Mysterious stripes over Russia in recent NASA satellite images

One of the benefits of space study is experts’ ability to monitor each location’s condition in space and mysterious happenings. In the recent NASA images, there are earth ripples near the Markha River in Arctic Siberia. This happening is something that experts are yet to understand fully and what it means for Russia. If you are a frequent visitor of NASA social media platforms and website, then you might have come across the swirling hills in North Russia that have left experts perplexed. Let’s highlight some of the happenings from this study.

Recently, NASA experts took to their Earth Observatory website a series of satellite images of a wrinkled landscape in Northern Russia. These images are from the Landsat 8 satellites over several years indicate signs of both sides of the Markha River rippling with alternative light and dark stripes. The peculiar effect is evident throughout the four seasons but extra visible during the winter seasons as white snow makes the pattern visible for all to see.

Why are these sections of Siberia with a contrasting pattern? Scientists globally are not sure what to make up from the images, and several experts gave NASA conflicting answers. One possible reason for this pattern is the icy ground. It is no secret that the Central region of the Siberian Plateau is covered in permafrost 90% of the time though it breaks during some months. Naturally, patches of land that freeze and thaw then freeze again may lead to strange stripy or circular designs. This fact is according to a 2003 report in the Journal Science. The explanation behind the different patterns is that soils and stones naturally sort during these alternate periods.

However, the real-life experience in Svalbard, Norway, has stone circles that are small compared to the Siberian stripes. Thomas Crafford, a geologist in the US Geological Survey, explained that another possible cause is erosion. He explained that the pattern is similar to the sedimentary rocks, Layer cake geology. These patterns happen when snowmelt or in cases where rain trickles downhill, flushing pieces of sedimentary rocks to form a stripe. Dark stripes show steeper areas, with lighter strips showing flatter areas.

Crafford claims that this sedimentary layering is prominent during the winter season when white snow settles on flat areas, making them appear whiter. The pattern will fade as it nears the river, and the sediment creates uniform piles in the banks due to millions of year’s erosion. NASA said that the 2nd explanation seems fit, but studies are yet to happen to make the stripes another world’s mystery.

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