Kola Superdeep Borehole Facts

Kola Superdeep Borehole Facts
The Kola Superdeep Borehole is a scientific project that began in May of 1970 in an effort to drill a hole into the earth's crust as deep as it could go. The U.S. also started a similar project and the countries appeared to be in a race to see who could drill the furthest into the earth. The drill site is located On the Kola Peninsula in the Pechengsky District of Russia. Several boreholes were drilled there with the deepest reaching 40,230 feet in 1989. This borehole is called SG-3 and is the deepest in the world. Drilling stopped in 1992 because the temperature was too high at such a deep level for the drill bit to work properly. The Kola Superdeep Borehole is estimated to have reached one third of the way through the Baltic continental crust, reaching rocks over 2.5 billion years old.
Interesting Kola Superdeep Borehole Facts:
In 1957 the U.S. started a project on the Pacific Ocean similar to the Kola Superdeep Borehole, called 'Project Molehole'. They abandoned it in 1966 because they could not fund the project to continue.
Although the Kola Superdeep Borehole retains the world record for depth of the hole, there have been other boreholes with longer boreholes including the BD-04A in Qatar, and the Odoptu OP-11 on Sakhalin Island in Russia.
Biological activity has been found to exist in the rock estimated to be 2.5 billion years old. 24 single-cell marine plants have been found in the form of microscopic fossils.
Drilling at such low depths at the Kola Superdeep Borehole meant drilling in extremely high temperatures. The rock density was also more like plastic than rock and it also contributed to the difficulty in drilling and eventually having to stop.
Core samples of the Kola Superdeep Borehole can be seen at the repository in Zapolyarny, a town about 10km from the borehole's location.
While drilling the Kola Superdeep Borehole a large and unexpected amount of hydrogen gas was discovered. It mixed with mud and appeared to be 'boiling' as it flowed from the hole during drilling.
The drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole was overshadowed by the race between the world's super powers to reach the moon.
In 2005 the Kola Superdeep Borehole project was permanently abandoned. Money was not available to continue and the drilling rig, research equipment, and other items were sold to a scrap yard.
In 2008 the Kola Superdeep Borehole was sealed.
The only on-site evidence of the Kola Superdeep Borehole today is the rusty metal cap that sits above the boreholes.
Despite being dismantled and sealed the Kola Superdeep Borehole is considered to be one of the Soviet-era's most important science relics.
Scientists were expecting to find a transition at 7km deep of granite to basalt while drilling but did not.
Scientists discovered that there was water deep in the earth where it should not have been. The water that was found in the cracks in the rock kilometers below the earth's surface is believed to have been squeezed out of rock by the pressure and held below by impermeable rock above.

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