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Batagaika Crater and the Megaslump

July 2017 (approx.)

Detailed Description

An increasingly large gash has opened up in northern Russia's Siberian tundra. During the past few decades, warmer summers and shorter winters have caused permafrost in this region to thaw, which then allows the warmed soils on slopes to slump and erode.

Dozens of the resultant channels and craters are spread across Siberia, but the biggest is Batagaika Crater, about 10 kilometers southeast of the town of Batagay. The Landsat image series shows the initial gash widening from a narrow channel in 1991 to a crater with steep-sided cliffs by 2017, at a resolution of 30 meters. Sentinel-2A's 10-meter resolution in the natural color bands provides a more detailed look at the crater.