29 Nov 2013

Scientific deep drilling in the Koyna intra-plate seismic zone in Maharashtra

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal to undertake scientific deep drilling in the Koyna intra-plate seismic zone, in Maharashtra. The total cost of the project is Rs.472.3 crore for five years. 

The proposed scientific deep drilling investigation in Koyna region will provide a unique opportunity to better understand the mechanism of reservoir-triggered earthquakes, developing a forecast model and assessing earthquake hazard in a stable continental region. 

The main objective of the project is to undertake a deep borehole (6-8 kms) investigations in the Koyna-Warna region of Maharashtra where earthquakes have been occurring in a restricted area of 20 x 30 sq. km. for the past five decades, including the largest earthquake of magnitude 6.3 in December 1967.

 Past studies have clearly demonstrated that the Koyna-Warna area is a natural laboratory to study reservoir-triggered earthquakes, perhaps the best site anywhere in the world. 

The project will also provide crucial insights into Deccan volcanism and mass extinction; thermal structure and state of stress in the lithosphere; geothermal potential of the West Coast Belt as well as the geothermal record of climate change in the region.

 As a part of the project, it is planned to set up a research laboratory at Karad, which will serve as the operational center for carrying out the research activities related to seismic, deep drilling, borehole investigations, core analysis and research in associated fields. 

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences through its Seismology Division / Centre for Seismology in collaboration with the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI). Participations from various universities, research organizations and academic institutions will also be encouraged. 

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