A huge gap in the Earth opened up in the area about 16 km (10 miles) south of the Ten Sleep town in Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming at the end of September 2015.
A crack in the Earth, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, Image credit: SNS Outfitter & Guides
The enormous crack is approximately 686 m (2 250 feet) in length and 46 m (151 feet) in width, according to the SNS Outfitters & Guides who were the first to report the occurrence.
The experts have explained there are no unusual forces at work here, only normal geology, which is very rich and impressive on the grounds of Wyoming.
Video credit: USA Today
According to the scientists and engineers, a hole of such dimensions could have been caused by weak spots in the ground's subsurface, typically created during wet periods of spring and summer. During that period abundant rainfalls cause a vast amount of moisture to be stored in the sub-surfaces of the terrain.
A gap in the Earth, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming. Image credit: Randy Becker
An engineer from SNS Outfitters & Guides has performed an inspection of the site to figure out what triggered the event.
"Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock. Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated 15 to 20 million yards of movement," SNS company stated online.
Earth crack, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, Image credit: Randy Becker
"A number of things trigger them, moisture in the subsurface which causes weakness in soil or geology, and any process that would weaken the bedrock or unstabilize it somehow," Wyoming Geological Survey manager of groundwater and geologic hazards and mapping, Seth Wittke, explained.
"It is not uncommon to have slides like that," USGS' public information specialist Chamois Andersen added.
Featured image: A crack in the Earth, Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming. Image credit: SNS Outfitter & Guides
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