A huge funnel was found on the seabed: a city block will fit in it

Giant sinkholes appear along the Arctic seafloor in the Beaufort Sea, Canada. Scientists

found out that this is due to the thawing of permafrost. As a result, huge "pits" are formed, one of which can absorb an entire city block with six-story buildings.

The reason for the anomaly is not only climate change.Permafrost is melting due to heated, slow moving groundwater systems. It has been under water for about 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. Then the melt waters of glaciers covered this region.

Despite the fact that the underwatersinkholes are the result of long-term glacial-interglacial climate cycles, we know that the Arctic is warming faster than any region on Earth.

Charlie Poll, geologist at the Research Institute
Monterey Bay Aquariums (MBARI)

Until now, the frozen seabed has been hidden fromscrutiny of scientists. This remote part of the Arctic has only recently become accessible to research ships, the researchers say. All because of warming and retreat of sea ice.

During the study, the researchers usedshipborne sonar and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to perform high-resolution bathymetric surveys of the Canadian Beaufort Sea.

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