On the threshold of hell: Kola ultradeep well

The well is located in the Pechenga ore district of the Murmansk region, known for large copper-nickel deposits.
See the photos taken by the workers throughout the "life" of the well.






In the late 70's - early 80's get to work on the Kola super-deep, as well zapanibratski called villagers Polar Murmansk region, it was more difficult than to get into the cosmonaut. Of the hundreds of applicants selected odnogodvuh. Together with an order for a job fortunate to obtain a separate apartment and a salary equal to the double-triple the salary of the Moscow professors. At the well at the same time there were 16 research laboratories, each with an average -size plant. With such tenacity earth dug only Germans, but, as evidenced by the Guinness Book of Records, the deepest borehole German almost half as long as ours. Distant galaxies studied by mankind much better than what is in the earth's crust in some few kilometers from us. Kola ultradeep - a kind of telescope into the mysterious inner world of the planet.




Since the beginning of the XX century it was believed that the earth is composed of the crust, mantle and core. But no one really could not tell where one ends and the next begins layer. Scientists do not even know of what, in fact, these layers are composed. Even some 40 years ago, they were convinced that the granite layer begins at a depth of 50 meters and continues up to 3 kilometers, and then go basalts. Expected to meet the mantle at a depth of 15-18 kilometers. The reality turned out quite differently. Although textbooks still write that the Earth consists of three layers, the scientists from the Kola ultradeep proved that this is not so.




Projects journey into the depths of the Earth appeared in the early '60s in several countries. Tried to drill wells in places where the bark had to be thinner - the aim was to achieve the mantle. For example, Americans were drilled near the island of Maui, Hawaii, where, according to seismic surveys, ancient rocks come under the ocean floor and the mantle is at a depth of 5 kilometers under 4kilometrovoy water column. Alas, none of ocean drilling deeper than 3 kilometers do not try. In general, almost all projects ultradeep wells mysteriously ended on 3kilometrovoy depth. It was at this point with Boers something strange began to happen: they fall into unexpected superhot area, they bit off as if some unseen monster. Deeper than 3 kilometers broke all 5 wells, 4 of them - the Soviet. Only Kola super-deep was destined to overcome the mark of 7 kilometers.




Initial domestic project also includes underwater drilling - in the Caspian Sea and Lake Baikal. But in 1963 a scientist Nikolai Timofeev-driller persuaded the State Committee on Science and Technology of the USSR that the need to create a hole in the continent. Although the drill will have much longer, he thought, would be much more valuable than the well from a scientific point of view, because it is in the interior of continental plates in prehistoric times there were the most significant movement of terrestrial rocks. Drilling point chosen on the Kola Peninsula is not accidental. The peninsula is located at the so-called Baltic Shield, which is composed of the oldest rocks known to mankind. Many kilometers slice layers of the Baltic Shield - a visual history of the planet over the last 3 billion years.




Queen of the depths Appearance Kola drill capable disappoint the layman. Well is not like mine, which draws us to the imagination. No runs underground, into the interior of the drill diameter takes only a little more than 20 centimeters. Imaginary the Kola super-deep well looks like tonyusenkaya igolochka pierced the earth strata. Bur numerous sensors located at the end needles, raised and lowered in a few days. Faster impossible: durable composite cable may break under its own weight.



What happens in the depth is not known. Ambient temperature, noise and other parameters are passed to the top with a minute delay. However, drillers say that even such contact with dungeon can not outright scare. Sounds coming from below, and really like the shrieks and howls. Add to this a long list of failures, pursuing Kola super-deep, when it reached a depth of 10 kilometers. Double drill fetched melted, although temperatures from which it may melt, comparable with the surface temperature of the sun. Once the rope as if yanked from the bottom s broken. Subsequently, when drilled at the same location, the remnants of a cable is not detected. What caused this and many other accidents, still remains a mystery. However, they do not stop drilling caused the bowels of the Baltic Shield.



12,000 meters of discovery and a little devilry "We have the deepest hole in the world - so you have to use!" - Bitterly exclaims permanent director of research and production center "Kola ultradeep" David Huberman. In the first 30 years of the Kola super-deep Soviet and then Russian scientists broke through to a depth of 12,262 meters. But from 1995 drilling stopped: there was nobody to finance the project. What stands out in the framework of UNESCO's science programs, only enough to maintain the drilling station in working condition and the study of rock samples extracted earlier.



Huberman says with regret how scientific discoveries took place on the Kola super-deep. Literally every meter was a revelation. The well showed that almost all of our previous knowledge of the structure of the crust are incorrect. It turned out that the Earth does not like a layer cake. "Up to 4 kilometers everything went according to the theory, and then began doomsday", - says Huberman. Theorists have promised that the temperature of the Baltic Shield will remain relatively low to a depth of at least 15 kilometers. Accordingly, the well will be dug almost 20 kilometers, just before the mantle. But as early as 5 kilometers ambient temperature passed for 700C, seven - for 1200C, and at a depth of 12 roasted stronger 2200C - 1000C at higher predicted. Kola drillers questioned the theory of layered crustal structure - at least in the range of up to 12 262 meters. At school we were taught: there are young breed, granite, basalt, mantle and core. But granites were 3 kilometers lower than expected. Next were to be basalts. They are generally not found. All drilling took place in the granite layer. E is an extremely important discovery, because the theory of layered structure of the Earth are connected all our ideas about the origin and location of minerals. Another surprise: life on Earth originated, it appears, at 1, 5 billion years earlier than expected. At depths where it was thought that no organic matter, found 14 species of fossilized microorganisms - the age of the deep layers of greater than 2, 8 billion years old. At even greater depths, where there is no sediment methane appeared in large concentrations. This is completely and utterly destroyed the theory of biological origin of hydrocarbons such as oil and gas.



Demons were almost fantastic sensation. When in the late '70s the Soviet automatic space station brought to Earth 124 grams of lunar soil, the researchers Kola Science Centre found that he as two drops of water similar to the sample from a depth of 3 km. And a hypothesis: Moon broke away from the Kola Peninsula. Now looking where. By the way, the Americans, who were brought from the moon half a ton of ground, so anything sensible with it and did not. Placed in sealed containers and left for future generations research.



In the history of the Kola ultradeep not without mystery. Officially, as already mentioned, the well stopped because of lack of funds. Coincidence or not - but it is in 1995 in the depths of the mine there was a powerful explosion of unknown nature. To the inhabitants of the Polar broke Finnish newspaper journalists - and the world shook a story about escaping from the planet's interior demons. "When I was about this mysterious stories began to ask UNESCO, I do not know what to say. On the one hand, bullshit. On the other - I, as an honest scientist could not say that I know what it is that we happen. Was recorded very strange noise, then there was an explosion ... A few days later nothing at the same depth it was not found "- recalls the academician David Huberman.



Quite unexpectedly for all confirmed forecasts Alexei Tolstoy's novel "The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin." At a depth of more than 9, 5 kilometers found a real storehouse of various minerals, such as gold. This olivine layer brilliantly predicted writer. Gold therein 78 grams per ton. By the way, industrial production is possible at a concentration of 34 grams per tonne. Perhaps in the near future, humanity will be able to take advantage of this wealth.



via Istochnik1
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