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Geologists create the map of permafrost using ants

Scientists from the Institute of Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences when studying electrical properties of rocks in areas of permafrost, found an interesting feature: anthills may indicate the presence of melt zones.

While working in the Transbaikal geologists noticed, that if there are a lot anthills then there are anomalies characteristic of permafrost. According to experts, this pattern will help in mapping the areas of permafrost.

Curiously, even before scientists of myrmecology found that some insects choose a place to live in areas known to be thawed. Geologists have decided to use this information for the preliminary assessment of sites, and studying and mapping of permafrost, where there is no possibility to use special equipment.

Accurate maps and identification of melt zones is important for scientists. In future, it will help to search of tectonic faults with seismic activity and zones of groundwater. 

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 19-02-2013