China begins drilling the second deepest hole on Earth

China has begun the excavation of what is to be the deepest hole ever dug in the country and the second in the world ranking in all history. Officially at least, the objective of this project is purely scientific, to study the subsoil until reaching the rocks of the Cretaceous system, which date back 145 million years. Other sources, however, do not rule out some mining intention.

Be that as it may, those responsible for the project, which began to be carried out last Tuesday, have announced that They plan to reach a depth of more than 10,000 meterswhich would mean getting very close to the deepest hole ever drilled by humans, which was the one in Kola (Russia), which reached 12,226 meters and was also of a scientific nature.

The machinery will go through ten layers of rocks until it reaches its goal, which it hopes to achieve in about two years, and which will serve, as reported by Bloomberg, to identify mineral resources and help assess environmental risks such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The rig is located in the desert landscapes of the Tarim Basin in northwest China’s Xianjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Sources from the team behind the project have told the official Chinese news agency Xinhua that “drilling a well more than 10,000 meters deep is a brave attempt to study unknown territory on the planet and expand the limits of human understanding.”

The record is in Russia

The hole, though impressively deep, will not be the largest man-made on Earth. That title is for him. Kola super hole, on the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. The project, which spanned from 1970 until just after the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991), managed to reach 11,034 meters below sea level.

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The team found that the rocks deep within the Earth were much wetter than they expected. Previously, scientists believed that water did not penetrate rock as deeply. They also expected to find a layer of basalt beneath the mainland’s granite, since this is what was found in oceanic crust. Instead, they found that beneath the igneous granite was metamorphic granite. Since the continental crust was granite all the way down, this was evidence For Plate Tectonics, a theory that had only recently begun to be accepted when they began to dig the well.

Digging in the dirt doesn’t always go so smoothly. ORn American team in the 1960s reached 183 meters below the seabedcutting through 13 meters of basalt in the upper layer of the oceanic crust before the project was canceled due to mismanagement and financial problems.

“The difficulty of construction of the drilling project can be compared to driving a large truck on two thin steel cables”, Sun Jinsheng, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the state news agency Xinhua about the new project in this country.


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