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Expeditions To Yamal Funnels
September 12, 2014 15:25


The specialists of Research Institutes in Moscow, Tyumen and Yekaterinburg will make two full-scale expeditions to the Yamal funnels in 2015. The first expedition is scheduled for March-April, the second – for July and August, as the Director of the Russian Centre for Arctic Development Vladimir Pushkarev said  on Tuesday.

The funnels were discovered in the summer by helicopter pilots serving local companies. No survey works were conducted near the objects, so, a lot of versions about their mystical origin appeared in social networks. The depth of the pits reaches 100 meters, their width is up to 50 meters.

“The main goal of the expeditions is to understand the formation of the funnels: how unique this natural phenomenon is and whether it may happen again” - he stressed. “Unfortunately, we were not able to thoroughly study them this year. We only managed to establish that these funnels were of natural origin. But the reason that could lead to these natural phenomena remains a mystery for us”. According to Pushkarev, the expeditions scheduled for different times of the year will give a clear answer to these and other questions.

The scientists plan to explore the bottom of the pits, soil, to analyze photographs taken from outer space; and in the summer the scientists will study the surrounding area. “In summer the funnels will be filled with melt water, so the scientists will explore the places around them. By this time the soil will have thawed, and it will be possible to study the area near the craters” – Pushkarev noted.

“Several million roubles from various sources of funding will be allocated to the organization of expeditions. The exact amounts will be known in early 2015.” According to Pushkarev, the scientists from Europe also showed interest in the Yamal funnels. “Maybe next year they will also make a scientific expedition to the Yamal.

We are ready to cooperate with them” - he said. The version of the funnels origin is climate warming. According to the chairman of the Presidium of the Tyumen Scientific Community of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, the Academician Vladimir Melnikov, the funnels were formed as a result of climate warming.

The first one presumably appeared in the autumn of 2012, the second one - in 2013. “Frozen rock began to thaw on the Yamal. The rock became less dense in some places, and shale gas found all over the continental shelf of the Subarctic began to penetrate them. Presumably, this was the reason for the formation of funnels” - Melnikov said.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Yamal Funnels     

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