Sep 12, 2008
The Uvs Nuur Basin
A giant lake-filled caldera in Mongolia could indicate
electric arc machining on a massive scale.
Steep valleys containing rivers that dry up each summer characterize the deserts
of Central Asia. Large enclosed basins are filled with lakes, one of which, the
Caspian Sea, is more like an inland ocean and is classified as the largest
enclosed body of water in the world. The surface of the brackish Sea is 28
meters below sea level with a volume of 78,200 cubic kilometers and a maximum
depth of about 1025 meters. It has no outlet to any ocean.
In western China, one of the deep depressions is more than 154 meters below sea
level and is also filled with brackish water.
Uvs Nuur is located near the northern boundary of the Central Asian steppes
approximately 50 degrees north latitude by 90 degrees east longitude. Along with
several other small lakes, it is encircled on all sides by mountains. Large
rivers run down into the lake but no rivers flow out.
The high mountains act as a rain shadow, blocking moist air from entering the
basin, and leave Uvs Nuur drier than lands to the north of the range. The effect
is evident in the image above, taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), flying on NASAs Terra satellite.
The northern side of the
Tannu Ola Range ("god-spirit mountains") is greener than the deserts in the
south. The mountains also form a barrier between the forests in Siberia and the
grassy prairies that dominate Central Asia. Since little rain falls in the
basin, rivers flowing into the lake refresh the wetlands each season. White
streaks crossing the desert are probably evidence for the seasonal streams that
flow when snow melts in the spring.
In a previous Thunderbolts Picture of the Day about the mountains of
Patagonia, similar enclosed lakes with no outlets were described. Because
they are filled by snowmelt from the mountains, and have existed for thousands
of years since the last Ice Age, it is a wonder that they have not been clogged
with sediments. Yet the lakes have sandy shorelines and are relatively free from
bottom deposits, despite the extreme erosion that has presumably affected the
Bob Ballard explored the bottom of the Black Sea, a semi-enclosed lake, he
was surprised to find little sediments and even more surprised to find evidence
for an inundated civilization. Similarly,
Uvs Nuur is free of deep sediments, although it is supposed to be a remnant
from a vast inland ocean that covered most of Central Asia.
Rather than being formed by melting glaciers and 12,000 years of time, it seems
possible that the entire Mongolian lake complex, stretching for a thousand
kilometers across Asia, is the result of gigantic electrical discharges from
Electrical theorists have postulated unstable planetary orbits in the recent
past, causing periods of intense plasma interactions. When lightning bolts with
energies in the billions of watts strike the Earth, rocks are vaporized and
blasted into space, leaving pyramidal mountains and deep, wide holes in the
strata. A signature of that activity would be lack of debris covering the
surrounding landscape, and smooth valley floors. The excised material would have
been removed in a way that is similar to plasma surface cleaning.
Other Pictures of the Day
articles have described events on Mars that carved out
Arabia Terra, Valles Marineris and other structures. Now we
ask once again whether major features on Earth, including
the below-sea-level lakes of Asia, were cut by cosmic
By Stephen Smith
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