Deep-sea drilling ship to help India get data on monsoon

Vanita Srivastava

New Delhi, Feb. 3 -- To arrive at a scientific understanding of climate variations, India may get a drilling ship from Japan or the US to drill and collect samples from a depth of around three km in the Arabian Sea next year.

The broader objective behind the deep-sea drilling is to study the evolution of the Himalayas and get a better understanding of the origin of monsoon. "This has gone for a final review to the International Deep Ocean Drilling Programme and should take another two-three months. Once the proposal is accepted, the ship would be allotted. But since they are all heavily booked, we may get a ship for drilling only by 2014 or 2015," Dr Shailesh Nayak, secretary, earth science, told HT.

"The ship would be parked at the Laxmi Basin, about 400 nautical miles southeast of the Mumbai coast, for nearly a month. Indian as well as foreign scientists would be recruited," he added.

The final spot for drilling will be decided after detailed seismic and gravity surveys.

After the core and sedimentary samples are extracted, they would be analysed for around four years. "The studies will provide an insight into the origin of the pattern of the current monsoon. All this will help build database for climate assessment, indirectly giving us better monsoon predictions," Dr Nayak said.

He said that the ship could be allotted by either the JOIDES Resolution, operated by the US National Science Foundation, or Chiyku of the Japan Marine Science and Technology Centre.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.