Kovvada, a small village in Srikakulam district is grabbing the international headlines nowadays. A major canyon system was discovered by the NIO-CSIR scientists in the depths of Bay of Bengal, close to its shoreline. As the discovery has come up after five decades of the last canyons discovery, scientists are highly animated. Moreover, it was found also recorded to be deeper than Grand Canyon of US. Now scientists are expecting that the canyons may be rich in hydrocarbons.
After the findings of a cluster of underwater canyons in the late 60s, a team of scientists from CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has discovered a new canyon system in the depths of Bay of Bengal. Almost five decades after the discovery of the underwater canyons, this latest finding has come up with a major canyon system in Bay of Bengal close to Kovvada in Srikakulam district.
Way back in 1963, World famous professor EC LaFond, from the US Navy Electronics Laboratory, while conducting some underwater studies at Andhra University, recorded the existence of three canyons. With the help of an echogram – a tool that notes the depth of seafloor profile down to a cruise track, EC LaFond collected the recordings of the submerged canyons onboard American vessel Anton Bruun and later it was named as Andhra Canyon.
Now, after 50 years of the discovery, scientists from CSRI-NIO have succeeded in precisely mapping the depth of the ocean floor, located between Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam. The researchers, by sending over 32 high-density beams to the rock bottom of the Bay of Bengal, successfully managed to record the major canyons system, which is attributable to three new canyons.
According to the acting director of National Institute of Oceanography, S. Prasanna Kumar, “Canyon systems are generally created when the river water streamed into the sea, and they could be as elderly as the river structure, which is near to 23 million years. But what makes our finding more significant is that we were able to trace and efficiently map a new major canyons system, formed from three canyons in the depth of Bay of Bengal, off the coast of Visakhapatnam.”
Since the finding of last Canyons system in 1963, no serious effort was made to locate and map such canyons. But, throughout the recent experiment, the researchers from CSRI and NIO successfully trace and map the canyons in great detail. They also found that the three canyons, which are contributing to the primary system, connect at nearly 1000 meter to create the chief canyon system.