NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY / LANDSAT / USGS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY / LANDSAT / USGS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Siberian permafrost and crater. Satellite image of the area around the Batagaika Crater that has formed in the Siberian permafrost. The crater (a thermokarst depression) is at upper right and as of 2016 was nearly a kilometre across and 85 metres deep. It is the largest permafrost crater in the world, formed as the permafrost thaws as temperatures rise in the Arctic. The thawing has revealed the frozen and preserved remains of prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene, such as early horses, steppe bison, cave lions and wolves. The crater is in Russia's Sakha Republic, in the East Siberian taiga, named for a nearby river (rivers seen at upper left and right). This image, showing an area some 50 kilometres across, was obtained on 7 June 2016 by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite.
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