China to build first underwater platform in South China Sea

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2017/2/27 16:18:39

China will build its first long-term national underwater observation platform in key waters in the South China Sea to observe underwater conditions in real time, scientific news portal reported on Sunday.

Wang Pinxian, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), said at a scientific forum in Shanghai on Saturday that construction work on a long-term observation network covering key areas in the South China and East China seas will be done with the help of Shanghai's Tongji University and the Institute of Acoustics under the CAS.

Building the observation network showcases that the country is actively joining in the international competition, Wang said.

According to the report, the observation platform will probe the undersea physical, chemical, and geological dynamics, and will also be used for other purposes.

At an offshore drilling project led by Chinese scientists, 33 scientists from 13 countries including the US, France, Italy and Japan left Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong on February 7 for the South China Sea. The scientists have completed the first drilling task of the expedition to the South China Sea.

The first hole, identified as U1499A, has reached 3,770 meters below sea level, for collection of sediment samples, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

According to Sun Zhen of the Chinese Academy of Sciences South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, chief scientist of the research expedition team, a preliminary lithologic study was conducted on sediment believed to have been formed 8 million years ago, Xinhua said.

The second drill, close to the first hole, has begun and is expected to gather information from the sediment core, Sun said.

Xinhua reported on February 8 that scientists will explore the lithosphere extension during the continental breakup, by drilling four sites to a depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters in the northern area of the South China Sea. The study will contribute to understanding how marginal basins grow. A total of 66 scientists from 13 countries will participate in the expeditions, as part of the International Ocean Discovery Program.

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