Record-breaking sediment core on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau pulled out for research

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A rock core that was drawn out on August 4, 2020, from Namtso Lake, China's third-largest salt lake, is expected to unveil Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's meteorological and environmental changes over the past 150,000 years.

The expedition team obtained a rock core with a length of 144.79 meters. By using submersible drilling, the expedition team was capable of reaching 153.44 meters deep beneath the lake at an altitude of 4,730 meters. This result broke the country's previous drilling depth record of 114.9 meters.

The Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) cooperated with drilling companies to fasten the 81-square-meter platform with four anchors, each weighing over 200 kilograms and drawn by winding engines.

At 6:45 pm, on August 3, the submersible drill succeeded in targeting the location of the rock core.

Wang Junbo, the project's team leader and a research fellow at ITP, said, "the rock core pulled out from Namtso Lake is essential to our research on Asia's water tower resources that have transformed in response to climate change."

Zhu Liping, Wang's teammate and colleague, said, "the groundbreaking project has not only marked a breakthrough in submersible drilling technologies but has also facilitated high-level scientific research based on the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program."

In the form of cylinders taken from the central part of a rock, rock core is recognized as an important resource valuable to geological and meteorological research.  

Content in partnership with Science and Technology Daily

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