A team of Chinese scientists have discovered a huge new sinkhole with a forest at the bottom.
The sinkhole is said to be 630 feet (192 meters) deep. XinhuaDeep enough to swallow the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. On Friday (May 6th), a speleologist and a team of speleologists jumped into a sinkhole, with three cave entrances in the crevice, and 131-foot (40 m) high ancient trees heading for the passing sunlight. I found that I was growing a branch. The entrance to the sinkhole.
“This is great news,” said George Veni, Managing Director of the National Cave and Karst Institute (NCKRI) in the United States and an international expert on caves. Veni was not involved in the cave exploration, but the organization that was the Karst Geological Institute of the China Geological Survey is NCKRI’s sister institute.
This discovery is not surprising, Veni told Live Science, because of the karst terrain in southern China that is prone to dramatic sinkholes and otherworldly caves. Karst terrain is formed primarily by the melting of bedrock, Veni said.Slightly acidic rainwater picks up carbon dioxide It becomes more acidic as it passes through the soil. After that, it drips from the cracks in the bedrock, flows in a hurry, and slowly spreads into tunnels and voids. Over time, if the cave room grows large enough, the ceiling can gradually collapse, opening huge sinkholes.
“Because geology, climate and other factors vary from region to region, the way karst appears on the surface can be dramatically different,” he said. “In China, there is this incredibly visually spectacular karst, with huge sinkholes, huge cave entrances, etc. In other parts of the world, in karst, nothing really. You don’t notice. The sinkhole may be quite calm, but 1-2 meters in diameter. The entrance to the cave can be very small, so you have to push your way into it. ”
In fact, 25% of the United States is karst or pseudo-karst, which is characterized by caves carved by factors other than melting, such as volcanoes and winds, Veni said. About 20% of the world’s land is made up of one of these two caves-rich landscapes.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the new discovery was made in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region near Ping’e Village in Leye County. The Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has acquired the region, known for its stunning karst terrain, from sinkholes to rock pillars to natural bridges. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site..
Why sinkholes are important
Inside the sinkhole is 1,004 feet (306 m) long and 492 feet (150 m) wide, Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer at the Karst Terrain Institute, told Xinhua. Mandarin’s words for such a huge sinkhole were “tiankeng” or “heavenly hole”, and the bottom of the sinkhole certainly looked like another world. Chen Lixin, who headed the cave exploration team, told Xinhua that the dense undergrowth on the sinkhole floor was as high as a human shoulder. Karst caves and sinkholes can provide an oasis of life, Veni said.
“It’s not surprising to find species in these caves that have never been reported or described by science,” Lixin said.
Veni said tropical ferns are abundant in a cave in western Texas. Fern spores appear to have been transported to areas protected by bats migrating to South and Central America.
Sinks and caves not only provide shelters for life, but are also conduits to deep reservoirs of aquifers and groundwater. The karst aquifer provides the only or major source of water for 700 million people worldwide, Veni said.But they are easily accessible and ejected — or Contaminated..
“The karst aquifer is the only aquifer that can be contaminated with solid waste,” says Veni. “I pulled out the car battery and body and the barrel of God-what do you know-and the bottle of God-what do you know-what from the active cave stream.”
According to the Xinhua News Agency, this new discovery brings the number of sinkholes in Leye County to 30. The same researcher previously discovered dozens of sinkholes in Shaanxi Province, northwestern China, and clusters of interconnected sinkholes in Liuzhou. China Daily report..
Originally published on Live Science.
A huge sinkhole with a forest inside found in China
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