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China breaks deep-sea sediment core retrieval record

Updated:2021-04-12 16:00:11

A marine research vessel, on which "Sea Bull II" is aboard, sails in the South China Sea on April 3, 2021. (Photo provided to Xinhua)

CHANGSHA, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have completed a deep-sea drilling project to obtain a sediment core with a length of 231 meters from a depth of over 2,000 meters in the South China Sea, setting a new world record for deep-sea drilling.

Aboard a marine research vessel, China's independently developed drilling system "Sea Bull II" took approximately 15 hours to drill the sediment on the seabed 2,060 meters under the sea on Wednesday.

"Sea Bull II" gets ready to drill in the South China Sea on April 7, 2021. (Photo provided to Xinhua)

The system, weighing 12 tonnes, is currently China's heaviest piece of underwater geological exploration equipment. As the world's only seabed drilling apparatus with a drilling capacity of more than 200 meters, it can help explore natural gas hydrate resources in the seabed.

"Sea Bull II" drills in the South China Sea on April 7, 2021. (Photo provided to Xinhua)

The system was developed by professor Wan Buyan and his team at the Hunan University of Science and Technology.

Wan said that in the next few years, his team will attempt to drill sediment at a depth of 11,000 meters in the Mariana Trench to research the evolution of the trench's ecosystems.