Japanese explorers have set a world record for the deepest ocean floor drilling. The well is located in the Pacific Ocean, near the epicenter of the catastrophic Tohoku earthquake that occurred in 2011. Writes about this Gizmodo.
Scientists aboard the research vessel Kaimei set two records at once on May 14.
The drilling rig was able to descend to a depth of 8,023 meters at a speed of 1.1 m / s. It took two hours and 40 minutes to drill. According to Michael Strasser, professor of sedimentary geology at the University of Innsbruck, the well has become “the deepest drilled and spent water body in the scientific history of offshore drilling.”
The previous record was set almost 50 years ago in the Mariana Trench, when the crew of the drilling vessel Glomar Challenger took samples at depths of 7,034 meters and 7,029 meters.
During this expedition, the rig dug and recovered a 37.75 meter long core sample, “setting a new scientific record for the deepest core at sea level” at 8,060 meters, Strasser writes. The deepest previous sample below sea level was taken at 7,734 meters below sea level.
Researchers from the expedition hope to gain new insights into the history of earthquakes in the region. According to the BBC, the drilling site, designated M0081, is located near the epicenter of the Tohoku earthquake. A magnitude 9.1 underwater mega-earthquake triggered a tsunami, which in turn triggered the Fukushima nuclear disaster.