Launching the countries’ first joint scientific collaboration at the North Indian Ocean along the Makran Trench on Sunday, Chinese and Pakistani researchers started an ocean-bottom seismograph (OBS) for the first time using Shi Yan 3, a scientific research vessel from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Scientists from China and Pakistan boarded China’s research vessel Shi Yan 3 at the port of Karachi in Pakistan on Saturday. The ship sailed to the Makran Trench in the Indian Ocean.
It was the first China-Pakistan joint oceanographic expedition. It is expected to promote cooperation on marine science and technology that would help protect coastal and marine ecosystems.
“This is a major breakthrough in the advancement of oceanographic research in the Arabian Sea. The water body has a number of unique features that make it an interesting place to undertake scientific research and improve our understanding of seismicity due to the interaction of three tectonic plates just southwest of Karachi,” Dr Asif Inam heading NIO told Dawn.
The geochemical characterization of the magmatic rocks present at the Makran trench has not been systematically performed before, which is what makes this research endeavor a landmark activity. Since the area of the Makran trench is the convergence point for three seismic plates, the geological study can help in the prevention and mitigation of disasters.
The other main area of interest for the team, according to him, was to assess the potential of gas hydrates along the Makran coast and to see how this expedition would benefit people of Pakistan in strengthening disaster management and country’s socio-economic development.