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The waves and folds on the banks of the Marka River in Siberia look more like stripes of recently published images, but it is still unknown whether the geological accumulation is solely responsible for the strange pattern.
NASA researchers have uncovered what is considered typical Siberian curiosity by posting numerous satellite images of a remarkably wrinkled landscape near the Marka River in Arctic Siberia.
Captured with the Landsat 8 satellite for several years, the series of photos show the land on both sides of the Marca River, crumpled with alternating dark and light stripes, regardless of the season, although it becomes more apparent in winter when the snow whiteness makes the contrast. in the “texture”
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One of the proposed explanations for the phenomenon lies in the inherent geological characteristics. According to the space agency, this region of the Central Siberian Plateau is covered with permafrost for the lion’s share of the year, although from time to time – albeit briefly – it thaws.
It is known that those areas of land that repeatedly freeze, thaw and re-freeze acquire strange round or striped shapes, making the nearby land particularly colorful, scientists said in a study published in January 2003 in the journal Science. The pattern occurs when soils and stones are sorted naturally during freezing intervals.
Another possible explanation is erosion, scientists say. Thomas Crawford, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told NASA that the stripes resemble a pattern in sedimentary rocks, commonly called layer cake geology. These patterns appear when melted snow or rain flows down, cutting and rinsing pieces of sedimentary rock into piles. The process could reveal slabs of sludge that look like slices of puff pastry, Crawford explained, with the darker stripes representing steeper bits of land, while the lighter stripes point to flatter areas.
As follows from the images provided by NASA, this type of sediment stands out more during the cold season, when white snow stays on flatter areas longer, which makes them lighter. However, Crawford added that this naturally made design is fading in areas closer to the river, where sediments accumulate more evenly along the banks and where increased water erosion has been observed for millions of years.