Manipal Varsity scholar only Indian in deep sea research team
November 02, 2015
Dr. Gurumurthy G.P, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education became the first person from a private university in the country to participate in the prestigious deep sea International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP).
He was among the 30 scientists from 26 countries to sail in Joides Resolution, a deep sea drilling research vessel. IODP is dedicated to advance scientific understanding of Earth by sampling, instrumenting and monitoring sub-seafloor environments.
Talking about his experiences, he said that a surprise discovery during the expedition, was that scientists have identified one of the largest underwater mass sediment transport deposits in the Arabian Sea. “The physical mechanism, past tectonic event /past hydrodynamics, behind such mass transport deposit is of great scientific interest for the geoscience community,” he said.
He also added that the broader scientific objective of the expedition was to study the evolution of Indian monsoon system following the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Tibetan Plateau, and to decipher the genesis/nature of basement rock in the Arabian Sea.
“Indeed the findings of this expedition have been surprising even before the analysis of the data have begun,” he said. The preliminary findings of the expedition can be accessed through http://dx.doi.org/10.14379/iodp.pr.355.2015.
“I am extremely pleased that barely a year after initiating research in oceanography, we have been able to participate in this expedition” said Vice Chancellor Dr. H. Vinod Bhat when asked about research within Manipal Academy of Higher Education in the Earth Sciences. “Through this expedition, we have achieved two “firsts”: the first such expedition for Manipal Academy of Higher Education and the first of any private university in the country to participate in such an event”.
“The Earth and Planetary Sciences group at the newly created Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences at Manipal Academy of Higher Education seeks to address varied and unique problems at the most fundamental level in the Earth’s history including the last mass extinction event. A geochemical study of deep sea sediments dating back to more than 65 million years is certainly a great place to start,” said MCNS Director Dr. Mohini Gupta who has setup the Centre.