Japanese Ship Leaves for Drilling Survey to Reach Plate Boundary

Society

Shizuoka, Oct. 10 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese ship left on Wednesday for a drilling survey to reach for the first time a fault along a plate boundary in the Nankai Trough area off the country's Pacific coast, with the aim of improving the accuracy of predictions for a huge earthquake there.

The 57,000-ton drilling vessel Chikyu of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, or JAMSTEC, departed from the port of Shimizu in the central city of Shizuoka in the morning.

The survey is part of the Nankai Trough drilling project off the Kii Peninsula in western Japan, which started in fiscal 2007. The total drilling length has reached about 34 kilometers at 15 sites.

In the survey, an existing 3,085.5-meter drilling hole at one of the 15 sites, which is 1,939 meters from the sea surface, will be extended by about 2,200 meters by March 2019, in order to reach the boundary area of two plates.

"Off the Kii Peninsula, there's an area with the potential for a 'megaquake' occurrence at the shallowest depth in the world, but it's very difficult to conduct drilling there," said Shinichi Kuramoto, chief of the JAMSTEC Center for Deep Earth Exploration.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press