Kola superdeep borehole reveals the secrets of the structure of the earth.
Drilling of Kola borehole, or rather the discoveries that have been made in the process, became real breakthrough in the scientific world.
The appearance of Kola borehole will disappoint the onlookers. There are no mines or deep runs into the ground. There is only an almost imperceptible drill hole with a diameter of about 20 cm and a depth of more than 12 km (!) Until now, Kola superdeep borehole has been the deepest in the world and sparked a lot of interest.
Kola borehole: the beginning of the story
These were the Americans who first started drilling this deep borehole in order to study the structure of the Earth’s crust. s. The project called “Mohole” aimed at drilling under water was launched in the 1960s. This allowed making many discoveries in the field of geology. In addition, we were able to learn that the tectonic theory, which states that the basis of all the continents is made of lithospheric plates floating on the surface of the red-hot liquid mantle of the earth, is true.
After the discoveries made by the Americans, the world science became literally obsessed with superdeep drilling. Soviet scientists also got involved in the underground race. They made a decision to carry out drilling not on the seabed but on land. This is how the deepest “hole” in the world emerged, which was drilled on the Kola Peninsula. Drilling of Kola superdeep borehole began in 1970 and lasted for more than 20 years.
Superdeep borehole – on the road to “hell”
Kola Peninsula in Russia was chosen for drilling for a reason. A team of geologists led by Dr. Nikolai Timofeev after a comprehensive research had a verdict: for superdeep drilling you need to look for a place where the earth crust interior is not as hot as in other places. After all, at a depth of 15 km – this is how deep they managed to drill – the temperature reaches 500 ° C! This is how the drilling site was chosen in the northern end of the Kola Peninsula, near Lake Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi.
4 years after the start of work, a borehole was drilled to a mark of 7 km. During this time, no specific incidents happened and the drilling went on surprisingly uneventful. Scientists kept making new discoveries, revealing all the more amazing examples of underground soil composition, and expected new, even more exciting discoveries. And those didn’t take long. Another soil sample showed that in the earth crust interior there are deposits of soil, which are identical to the samples taken from the surface of the moon.
But the mark of 7000 meters proved fatal for scientists. After that they had to face accidents, failures and a constant struggle with subsurface rocks. It seemed that luck had just turned away from the scientists. Subsequent events as if seemed to show that humanity transgressed the brink of what is allowed. Each subsequent drilled kilometer was accompanied by large-scale failures. At times, the temperature of the earth crust reached 200 degrees Celsius, which is why the drill made of durable alloy was melting, which according to scientists was impossible. There were some cases when the rope inexplicably broke off, although it was engineered for a significantly greater load.
Yet, drilling went on. The government allocated considerable resources and insisted on further development of the project.
There is a legend that when approaching a depth of 13 kilometers, sound devices caught heartbreaking sounds similar to moaning human voices coming from the bowels of the earth. They were as if the sounds from hell. Scary sounds forced to think about quitting the work. But this is just a legend. In reality, the lack of funding that followed the collapse of the USSR, the absence of immediate practical benefits from superdeep drilling, multiple obstacles that arise in superdeep drilling – all led to the conservation of the borehole.