Kola superdeep: secrets and discoveries of the deepest well in the world
Kola superdeep: secrets and discoveries of the deepest well in the world

Object SG-3 or "Kola experimental reference superdeep well" has become the deepest development in the world. In 1997, she entered the Guinness Book of Records as the deepest human invasion of the earth's crust. To date, the well has been mothballed for many years.

So for what purposes was it created, what are its main features, and why are they no longer made today?

Absolute record

By the beginning of the 20th century, people had accumulated an impressive baggage of knowledge about the layers of the Earth's lithosphere. In the 1930s, the first ever borehole, 3 km deep, was drilled in Europe. In the early 1950s, a new record was set - 7 km. In the early 1960s, a project was launched in the United States to study the earth's crust and its mantle.

Within the framework of the Mohol project, overseas scientists are trying to drill the earth's crust under the Pacific Ocean. However, already in 1966, due to practical disputes and problems with funding, the initiative was scrapped. And here the Soviet Union enters the arena of studies of the earth's shell. In 1968, geological exploration was sent to the site of the future deepest well. After another 2 years, a well is being laid.

Unique Soviet project

If the Americans were able to go 3.2 km deep under the bottom of the world ocean, Soviet scientists set themselves the task of drilling at least 15 km.

Drilling of the Kola superdeep began on May 24, 1970 in the Murmansk region. Exploration showed that the thickness of the crust at the drilling site was about 20 km. Scientists wondered if they would be able to reach the upper layers of the Earth's mantle.

Drilled for many years

By the time drilling began, Soviet geologists had a truly huge baggage of theoretical knowledge about the structure of the earth, accumulated over decades of scientific work. However, as soon as "Kolskaya" went 5 km deeper, the data obtained from the site began to go into the cut with all the theoretical calculations.

For example, the sedimentary layer of the earth turned out to be 2 km more than it was believed. The granite layer turned out to be very thin - only 2-3 km, instead of the supposed 12. The temperature also behaved in an "abnormal" way: instead of the expected 100 degrees Celsius at a depth of 5 km, it was 180-200 degrees.

Geologists have made a lot of discoveries

With each new kilometer, Soviet scientists made more and more discoveries, each of which literally “tore the template” of world geology. So, fossilized remains of plankton were found at 6 km.

Nobody expected such a discovery. This meant that life on Earth originated much earlier than world science believed until 1970. Fossilized plankton lived about 500-800 million years after the formation of the planet. Thanks to the discoveries at SG-3, biologists had to revise the evolutionary models that had developed by that time.

Today there is only desolation

Traces of natural gas and oil were found at a depth of 8 km. This discovery also turned upside down the old theories about the formation of the mentioned minerals.

This is because Soviet scientists did not find a single trace of organic life there. This means that oil can be formed not only by the "organic method", but also by the inorganic one. As a result, the depth of the well was 12,262 meters, with a diameter of the upper part of 92 cm and a diameter of the lower part of 21.5 cm. Drilling on Kolskaya continued until 1991, until the collapse of the USSR put an end to the unique scientific project.

End of an era

After the destruction of the Land of Soviets, the Kola superdeep worked for several more years. Foreign geologists from the USA, Scotland and Norway also came here. However, due to a lack of funding for the project, in 1994 a number of accidents occurred at the well, after which the facility was decided to be closed and mothballed.

The scientific data obtained thanks to the USSR project turned the view of modern science on many things in various fields. The discoveries in the field of underground temperature drops forced scientists to think about the possibility of using geothermal energy in the future.

Over the past 27 years, not a single similar project has appeared in the world. Mainly because, both in the former Soviet republics and in the Western countries, the funding of science has become very bad since the end of the Cold War.

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