Centre mapping sea bed for mineral resources

PTI, PANAJI | 12 October 2011 21:48 IST

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has felt the need to perform detailed mapping of sea bed within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to determine the mineral resources available in it and also study climate changes.

"We have mapped the entire surface of the moon, but yet to map the entire sea bed," Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MOES) told a gathering of marine geologists today in Goa.

India should have detailed information about its sea bed first so that we can look at ocean to satisfy our needs of mineral resources and energy, and also for an insight into climate changes, Nayak said.

We need to focus attention on improving our understanding of various geological processes and marine environments.

Also, we need to complete our mapping through gravity, magnetic, seismic techniques for geological information and bathymetry, he said addressing the seventh International Conference on Asian Marine Geology (ICAMG) hosted at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Dona Paula.

"The remote sensing, especially altimeter, Magsat, CHAMP and GRACE satellites have provided valuable information about ocean floor.

The advent of Geographic Information System has allowed us to organise large amount of data and develop expert systems to interpret and analyse data speedily," Nayak said.

He added that the detailed mapping would also be required to extend the legal continental shelf up to 350 nautical miles to provide inputs related to sediment thickness, bathymetry, and others.

"There is also need to map the seabed optically to assess properties of sediments.

India has carried out 31,000 line km of seismic, gravity, magnetic and bathymetric data to prepare reconnaissance level mapping of its continental shelf," he added.

The conference, which will be held over next four days in Goa, has 240 delegates across the globe participating in it.

The organisers said this is the first ICAMG conference to be held in South Asia. 

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