The Kola superdeep: the terrible secret of the deepest holes on Earth

Science 31/12/19 public domainКольская deep: the terrible secret of the deepest hole on Earth

the deepest borehole in the world is on the Kola Peninsula near the town of Zapolyarny (Murmansk region); its depth is 12 kilometers 262 meters, which is an absolute world record. In 1997, the Kola superdeep was listed in the Guinness book of world records, but she had already worked: the drilling was stopped in 1992, the well is plugged and what remained of the rig – abandoned to their fate and robbed.

However, during the drilling of the Soviet scientists were able to make many discoveries that have affected the composition of the earth’s crust and shed light on some scientific issues.

Preparatory work

the Main objective of drilling was to reach the Earth’s mantle, which is supposed to consist of molten rocks. For this drill I decided to place pechenezhskoe deflection of the Baltic shield in the North-West of East European platform – one of the oldest formations on the planet. Age coming here on the surface of rocks according to scientists consisted of at least three billion years. The main objective of the drilling was to identify characteristics of shield and the definition of the boundaries between the layers of the earth’s crust.

To create wells has created a unique team of Soviet scientists; the well at the same time worked up to 3 000 experts and 16 scientific-research laboratories. Chief Kola superdeep was the Soviet scientist David Guberman, the chief rig – Alexey Batishchev, chief engineer – Ivan Vasilchenko, a team of geologists became famous geologists Yury Kuznetsov, Yury Smirnov and Vladimir Lunev.


the Entire 1970 were drilling conventional drilling rig, then the work had to be stopped, and on the well site to build a new plant “Uralmash-15000, developeding for deep drilling.

This rig was a rig with a twenty story building covered with sheets of plywood, otherwise it was impossible to work in winter. Soviet scientists used the turbine drilling method in which the inside of the well under the pressure of the incoming fluid rotates only the drill bit.

every day on the drilling at great depths took only about four hours – the rest of the time was spent on the upgrade of pipes to the surface for collection core. During this time the drill had time to pass from seven to ten meters of rock. In order to pass the first seven kilometres, the drillers took four years.

twelve-kilometer-long mark managed to pass in 1983, after which work was suspended – was approaching Moscow international geological Congress, which was demonstrated committed to the well opening.

the Drill continued in 1984, but found that a deep hole cannot be left without attention for a long time its structure changes. The accident, rejecting Soviet geologists at around seven kilometers, occurred in the first sinking on 27 September 1984: there was a break of the 200-ton column. Everything that was below seven kilometers, was lost. Almost a year geologists have been trying to get the pipe, but later admitted it was impossible and began to drill the bypass stem. The main difficulty was that with a depth of nine kilometers of mining Kern was a hard – rock crumbled and inside the tubes were only the most durable “plaque”.

the Maximum depth reached six years later in 1990. The pressure at that depth was 1000 atmospheres. After that, I had to admit that the technical possibilities are limited and after a few work accidents turned.

the Opening of the Soviet scientists

first, it was found that temperature deep in earth’s crust is absolutely not the same as the scientists expected, considering that it is low to a depth of 15 kilometers. It turned out that at a depth of five miles it is 75 degrees Celsius seven – comes to 120 degrees, and at a depth of 12 kilometers reaches 220 degrees.

second, Soviet science believed that after the younger granites have to go old basalts. This theory has been disproved. Layer grants was several times thicker than expected, and under it lies less strong fractured rocks Archean gneiss (Archaean – geological period, lasted from 4 000 0000 years ago up to 2,500,000 years ago).

At a depth of from nine to 12 kilometers found deep aquifers, which do not expect to find.

At a depth of 1.5–2 kilometers found the ore horizon rocks rich in rare earth metals.

was found and the olivine zone of the planet, the hypothesis of the existence of which was stated in the beginning of XX century the famous geologist Vladimir Obruchev. It found deeper than nine kilometers, turned out to be. it contains the gold concentration suitable for the development.

it has Been discovered that samples of the rock at a depth of three kilometers fully comply with lunar soil, which confirms the theory that the Moon is at the time under the impact of the asteroid could break away from the Earth.

Little devil

From the Kola superdeep superstitious people associated with many legends. Some people say that it was closed because Soviet scientists allegedly zaburilis to hell, others of her at night the demons come, others claim that her voices tormented in the underworld people.

In fact, all this echoes the publication of one Finnish newspaper, which was just kidding, releasing an article on the well on April 1. However, as is often the case, the joke might be taking for the truth, and perhaps deciding to scare his audience the “terrible Russian”, picked up one of American television, and then the rumors about the devilish-well, scattered around the world.

of Course, work on the Kola superdeep was hard, the high temperature at depth and huge pressure was created many emergencies. However, scientists claim that nothing was not. Was hard, often routine work.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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