Saturday, June 02, 2007

Studying volcanoes

A theory that earthquakes and volcanoes may be related may help in saving lives

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has granted permission to scientific institutions to conduct a detailed study, on the relation between earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the region surrounding the Barren and Narcondum volcanic islands near the Andamans.It is theorized that the earthquake and volcanic activity along the Sumatra-Java and Andaman Islands are closely related to each other.

The DST national project assumes great significance, in the wake of the December 2004 Tsunami, which was followed by a major earthquake killing thousands of people in several countries across Asia. Also, several volcanic activities were experienced in the region.Recent activities indicate that this region is a potential danger zone, that must be monitored constantly and continuously to suggest preventive measures, to save lives on the countries that border the Indian Ocean.

This study is expected to collect data related to these activities, the scientists from the Earth Sciences Department of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) said yesterday.The DST sanctioned project involves institutes like the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Indian Institute of Geomagnetism (IIG) and IITB, which will be the project coordinator. The project will involve integrated geological and geophysical investigation to understand the mechanism of volcanoes, the internal structure of this active volcano and the tectonic setting of the region surrounding the Barren and Narcondum volcanic islands, IIT scientists said.

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