Gaping “sinkholes” open up on the Arctic seabed.

Repeated surveys using MBARI’s mapping AUVs revealed dramatic changes in seafloor bathymetry from the Arctic shelf edge in Canada’s Beaufort Sea. This sinkhole was created in just nine years. (Image credit: Eve Lundsten © 2022 MBARI)

Huge “sinkholes” – one of which could engulf an entire city block of six-story buildings – are emerging along the Arctic seafloor as submerged permafrost thaws and disrupts the area, scientists have discovered.

But even if man-made climate change increases the average temperatures in the Arcticthe thawing permafrost that creates them sinkholes seems to have another culprit – heated, slow-moving groundwater systems. Gaping “sinkholes” open up on the Arctic seabed.

Jane Marczewski

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