Japanese drill reaches deeper into seabed than ever before

September 11, 2012

By SUSUMU YOSHIDA/ Staff Writer

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology said Sept. 10 its deep-sea scientific drilling vessel has set a world record by reaching 2,466 meters beneath the seabed off the coast of Japan, to retrieve core samples.

The previous record, 2,111 meters, was set in 1993 by a U.S. research vessel off the coast of Ecuador.

The agency’s vessel, the Chikyu, surpassed the previous record on Sept. 6 after it began drilling in waters off Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, in late July.

The Chikyu is conducting research on microorganisms and the carbon cycle system in extreme environments at depths that had been previously unreached.

The vessel has finished drilling on Sept. 9, reaching the depth of 2,466 meters, and is expected to gather data on geological layers until the end of September.

In April, the Chikyu also set a world record for deep-sea drilling by reaching a depth of 7,740 meters, after drilling about 856.5 meters into the seafloor that was 6,883.5 meters below the sea surface off Miyagi Prefecture.

By SUSUMU YOSHIDA/ Staff Writer
  • 1
submit to reddit
The Chikyu deep-sea drilling vessel off Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, on Aug. 23 (Susumu Yoshida)

The Chikyu deep-sea drilling vessel off Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, on Aug. 23 (Susumu Yoshida)

Toggle
  • The Chikyu deep-sea drilling vessel off Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, on Aug. 23 (Susumu Yoshida)

More AJW