In the summer of 2011, local residents discovered in a Chinese County Pintuan a very strange place. Rising on a low hill at an altitude of 900 meters, the campers noticed that, despite the multi-day heat, the earth under their feet remained cold.
An unusual discovery quickly attracted the interest of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and geologists began to explore the area. It turned out that the cause of the formation of “cold Land” was the area of permafrost beneath the topsoil. This week the results of their four years ‘ work was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Cold land” in the County Pinswang is 600 kilometres from the southern boundary of permafrost in Eurasia. The only known to scientists outside of the region of permafrost, where the temperature does not rise above zero Celsius, at a height of 4700 meters in the mountains of Tibet. There is never warm even in summer, and in China, with its sharply continental climate, no one even speculated about the existence of such places.
Scientists attribute the unique properties of this place and geological conditions. Permafrost lies between the clay layer and bottom insulating layer of peat on top. At the beginning of winter the cold wind penetrates through the pores of the top layer of soil and provides air circulation in the porous material that lies under the fertile layer. In warm time of year the warm air does not penetrate into the pores filled with cold air.