Controlled Source Seismology in India in the 21st Century

  • Kalachand Sain
Keywords: CSS Data; Crustal Structure; Geo-tectonics; Sub-volcanic Sediments; Gas-hydrates


The controlled source seismology (CSS), where artificial sources are used and near-vertical reflections, refractions and wide-angle reflections are recorded, has been a powerful tool for delineating shallow/deep crustal structures and subsurface features. Significant results, brought out from the vintage and new CSS data in the 21st century, include geological/tectonic aspects of the Dharwar craton, Delhi Aravalli fold belt, Central Indian Tectonic Zone, Southern Granulite Terrain, Proterozoic Cuddapah basin, Kangra fold-thrust belt, Hazara syntaxis in NW Himalaya, Chambal-valley Vindhya basin, Mahanadi delta and Bengal basins. These studies also provide useful inputs in understanding the genesis of 1997 Jabalpur and 2001 Bhuj earthquakes. Imaging sub-volcanic Mesozoic sediments, in which more than 50% of global oil is found, has been a challenge by routine geophysical methods. This problem has been alleviated by CSS experiments, and Mesozoic sediments below the Deccan volcanic rocks have been delineated in the Saurashtra peninsula, Kutch peninsula, Tapti-graben and Kerala-Konkan offshore regions, and Gondwana sediments below the Rajmahal Traps have been mapped in the Mahanadi and Bengal basin. Several approaches have been proposed for the detection, characterization and assessment of gashydrates from shallow seismic data. These have been applied to field data that has resulted into identifying gas-hydrates, a major future energy resource of India, in the Krishna-Godavari, Mahanadi and Andaman offshore regions. Gas-hydrates have been subsequently recovered by drilling & coring under Indian National Gas Hydrates Program. The prognosticated amount of methane stored as gas-hydrates within Indian Exclusive Economic Zone is so huge that only 10% production may suffice our vast energy requirement for the next 100 years.


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