatile compounds — natural gas compressed into molecular cages of ice. They are stable in the extreme cold and crushing weight of deepwater, but are extremely dangerous when they build up inside the drill column of a well. If destabilized by heat or a decrease in pressure, methane hydrates can quickly expand to 164 times their volume.

Survivors of the BP rig explosion told interviewers that right before the April 20 blast, workers had decreased the pressure in the drill column and applied heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead. Then a quickly expanding bubble of methane gas shot up the drill column before exploding on the platform on the ocean's surface.

Even a solid steel pipe has little chance against a 164-fold expansion of volume — something that would render a man six feet six inches tall suddenly the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Scientists are well aware of the awesome power of these strange hydrocarbons. A sudden large scale release of methane hydrates is believed to have caused a mass extinction 55 million years ago. Among planners concerned with mega-disasters, their sudden escape is considered to be a threat comparable to an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Livermore, Ca.-based weapons design center, reports that when released on a large scale, methane hydrates can even cause tsunamis.

So it is not surprising to anyone who knows about the physics of these compounds that the Deepwater Horizon rig was lost like a waterfly crumpled by a force of nature scientists are still just getting to know.

link

I guess it's 164 times it's volume not 70X as I stated earlier.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 17:50:32

Joint warmest June on record with 1998 at +0.76C according to the GISS.

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/table ... s+dSST.txt.

Note the 4+ degree C temperature anomaly over the Yamal Peninsula:

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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Cog » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 19:06:41

Cid_Yama wrote:Deepwater methane hydrates caused the BP Gulf explosion
The vast deepwater methane hydrate deposits of the Gulf of Mexico are an open secret in big energy circles. They represent the most tantalizing new frontier of unconventional energy — a potential source of hydrocarbon fuel thought to be twice as large as all the petroleum deposits ever known.

For the oil and gas industry, the substances are also known to be the primary hazard when drilling for deepwater oil.

Methane hydrates are volatile compounds — natural gas compressed into molecular cages of ice. They are stable in the extreme cold and crushing weight of deepwater, but are extremely dangerous when they build up inside the drill column of a well. If destabilized by heat or a decrease in pressure, methane hydrates can quickly expand to 164 times their volume.

Survivors of the BP rig explosion told interviewers that right before the April 20 blast, workers had decreased the pressure in the drill column and applied heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead. Then a quickly expanding bubble of methane gas shot up the drill column before exploding on the platform on the ocean's surface.

Even a solid steel pipe has little chance against a 164-fold expansion of volume — something that would render a man six feet six inches tall suddenly the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Scientists are well aware of the awesome power of these strange hydrocarbons. A sudden large scale release of methane hydrates is believed to have caused a mass extinction 55 million years ago. Among planners concerned with mega-disasters, their sudden escape is considered to be a threat comparable to an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Livermore, Ca.-based weapons design center, reports that when released on a large scale, methane hydrates can even cause tsunamis.

So it is not surprising to anyone who knows about the physics of these compounds that the Deepwater Horizon rig was lost like a waterfly crumpled by a force of nature scientists are still just getting to know.

link

I guess it's 164 times it's volume not 70X as I stated earlier.


I can see you have not read the official report on why the blowout occurred. I can't help you Cid if you can't do a simple Google search. Had nothing to do with hydrates or whatever fantasy you are currently concocting.

Safety procedures and a bad cement job are the answers you seem to want to avoid. Did I miss where you were in on the investigation of the blow-out and were part of the staff that released the official findings? You are a man of many talents but I'm sort of doubting your expertise here.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 22:49:25

Blah, blah, blah. Go crawl back under your rock.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 04 Aug 2015, 07:54:42

This may not be as spectacular as suddenly appearing pits when nobody was looking, however these chain reaction slumps also have significant consequences. Two news articles and one video.

The video is a flyover in January 2015, the two news pieces are less than a month old with current pictures.

https://youtu.be/13qtpehHCDU

Permafrost thaw is expected to cause catastrophic lake drainage and potential debris flow in 2015.

http://www.nwtgeoscience.ca/news/hazard ... ement-area

A lake in the Northwest Territories is about to fall off a cliff

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e25628207/
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby dohboi » Tue 04 Aug 2015, 10:24:00

Yeah, that 'lake falling off a cliff' story prompted something of a double-take from me.
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Re: Huge pits forming in Arctic permafrost

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Thu 01 Oct 2015, 12:53:58

Cid posted this in another thread:
Danger of methane explosions on Yamal Peninsula, scientists warn
By Anna Liesowska22 September 2015
More craters expected to form due to such eruptions as permafrost melts - and they ARE caused by global warming releasing methane gas.
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