2 July 2017 (The Siberian Times) – Scientists have located two fresh craters formed on Yamal peninsula this year, with the latest exploding on 28 June with the eruption picked up by new seismic sensors specifically designed to monitor such events, The Siberian Times can disclose.

First pictures of the large craters - or funnels as experts call them - are shown here, and add to four other big holes found in recent years and examined by experts, plus dozens of tiny ones spotted by satellite.

The formation of both craters involved an explosion followed by fire, evidently signs of the eruption of methane gas pockets under the Yamal surface.

People in Seyakha village heard a “loud explosion-like bang” then saw a fire and clouds of black smoke, according to reports.

Deputy director of the Oil and Gas Research Institute, Moscow, Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky said: “We heard the news (about the new crater) from a friend  who saw a flame of fire and then a rising pillar of smoke.” […]

Reindeer herder Mikhail Okotetto gave details of the explosion to Vesti-Yamal television of the explosion by phone, evidently citing another herder close to the event.

On 28 June “there was short but mighty fire' around 10.25 am”, he said.

New crater in Siberia was formed by an explosion of a pingo mound on 28 June 2017. The crater in Yerkuta is reported to be 8 meters in diameters and about 20 meters deep. Photo: Alexandr Sokolov

It was registered by seismic sensors as being timed around 35 minutes later.

'It happened some 35 to 40 kilometres north-west of Seyakha,' he said on local TV. 'Reindeer herder Yakov Vengo has a camp there.

“There was a hill not far from the camp, and it exploded.

“There were fire, smoke and huge chunks of soil 'flying out' of the epicentre.

“The hill has vanished.”

The account of an exploding hill is consistent with the scientific theory that sees the craters as mainly - but not only - formed by exploding pingo mounds. [more]

'Big bang' and 'pillar of fire' as latest of two new craters forms this week in the Arctic

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