Why has the Darvaza gas crater (Door To Hell) been burning for decades?

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Why has the Darvaza gas crater (Door To Hell) been burning for decades?

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I assume because it hasn’t run out of fuel yet. Depending on how big the pocket of gas is, it might burn for centuries more.

There isn’t an official explanation or reason know why or how it had started. But it’s sort of like the Centralia, PA fire, where there is so much flammable material, that it keeps burning. In this case, there’s so much gas that the fire can keep burning.

It will keep burning until the fuel is used up, but can be put out before that happens if the reaction is interrupted.

The gas field that leaks into the hole hasn’t been exhausted yet, much like many others where more gas has been extracted on purpose

One thing to consider is that as a structure of that size increases, the volume of its contents remains proportional to the *cube* of the radius, but the rate of burning is proportional to the *square* of the radius. (The burning can only happen at the upper surface, not all throughout the volume.)

That means that the bigger it gets, the longer it can burn for.