Union Government to set up a BGRL to understand earthquake mechanism in Koyna region

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Who: Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL)
Where: Hazarmachi, Karad of Maharashtra
What: To be established
When: 2 February 2016
Why: To understand earthquake mechanism in Koyna region

Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences on 2 February 2016 inaugurated the construction work of Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL) at Hazarmachi, Karad of Maharashtra.

BGRL is being developed at Karad to understand and address the challenges of the seismological problems (natural calamities) of societal relevance in the Koyna Region through drilling investigation.

BGRL was conceptualised as part of the Ministry’s programme of Scientific Deep Drilling in Koyna Intra-plate Seismic Zone for geographical investigations and modeling dedicated to earthquake research in the area.

About the BGRL Programme
The programme is a unique approach to understand the mechanism of earthquakes in the Koyna region and it proposes
•    It is proposed to drill deep boreholes to reach the depths of earthquakes in this region and set-up a deep borehole observatory.
•    Direct observations in the source zone of the earthquakes will provide new and critical information to model these earthquake mechanisms.
The goal of BGRL is to emerge as an Institution of international repute housing highly specialized geophysical, geological and geotechnical facilities related to earthquake research.

About Koyna region
Koynanagar is a town near the Koyna Hydroelectric Project in Maharashtra. The area is one of the most seismically active in Maharashtra as well as the country. Koyna region lies in Zone IV of earthquake hazard zoning.

Reservoir triggered earthquakes have been occurring persistently in the Koyna region since the impoundment of the Shivaji Sagar Lake in 1962. In 1967, the region faced a quake of magnitude 6.3, which was the largest triggered earthquake of the area. List of earthquake faced by the region (all earthquakes were restricted to an area of 30 km x 20 km only)
• 22 earthquakes with magnitude 5 and above
• 200 earthquakes of magnitude 4 and above
• Several thousand smaller earthquakes have occurred in the region