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4 hour drive north Sydney Inside Australia It burns and may be at least 6,000 years old, ScienceAlert reports.
Mysterious underground fire. “Burning mountain“The oldest known fire on our planet is known Mount Wingen In the state of New South Wales and a Coal folding fire – One of the thousands that are burning all over the world at once.
Once ignited, this underground fire cannot be extinguished. They spread slowly but vigorously through the coal seam – the naturally occurring layer of coal beneath the earth’s surface. “No one knows the extent of the fire beneath the burning mountain, only one can guess,” he says Guillermo Rain, Professor of Fire Science Imperial College London In the UK, across ScienceAlert. “It’s probably a ball with a diameter 5 to 10 meters, Temperature 1,000 degrees Celsius Achieved, “he explains.
Fire without flame
Such a fire does not burn or flame, and it is like a fire burning on a grill. It is currently on Mount Wingan 30 meters Underground and moving at approx 1 meter per year Towards the south.
Some smoke, white ash, heat to the touch, yellow and red colorless rocks, and the smell of sulfur emanating from the boiling minerals of the mountain are the only signs of a fire.
Recently burnt areas are covered with ash and vegetation, which reveals the path of the fire through close inspection. “Where the fire has not yet come, you can find this beautiful eucalyptus forest. Where the fire is now, there is absolutely nothing, not even grass,” says Rain. “Where there was a fire 20 to 30 years ago, the forest has come back, but it’s another forest – the fire that has shaped the landscape.”
The origin is not clear
Previous measurements have shown the path of the fire 6.5 kmThis means that the minimum age is 6,000 years. But no one knows what caused the fire.
The first sight documented by the Europeans took place 1828When a local farm worker said he had discovered a volcano in the Mount Wingen area. A year later the geologist arrived Reverend CBN Wilton The alleged volcano actually ended up being a coal seam fire.
The place is managed by people who are traditional guards வனாருவா, Is considered sacred and is used for cooking and making weapons. In their original stories there is talk of a widow’s tears igniting a fire or the torch of a warrior caught by the “evil ones” under the mountain.
Coal sewing fires are particularly prevalent in India, China and the United States Human intervention How Coal Mining Occurred – Think about the infamous fire below Centralia, Pennsylvania, the now-abandoned city that inspired the Silent Hill video game series and has been on fire for nearly 60 years.
In this case, Rain takes a natural path. “You can’t rule out anthropological influences, but it can often be a natural cause,” he says. “It could have been a wildfire caused by a lightning strike, it ignited on one edge. Or it could have been one Self-heating Have acted. “
Self-heating occurs when coal is close to the seam surface, exposing the coal to oxygen. On sunny and hot days, the surface of the coal becomes hot enough to heat the next section of seam. This eventually leads to inflammation. According to studies, the self-heating point of coal may be in between 35 and 140 degrees Celsius Lie.
Another long burn
It is not clear how far the coal seam will expand and where it will go next. Currently there is no oxygen shortage. “It burns for thousands of years without human intervention,” Raine says. “As the fire progresses, it heats up the mountain, causing it to expand and crack, causing oxygen to penetrate, thus spreading the fire further. The fire produces its own chimney and oxygen.”
Even with human intervention, coal sewing is known to be difficult to extinguish because it requires tons of water and liquid nitrogen. In 2004, China claimed to have extinguished a fire that had been burning for 50 years, so visitors could see signs that it was still burning a few years later.
During a visit in 2014, Raine discovered a small river fire was approaching. Depending on how the coal seam forms in this river, the burning mountain may change dramatically over the next few decades. “The coal seam breaks and emerges very close to the surface of the cliff, which leads to flames with high heat,” says Raine. He predicts that this will happen in 1828, just as it did when it was mistaken for a volcano.
“Or if the coal seam goes too deep, it will automatically shut down and dissolve – it would be so dramatic if it happened in our lifetime hundreds of thousands of years later,” Rain adds.
Impacts on human life
Mount Wingen is far enough away from civilization to cause damage. But the big coal fire was intense Health and safety risk Representation. You can not Climate change Very common, but also contributes to the misery of the earth. They release large amounts of other pollutants such as CO2, methane and mercury. “The impact of climate change on the coal seam fire and the impact of the coal seam fire on climate change is definitely something we should be very concerned about,” Rain told ScienceAlert.
He also finds an unnoticed benefit in it: “What makes me so frustrated as an engineer is that no one has benefited from this fire – it is huge. Possible source of heat and energyIt’s unused. “
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