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.


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