Close to the Markha River Arctic In Siberia, the earth fluctuates in ways that scientists don’t fully understand.
Earlier this week, NASA researchers posted a series of satellite images of peculiar wrinkled terrain to the agency’s Earth Observatory website. This photo was taken with the Landsat 8 satellite and took several years. These photos show the undulating land on both sides of the Markha River, with dark and light stripes alternately appearing. The puzzling effect is visible in all four seasons, but it is especially noticeable in winter, when white snow makes the contrasting patterns more vivid.
Why is this particular area of Siberia so narrow? Scientists are not entirely sure. Several experts have provided conflicting explanations for NASA.
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One possible explanation is icy. According to NASA, this area of the Central Siberian Plateau accounts for about 90% of the frozen soil in a year, although it occasionally melts briefly. Scientists reported in a study published in the journal Science in January 2003 that continuously melting, melting and freezing ground will experience strange circular or striped designs called patterned ground. science. This effect occurs when soil and stones are sorted naturally in the freeze-thaw cycle.
However, other patterned ground examples-e.g. Stone circle Svalbard in Norway is usually much smaller than the stripes in Siberia.
Another possible explanation is corrosion. Thomas Crafford, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told NASA that these stripes resemble a pattern in sedimentary rocks, the layered cake geology.
These phenomena occur when snowmelt or rain falls on a slope and washes away sedimentary rock debris into piles. Krafford said this process can reveal slabs of sediment that look like layered cake slices, where darker stripes indicate steeper areas and lighter stripes indicate flatter areas.
According to the image above, this sedimentary layer will be more prominent in winter, making it appear lighter when the snow stays in a flatter area. Krafford added that this pattern gradually disappeared when approaching the river, and after millions of years of erosion, sediments gathered along the river bank into more uniform piles.
According to NASA, this explanation seems appropriate. However, until the area can be studied carefully, it will remain one of the typical Siberian curiosities.
Originally published in “Life Science”.