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LOOK: Terrifying 2-Mile Crack Found In Arizona

Jan 31, 2017 09:05 AM EST
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Scientists at the Arizona Geological Survey have released the first up-close footage the massive, 3.2-km (2-mile) crack that has formed in the Arizona Desert. According to the description accompanying the footage, the scientists used a drone to get a view of the crack.

"AZGS is experimenting with drone technology as a tool for mapping fissures and other surface features, e.g. landslide masses," it said.

AOL News said that while this is not the first fissure reported in the area, but it is measured to be the longest. The fissure was found in the Tator Hills area of southern Pinal County, between Casa Grande and Tucson.

"I noticed on Google Earth imagery from 2014 that there was a new fissure," said geologist Joe Cook, who was one of those who detected the crack in an interview with KVOA. "We got out to map it and found that it was much longer than it shows in the Google Earth imagery."

Fissures are important in studying the features of a landscape. It especially gives experts an idea on what's happening deep the ground surface. Cook said groundwater pumping could have been the cause of the fissure, as it was found in an area where groundwater pumping is prevalent.

"These form because the ground is sinking and the ground is sinking because we're pumping water out and we have for many years," said Cook. Live Science reported that the fissure has different depths on both ends.

"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 is worrisome not just because of how it appears but because it may pose danger to livestock and passersby who might fall in, get stuck or buried in it.

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