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April 3, 2014

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Local scientists make history with sea data

FOR the first time, scientist managed to scoop data from the depth of 4,000 meters in South China Sea, thanks to an international ocean discovery program led by six local scientists from Shanghai’s Tongji University.

“We are the first to get the records of the sea basin from 4,000 meters deep. Even from the initial analysis, we have got some great findings,” said chief Chinese scientist Li Chunfeng at a press conference in Shanghai yesterday.

The new discovery will help uncover the mystery of how the South China Sea was formed, said Li, who is a professor of Tongji’s School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and a deputy director of State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology.

The IODP 349 Expedition sailed from Hong Kong on January 28 and pulled into the shore of Keelung City in Taiwan on March 30.

It drilled five sites into the basement of the seabed and collected rock samples of different ages within different magnetic zones of the sea.

Li said these rocks would provide direct constraints on the age of underlying basement of the South China Sea and critical information on how the crust and mantle evolved during various stages of basin evolution.

The volcanic rocks showed the sea had periodical great volcano eruptions when it was formed.

And the muddy sediments also showed how the sea has evolved.

A report will be published two months later, Li said.

The team of 31 international scientists, including 13 Chinese, was on board the D/V Joides Resolution for the expedition.

Besides Chinese, there were nine scientists from the United States, three from Europe, two from Japan, and one each from South Korea, India, Australia and Brazil.

There were two observers from the Philippines and Chinese Taipei.


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