The Yamal Peninsula (Russian: полуо́стров Яма́л) is located in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district of northwest Siberia. Russia. It extends roughly 700 km (435 mi) and is bordered principally by the Kara Sea, Baydaratskaya Bay on the west, and by the Gulf of Ob on the east. In the language of its indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, "Yamal" means "End of the Land".
In the Russian Federation, the Yamal peninsula is the place where traditional large-scale nomadic reindeer husbandry is best preserved. On the peninsula, several thousand Nenets and Khanty reindeer herders hold about half a million domestic reindeer. At the same time, Yamal is inhabited by a multitude of migratory bird species.
The well preserved remains of Lyuba, a 37,000 year old mammoth calf, were found by a reindeer herder on the peninsula in the summer of 2007. The animal was female and was determined to be one month old at the time of death.
The area is largely undeveloped, but work is going on with three large infrastructure projects – the new 572km Obskaya–Bovanenkovo railway due to be completed in 2011, a gas pipeline, and several bridges. Yamal holds Russia's (and the world's) biggest natural gas reserves. Russian gas monopolist Gazprom had planned to develop the Yurkharovskoye gas field by 2011–2012. An estimate of the gas reserves here is 55 trillion cubic meters (tcm). Russia's largest energy project in history, known as the Yamal project, puts the future of nomadic reindeer herding at considerable risk.
A spokesperson for the Yamal branch of the Emergencies Ministry said, "We can definitely say that it’s not a meteorite."
The 60-meter (66-yard) crater is believed by a senior researcher from the Scientific Research Center of the Arctic, Andrei Plekhanov, in remarks to the Associated Press, to be likely the result of a "buildup of excessive pressure" underground because of warming regional temperatures in that portion of Siberia. Tests conducted by Plekhanov's team showed unusually high concentrations of methane near the bottom of the sinkhole.
- Ice Baby — National Geographic Magazine, May 2009
- Baby mammoth unearthed in Yamal is 37,000 years old - scientists
- NY Times 11 July 2007 Story
- Yamal peninsula: The world's biggest gas reserves
- Gates, Sara (2014-07-16). "Giant hole forms in Siberia, and nobody can explain why". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2014-07-17.
- Winter, Lisa (July 16, 2014). "Huge Crater Mysteriously Appears In Siberia". IFL Science. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Luntz, Stephen (2 August 2014). "Scientists May Have Solved The Siberian Crater Mystery". Business Insider. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Ялмал, статья ЭСБЕ (Russian)
- Статья БСЭGreat Soviet Encyclopedia (Russian)
- Yamal Culture (English)
- Yamal Peninsula Nenets (English)
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