Splitsville: 2-Mile-Long Crack Opens in Arizona Desert

Drone footage revealed the extent of the earth fissure that opened up in the desert in Arizona.

Credit: Arizona Geological Survey

A gaping, 2-mile-long crack has opened in the barren earth in Arizona, and it will likely continue to grow, geologists say.

Recent footage from a flyover by an Arizona Geological Survey drone revealed the extent of the huge fissure in Pinal County, between Casa Grande and Tucson, showing the enormous gash splitting the barren land. The crack is so big that it dwarfs people walking along its edges in the video.

The northern part of the fissure, which is older and partially filled in, is shallow, while the southern portion is tens of feet deep in some spots, according to Joseph Cook, a geologist with the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS). [Check Out Insane Photos of Sinkholes]

“Some areas are about 10 feet [3 meters] across and up to 25-30 feet [7.5 to 9 m] deep (tapering crack, narrowing with depth), while others are a narrow surface crack less than an inch across,” Cook told Live Science in an email. “These narrow sections sometimes have open voids underground, so collapse of the overlying material is possible — this is how the deep open portions of the fissure formed.”

The crack that opened up in the Arizona desert was tens of feet deep in some spots.

Credit: Arizona Geological Survey

Cook first spotted the gargantuan crack in Google Earth imagery from December 2014. “When I went out to map the fissure, I realized the fissure was much longer than what was apparent in the Google imagery, almost 2 miles [3 kilometers] long in total,” Cook said.After mapping the fissure using GPS, Cook said, they got another look using a drone.

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This article was also posted on livescience.com

By Jeanna Bryner




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