Giant craters and mounds have been discovered on the seabed of the Arctic, which appeared due to the melting of permafrost

(ORDO NEWS) — Underwater surveys of the seafloor under the Arctic Ocean have revealed deep craters appearing off the coast of Canada.

One of these craters could swallow up an entire city block with six-story buildings! Surprisingly, the appearance of these craters is not caused by human activity and climate change. The most likely culprit is heated, slow moving groundwater systems.

The appearance of these craters is not caused by global warming, but by ground currents.

In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , scientists conducted a series of surveys of the Beaufort Sea between 2010 and 2019 using autonomous submersibles assisted by icebreakers on the surface.

Scientists have found numerous depressions up to 28 meters deep, as well as ice-covered hills up to 100 meters wide. One of the largest depressions was 225 meters long and 95 meters wide.

Scientists noted that some of these formations appeared right between successive studies, while others became larger during this time. Depressions and hills, according to scientists, appear due to groundwater and long-term glacial-interglacial cycles.

“Despite the fact that the underwater sinkholes we discovered are the result of long-term glacial-interglacial climate cycles, we know that the Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth,” the researchers write.

Scientists have been able to “see” the seafloor because the Beaufort Sea, previously completely ice-bound, has been melting rapidly in recent years. In addition, permafrost is disappearing everywhere in the region. However, scientists note that all this is caused by natural processes.

How dangerous is this for the planet?

The natural melting of Ice Age permafrost releases gases that warm the planet. However, the researchers note that the effect is slow enough to be a problem for humans or other species.

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