'Gateway to the underworld crater' is helping scientists map the Earth's climate history

‘Gateway to the underworld crater’ is helping scientists map the Earth’s climate history
Batagaika Crater in Siberia. Credit: Alexander Gabyshev

A geographer from the University of Sussex who is researching a huge crater in Siberia, which is expanding at a rapid rate, believes the huge hole in the ground will help scientists to map the history of the Earth's climate.

The Batagaika Crater, a one kilometer-long and 328 feet deep mysterious megaslump, which started to form in 1960s after a chunk of forest was cleared and the land sunk, is one of the coldest places on Earth and is home to permafrost which has helped to preserve ancient soils for thousands of years.

The , one of the deepest ever found, is deemed 'the doorway to the underworld' by the local Yakutian people who have watched it expand rapidly over the past few years as higher temperatures have thawed the .

A recent study led by the University of Sussex has dated two forest layers of the crater's frozen soil as being around 125,000 to 200,000 years old. The researchers hope this will enable scientists to compare the data from similar sites in Greenland, China, Antarctica – so they can reconstruct a history of the Earth which will provide them with vital details about change.

Professor Julian Murton from the University of Sussex said: "The frozen soils we have discovered in this crater are some of the best preserved and oldest ever to be found in permafrost regions.

"Ultimately, we're trying to see if during the last Ice Age [in Siberia] was characterised by a lot of variability: warming and cooling, warming and cooling as occurred in the North Atlantic region.

"If we can understand what the ecosystem was like 125,000 and 200,000 years ago we might get some inkling into how the environment may change now as our climate warms."


Explore further

Scientists investigate what breaks down permafrost carbon

More information: Julian B. Murton et al. Preliminary paleoenvironmental analysis of permafrost deposits at Batagaika megaslump, Yana Uplands, northeast Siberia, Quaternary Research (2017). DOI: 10.1017/qua.2016.15
Citation: 'Gateway to the underworld crater' is helping scientists map the Earth's climate history (2017, March 8) retrieved 19 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-gateway-underworld-crater-scientists-earth.html
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Mar 08, 2017
The denial squad must be busy elsewhere, or this story hasn't been targeted by 'the machine' yet.

Mar 08, 2017
"one kilometer-long and 328 feet deep"
A strange mixture of metric and Imperial. 328 feet = 100 metres; why not just say 100 metres deep?

Mar 08, 2017
The denial squad must be busy elsewhere, or this story hasn't been targeted by 'the machine' yet.

Erm...what exactly are you getting at? I'm pretty sure you did not read (and if you did you certainly did not comprehend) the articel before posting.

Mar 08, 2017
anti i gave trollbane a 5, because the denial squad which btw only consists of (antigoracle himself and his own socks which makes up the rest which is in fact him himself only) never reads an article, he figures he can't understand it anyway, as long as he can think of the dumbest comment he can possibly post, and his troll boss ordering him to do so is happy with discrediting themselves further and further by the day, he's happy. Sad but TRUE

Mar 08, 2017
The denial squad must be busy elsewhere, or this story hasn't been targeted by 'the machine' yet.


Interesting how so many scientists attempt to link their research to 'global warming' or 'climate change' that's 'caused by man-made CO2 emissions', because that's the viewpoint that governments are promoting & funding.

Therefore, if you want a steady pay-check, food on table, a roof over your head, and peer recognition, then:

"man-made CO2 emissions causing the projected catastrophic, runaway overheating of the planet"

is where the money's at.

Although proper research using the "scientific method" is to start with a hypothesis and devise your research to test it, when it comes to the unproven theory of man-made climate change, to get paid, the unwritten understanding is that your research will conclude what the funding authority wants you to conclude.

i.e. The conclusion is reached even before the scientific study even begins, and that's junk-science.

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