Pool of Fire

Monday, 6th October 2008 by

Here in the deserts of Turkmenistan the satellite imagery has captured an amazing shot of a 200-metre wide churning pool that is spouting a pillar of smoke and flames.

These are the Korpedje oil fields, and this is an active upwelling of oil that has been abandoned since 2002, which may have been when it started burning. The satellite image was taken in September 2004, and shows us that the oil has been seeping out of the pool to the north-east.

An oil field trainee took this ground-level photo around the same time, which shows little evidence that anyone was trying to contain the flow, let alone actually utilise the oil.

There are other similar upwellings to be seen, and by turning on Google Earth's City Lights layer (which can be found under "Gallery / NASA / City Earth Lights"), you'll easily be able to find and explore the other oil-sites in the area.

Thanks to Barnstormer66.