The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has asked utilities in Kalpakkam to undertake a detailed study following information in Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Programme website about a reported volcano about 100-110 km off Kalpakkam. The information was revealed through an RTI query.
Replying to a query from M Vetriselvan, AERB chief public information officer Dr Pankaj Tandon in a reply on May 31, 2013, said AERB was aware of information in the Smithsonian Global Volcanism programme official website about the reported volcano located about 100-110 km from Kalpakkam with status uncertain.
The volcanic event was reported in the 18th century without enough scientific evidence, he said. The Global Volcanism Program is the hub of an international network for monitoring, reporting, and maintaining data related to volcanic activity around the world.
Tandon said the AERB contacted national agencies like Geological Survey of India, National Institute of Oceanography and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India Ltd that might possess or have access to related data and expertise in the domain.
While regional scale geophysical surveys conducted by NIO did not find any significant bathymetric anomaly that could suggest existence of such a volcano, GSI’s offshore surveys so far neither indicate any signature of volcanic eruption in the sediments nor the existence of any ephemeral island said to have formed due to the said event.
The RTI information states that GSI has recommended further data analysis in view of an inferred high density material intrusion of remnant magnetization based on magnetic and gravity anomalies around the said location.
As a result, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has asked utilities in Kalpakkam to undertake a detailed study through expert agencies and work in this regard is in progress, the RTI information revealed.
Chairman and managing director of Bhavini Dr Prabhat Kumar said that in spite of agencies like NIOT, Geological Survey of India and ONGC negating the presence of volcano in the area, a committee was formed consisting of experts from AERB, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and Bhavini to clear any doubts whatsoever over the presence of volcano in the region.
“We have assigned the job to National Geophysical Research Institute,” he said, adding that as of now there is no possibility or records of volcano in the region.