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The Turkmenistan's Gas Fire


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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

Just a snippet. Nothing particularly new about this but I find it quite interesting. What puzzles me is why they decided to set fire to the gas, although I'm no geologist so no doubt they had good reasons.

Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert, an arid, sparsely vegetated expanse of sand dunes that covers more than 70 per cent of the country, a place where rain falls about once a decade and summer temperatures regularly top 50°C. seems a fitting location for the entrance to the Underworld. In 1971, while drilling in the gas-rich area of Darvaza, located at the very centre of the Karakum Desert. a Soviet rig hit a cavern of natural gas The release of pressure caused the ground to collapse, and the rig fell into the resulting crater In an effort to stem the flow of volatile gas from the ground, the Soviet geologists decided to set fire to it. apparently believing that all of the natural gas would be consumed in a matter of days They were wrong It has now been burning constantly for 40 years and shows no sign of stopping Dubbed the Gates of Hell by the locals, Darvaza's burning crater is an impressive sight. It is nearly 70 metres wide and more than 20 deep, and its walls are covered in a shifting curtain of flames that gives the impression that they themselves are on fire, At night. the glow from the burning crater is visible for almost 40 kilometres as the flames light up the surrounding sand dunes in flickering shades of red and orange, the occasional jet of flame throwing the desert landscape into stark relief.

Source: Geographical Magazine.

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Posted
  • Location: Purley, Surrey - 246 Ft ASL
  • Weather Preferences: January 1987 / July 2006
  • Location: Purley, Surrey - 246 Ft ASL

It does remind me of a clip from the 2nd Bottom episode (Series One - Gas).

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District South Pennines Middleton & Smerrill Tops 305m (1001ft) asl.
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District South Pennines Middleton & Smerrill Tops 305m (1001ft) asl.

Looks like it was to stop poisonous gases from escaping WS,

Darvaza Burning Gas Crater

Turkmenistan is very rich in natural resources. Currently a sovereign country, Turkmenistan was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. It was during rule of Soviet Russia, back in 1971 when geologists were conducting gas drilling in Kara-Kum desert and discovered an underground chamber close to the village of Darvaza (known in Turkmen as Derweze, but sometimes also referred to as Darvaz). The discovery of the chamber was accidental and resulted in drilling rig collapsing, leaving giant gas crater filled with poisonous gases exposed to the world outside. The concentration of gases within the crater was high so nobody dared to go down there. It was then when someone came with an idea to light the gas in the crater on fire so as to burn it before the poisonous fumes engulf the nearby town of Darvaza.

The geologists thought the idea of burning the gas was smart and went ahead with lighting the crater on fire. As it turns out, the supply of quality natural gas below the crater is near infinite as the crater’s been burning since. At the time of this post, on June of 2009 the gas crater in Darvaza is still burning and has been since 1971 without interruption. No one can even imagine how much quality natural gas was burnt throughout the 38 years of the crater being on fire. No one can estimate how much more gas there still is. When they first lit the gas crater on fire, they thought the fire would go out after a few days. It’s been more than a few day, it’s been more than a few weeks or months. It’s been decades and the gas crater is burning just as it did the day it was first lit. Putting all economical loses from wasted natural gas aside, imagine the ecological impact this burning gas has cause during decades of non stop burning!

http://www.vacationi...a-turkmenistan/

But the rig falling into the crater and igniting the gas is probably the course...

That burning crater near Darvaza, Turkmenistan, is called "The Door to Hell" by the locals. Decades ago, geologists were drilling for gas when they hit an underground cavern filled with gas. The drilling rig and camp collapsed into the cave and ignited the gas, which has been burning ever since

http://www.neatorama.com/2008/03/25/door-to-hell-the-burning-crater-of-darvaza/

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Posted
  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

Still not a patch on the world's longest burning coal fire in Australia.

The Newcastle-Hunter Valley region is super rich in coal so this little known attraction outside NSW known as Burning Mountain at Wingen holds claim to be the world’s longest burning coal fire with scientific estimate’s believing it has been alight for approximately 6000 years.

More recently there is the famous fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania,that's been burning since 1962.

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