China Goes Deeper in Deep-Earth Exploration With 10,000-Meter-Deep Borehole
China has begun a gigantic scientific exploration drilling activity with the goal of deep-Earth exploration. The borehole depth is set to reach 11,100 meters in less than a year and a half – one of the deepest holes in the world – located in the Taklimakan Desert, China’s largest desert. This is an unprecedented opportunity for deep-Earth discoveries and to identify potential energy and mineral resources hidden underground. The drill will break through more than ten continental strata, including the Cretaceous system, a stratified layer of rock dating back to 145 million years ago.
The project will test China’s latest deep underground drilling technologies. China aims to become a leader in deep-Earth exploration, with President Xi Jinping calling for progress in this field in 2021.
The construction of the drilling project is highly challenging and can be compared to a big truck driving on two thin steel cables, according to Sun Jinsheng, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering. China will use equipment weighing over 2,000 tonnes to complete the project.
This project follows Kola Superdeep Borehole, the world’s deepest manmade hole dug by the former Soviet Union, located in northwest Russia. It reached 12,262 meters in 1989 after 20 years of drilling.