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New 7 Wonders of Nature Nominees

 

 

 

New 7 Natural Wonders of the World

New Seven Wonders of Nature-One of 28 nominees. Winners will be announced in 2011.

 

Mud Volcanoes
Azerbaijan
New Seven Wonders of Nature
 
Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea are home to nearly four hundred mud volcanoes - more than half the total throughout the world. Tourists often look for them around Alat (see the Firuz Crater), Gobustan, Salyan and other locations
Mud volcanoes Slideshow
Perekishqul Mud Volcanoes [1]

 

The term mud volcano or mud dome is used to refer to formations created by geo-excreted liquids and gases, although there are several different processes which may cause such activity. Temperatures are much cooler than igneous processes. The largest structures are 10 km in diameter and reach 700 metres in height.

About 86% of released gases are methane, with much less carbon dioxide and nitrogen emitted. Ejected materials often are a slurry of fine solids suspended in liquids which may include water (frequently acidic or salty) and hydrocarbon fluids.

Many mud volcanoes exist on the shores of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Tectonic forces and large sedimentary deposits around the latter have created several fields of mud volcanoes, many of them emitting methane and other hydrocarbons. Features over 200 meters high exist in Azerbaijan, with large eruptions sometimes producing flames of similar scale [2]

Magmatic volcanoes have a very close but almost unknown relative, referred to variously as mud volcanoes , sedimentary volcanoes, gas - oil volcanoes etc. Mud volcanoes resemble magmatic volcanoes in that they erupt powerfully , with flames reaching great heights ( several hundreds of metres ), and they erupt millions of cubic metres of hydrocarbon gases and tonnes of mud on to the surfase . Mud volcanoes at sea form islands and banks, altering the topography and shape of the coastline, and causing local earthquakes.[3]

The Institute of Geology of the Azerbaijan Academy of Science has studied mud volcanoes and has discovered that the one at Lokbatan has erupted the most often - 20 times since its history has been recorded. Lokbatan means 'place where the camel got stuck'. It may well have been named after the twin humps at the crest of the hill, which give it a camel-like shape. Lokbatan is located 15 kilometers south of Baku. This mud volcano erupted in 1977 and again, even more spectacularly on October 10, 2001. [4]

Mud volcanoes are one of the visible signs of the presence of oil and gas reserves under the land and sea in the Caspian region. Gas seeps are a related phenomenon.These occur when a pocket of gas under the ground finds a passage to the surface. One gas seep burns continually on a hillside near Baku, ignored by the sheep but sometimes visited by curious tourists.It is an unearthly sight, especially at dusk, and it is easy to understand how these fires that never appear to burn out became objects of worship. [5]

The appearance of the Zoroastrian religion in Azerbaijan almost 2,000 years ago is closely connected with these geological phenomena, and, according to one theory, the name "Azerbaijan" itself was derived from the word for "fire" in Persian.Geologists agree on some aspects of the formation and activities of mud volcanoes. They are formed when mud and sand up to several kilometres beneath the Earth's surface are squeezed upwards by compressive forces and expelled.The origins of the volcanoes are disputed. Mud volcanoes are often formed in areas of weakness in the Earth's crust, along fault lines, and are associated with geologically young sedimentary deposits, the presence of organic gas from hydrocarbon deposits, and overlying pressure which forces this gas to the surface. [5]

Mud volcanoes are essentially channels for releasing pressurized gas and mineral water, sometimes with traces of oil, together with associated mud from great depths (8­12km) and depositing them on the surface of the earth where they form mounds ranging from 5 to 500m high."

 

aiang14
April 07, 2008

The World Wonders .Com-visit 1,000 world wonders at www.theworldwonders.com

 

 
 
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28 finalists-7 winners will be announced in 2011

 

 

References
 
1 Flickr-mud volcanoes-Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/30/2009
2 Wikipedia-Mud Volcanoes-retrieved 7/30/2009
3.Source: Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences Geology Institute - I.S. Guliyev , A.A. Feizullayev "All About Mud Volcanoes".
4.Adil Aliyev: Presentation about Mud Volcanoes to the recently-formed Natural History Association of Azerbaijan, 2003.
5.Source: BBC article by C.Doyle
 Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

 

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