China is now leading the way in a different kind of geographical catastrophe – they’re digging one of the deepest boreholes ever tried into the Earth’s crust. The project aims to explore beneath our planet’s deep, complicated strata in order to shed light on Earth’s geology and to locate fresh oil and gas sources for its consumption without concerning its future implications 1.
Chinese engineers have raised environmental worries as they build a new super-deep borehole deep beneath the Earth’s crust to improve study on natural resources thousands of feet below the earth’s surface. According to China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua, the borehole will reach an estimated 10,520 metres (34,514 feet) on the site of the Sichuan Basin in southwest China, which is a region for gas production and China expects to find a natural gas reserve there. On the other hand they have already started to build another super deep borehole which is further extended with a depth of 11,100 m. The hole is being dug in the Tarim Basin of China’s northwest autonomous region of Xinjiang and will be among one of the world’s deepest human-made boreholes.
The first-ever deepest borehole, known as the Kola Superdeep Boreholea, was dug in northwest Russia between 1970 and 1992 and is now defunct. The hole measured 12,262 metres (40,229 feet), which is deeper than the Mount Everest, which stands at around 8,800 metres (28,871 feet) 2.
Boreholes drill holes into the future of the environment
One of the major environment concern of drilling borehole, is fracking for extracting natural gas. It leads to release of several tons of methane gas, a Greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide. It further causes several health and respiratory diseases, causes ground water pollution and last but not the least increased seismic activity. Drilling majorly contributes to air pollution leading to smog, release of toxic gases and harming the overall community living in the region. This also leads to increased risk of lowering of groundwater levels, harming ground water quality, which can further cause concern for China who is already facing water scarcity issue in the country.
Several toxic chemicals depletes the ground water quality as well as harming the overall community dependent on these resources.
The Chinese borehole is projected to traverse through 10 continental strata once completion, which is estimated to take roughly 450 days. These are sedimentary rock layers that span whole continents. These rock layers are from the Cretaceous System, which originated more than 145 million years ago. The journey to the bottom of the hole may well provide the key to unlocking further mysteries of our ancient Earth but the environmental damage it can cause should be kept in mind.3 China’s competition with the western world to become the super power is already a known fact. Fascinated by its cutting-edge research programmes behind closed doors; a scientist after 14 years of research suggested that the culture actually stems from something else: a sense of sociopolitical insecurity. 4
Therefore, the government must improve closing the gap in the legal system if it is to prevent such projects in the name of progress and modernity. As “environmental values” `does not exist in certain countries’ policies, the harm done to the environment is currently not seen as a cost in economic and social terms. Green energy has its benefits, but we must not allow practices to damage it. Many Chinese studies, such as embryo-gene editing research, historic moon landings, and flying space planes into orbit, show how little we actually know about what’s going on within the Chinese scientific organisations. It may be tempting to believe that China has a mechanism in place to supply technologies that cause concern rather than solving social problems.
4 https://undark.org/2019/01/29/chinese -secretive-science/