An undulating landscape has attracted the attention of NASA, for which they have shown great confusion. The image was captured by one of its satellites over the area of Siberia, in Russia.
Some snapshots that have been published this week on its website, showing the areas in the different seasons of the year.
The photographs were taken over several years by the Landsat 8 satellite in an area near the Markha River.
The images showed that this wavy effect is more accentuated in winter, caused by the appearance of snow, making the lines more visible by the satellite, according to reports Live Sciencie.
In addition, from NASA itself, indicate that there are several aspects that could explain the creation of this curious pattern in the area, although “the answers vary according to the season and according to the experience of the researcher.”
The frozen ground, the first option
One of the main causes it has to do, directly, with the frozen soil of this region of Siberia. According to experts, this area spends 90% of the year covered in permafrost and, if it thaws, it does so for very short intervals of time.
“Freeze-thaw cycles are known to create patterns of polygons, circles, and stripes on the surface,” explains NASA.
“It could be elongated circles stretched out on the slopes by such thaw cycles,” the scientists who conducted the study suggest, although, based on what has been shown, the fringes appear on a much smaller scale.
Erosion, another aspect to take into account
Thomas Crafford, of the Geological Survey of the United States, is the great supporter in this theory as a cause of these undulations in the terrain of Siberia.
The American argues that these lines resemble “a pattern in sedimentary rocks”, that is, we could compare it to a cake with different layers. According to the expert, this happens with snowmelt or rain falling downhill in the area.
This causes the area to splinter and discharge chunks of sedimentary rock in heaps. This is what the layers event forms, being the darkest stripes the steepest areas and identifying the lighter ones as the flattest areas.
For this reason, this type of sedimentary stratification would stand out more in winter, with white snow on the flatter game.
NASA recognizes that this theory would be the one that best fits with the satellite images, however, they would need more studies on this area of Siberia to corroborate the explanation with the creation of these undulating areas.