Indian scientists undertake earthquake prediction research, measure the ‘Deccan Trap’

Researchers from the Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute are conducting deep-earth study in the Koyna-Warna region of Maharashtra with the aim to enhance understanding of seismic activities and improve earthquake prediction.

What is special about this study?

The study is first of its kind in India which involves drilling deep holes of up to 8 km into the earth to directly visualize and measure rock changes during earthquakes. NGRI recently concluded airborne gravity gradeometery studies to get a closer look at Earth’s interior, again a first of its kind in the country. Recently, when scientists drilled 1.5 km into the earth during a test of drilling technology they accurately measured the Deccan Trap in the study region.

What are Deccan Traps?

The Deccan Traps are large volcanic deposits located on the Deccan Plateau of west-central India and one of the largest volcanic features on Earth formed due to eruptions about 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous period.

How would this study help?

As per scientists, the project would take 5 to 10 years during which they expect to have a better understanding of below-the-surface phenomena during and after an earthquake. The Koyna-Warna region is known for frequent seismic activity, linked to changes in water levels in water reservoirs present in the region. Researchers will try to determine how the changes in water-reservoirs exactly triggers earthquake.  In addition to that, drilling will also allow them to plant underground earthquake detection devices which will lead to creation of highly efficient warning systems.

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