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Deep-drilling to study earthquakes in Koyna, India UPSC NOTE

 Why study earthquakes?

  • Earthquakes are difficult to predict, especially minor ones in unexpected locations.

  • Understanding earthquakes helps mitigate their risks.


What is scientific deep-drilling?

  • Drilling deep holes to directly study the Earth's crust.

  • Provides unique data on rocks, fluids, and pressure.

  • Helps validate models based on surface studies.


Benefits of deep-drilling in Koyna, India

  • Understand why Koyna experiences frequent earthquakes (triggered by dam?).

  • Improve earthquake prediction and mitigation strategies.

  • Gain valuable data about Earth's crust in general.

  • Drive innovation in drilling technology and earth science research.

Challenges of deep-drilling

  • Expensive and labor-intensive.

  • Hot, dark, and high-pressure environment at depth.

  • Difficulty in drilling through fractured rocks and retrieving samples.


Koyna drilling project

  • Drilled a 3 km pilot borehole.

  • Using a combination of mud rotary and air hammering techniques.

  • Collected core samples and rock chips for analysis.

  • Measured physical and chemical properties of the borehole environment.


Findings from the pilot project

  • Revealed geological layers and their ages.

  • Provided data on rock properties, fluids, temperature, and stress.

  • Identified presence of water at 3 km depth.

  • Confirmed the critically stressed state of the Koyna region.

Future plans

  • Deepen the borehole to 6 km (requires upgraded equipment).

  • Analyze data to understand earthquake triggers and fault zones.

  • Share samples with researchers for various studies (e.g., microbes, carbon capture).

Overall significance

  • This project establishes India's capability in scientific deep-drilling.

  • The learnings will benefit future drilling projects and advance earthquake research.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Deep-drilling to study earthquakes in Koyna, India UPSC NOTE
Deep-drilling to study earthquakes in Koyna, India UPSC NOTE
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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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