China obtains world’s deepest seismic profile data
China recently completed two 10,000-meter-deep marine artificial seismic profile data acquisitions with its Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS). China did this at the Challenger Deep, which is the deepest section of the Mariana Trench. That makes China the first country to acquire 10,000-meter-deep marine artificial seismic profile data.
The OBS-devices record the motion of the earth and provide information for the deep structure of the crust of the earth and the upper mantle of offshore areas.
The project was done by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICGCAS) at the end of February.
The scientific research ship Tansuo-1 achieved the breakthrough. This ship placed 60 independently developed OBS in the Trench area. Of those 60 OBS, 56 were successfully retrieved. The maximum depth reached was 10.027 meters, with actual operation length of the section being 669 kilometers. This depth of 10.027 meters is enough to easily sink the entire Mount Everest (8,848 meters).
Japan previously was already able to make measurements on depths over 10,000 meters, but they did not yet get seismic profile data at these depths. But after many years of efforts, China finally achieved it.
Data collected from these experiments are invaluable for deep-sea exploration technologies. These instruments can capture sound waves generated by earthquakes. These waves can provide seismic wave images and offer details about the geometry of the Earth’s structure. This is a huge leap for deep-sea exploration. And the successful completion of the experiments prove that China’s deep-sea exploration technologies have reached an advanced level.