A NASA satellite took pictures in earth orbit and found something that surprised scientists in the cold Arctic region of Siberia, Russia.Near the Malha River in Siberia, there are ripples on the earth that scientists don't fully understand. NASA recently released new images of unusual landforms on its Earth Observatory website. These images were taken by landsat 8 satellite for several years.
The picture shows that the land on both sides of the river has alternating waves of deep and shallow stripes. This peculiar effect can be seen in all four seasons, but it is more obvious in winter, because the snow in winter makes the contrast of the pattern more obvious. NASA doesn't know exactly what caused the pattern on the ground in Siberia.
A potential explanation is that the cold temperatures in the region spend 90% of the year covered in permafrost, occasionally thawing briefly. According to NASA, the continuously frozen, thawed and re frozen land will present strange circular or striped designs, which are called patterned land. This effect comes from the natural tendency of the stone to self arrange in the freeze-thaw cycle.
NASA admits that other examples of patterned ground are often much smaller than those seen in Siberia. Another potential explanation for these strange patterns is surface erosion. Thomas Crawford, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, told NASA that the stripes resemble patterns in sedimentary rock called stratiform geology.
These patterns occur when melted snow or rain flows down the mountain, cutting debris from the sedimentary rock and washing it into piles. This process creates sediment plates that look like slices of a pancake. Deeper stripes represent deeper areas, and lighter stripes represent flatter areas, Crawford said. The reason for these strange stripes remains a mystery until a close study of the site can be made.