Chinese super drill rig sets a new Asian depth record

Chinese super drill rig sets a new Asian depth record

Remarkable team behind achievement inspired by revered former leader

One of China’s most-advanced onshore drilling rigs, named Crust 1, recently set an Asian record for the deepest borehole following the completion of a four-year project.

The boring machine, developed by northeastern China’s Jilin University, completed a 7,018-meter-deep hole in a continental layer of rock dating back to the Cretaceous period some 66-145 million years ago.

According to the university, Crust 1 can dig as deep as 10,000 meters and is China’s most advanced land-based drilling rig. It makes China the third country in the world to master 10,000-meter-deep drilling equipment and relevant technologies, following Russia and Germany.

The project was mainly conducted by the university’s geoexploration and information technology team. Originating from the Changchun Geological Institute founded by leading geologist Li Siguang (1889-1971), the team is among China’s first batch to engage in deep exploration of the Earth and the development of information technology, as well as in related training of personnel.

Huang Danian was one of the team’s model representatives. The geophysicist, who died last year following an illness, joined the team in 1982 and went abroad for further studies in 1992. After studying and working in the United Kingdom for nearly two decades, Huang returned to China and led the team to achieve many breakthroughs in a number of technical fields, transforming China into one of the world’s leaders in deep earth exploration.

Huang’s life has inspired and motivated many Chinese scientists from later generations.

Liu Cai, the current team leader, said they would carry forward the spirit of Huang and conduct his unfinished research projects.

He said his team had made major achievements over the past year in various fields, including the 10,000-meter drilling equipment technology.

On May 30, Liu’s team, together with another 20 research teams, was awarded the honorary title of “Huang Danian-style Research Team” by four provincial government agencies and the Jilin Association for Science and Technology. “It is a special honor and an inspiration for us,” Liu said.

“We are indeed Huang Danian’s team, so we should do better in promoting his spirit of patriotism, dedication and hardwork.”

Ma Guoqing, a doctoral student of Huang, said, “Each team member learned from Huang about research and teaching, and wants to contribute to the country’s technological development with the same patriotism as he did.”

Yu Ping, an assistant of Huang, said that the team had developed steadily during the past year with the support of government departments at all levels.

Zeng Zhaofa, head of the College of Geo-Exploration Science and Technology at Jilin University, said the team had involved nearly all the college’s leading scientists and was working smoothly on Huang’s unfinished research projects.

Another team at Jilin University to be granted the “Huang Danian-style Research Team” honorary title was the computational physics methods and software platform research team, led by Ma Yanming. Ma, who is the head of the College of Physics, is also a professor at the State Key Laboratory of Superhard Materials.

Ma’s team has spent more than a decade developing an efficient method of crystal structure analysis – utilizing what is known as particle swarm optimization – and a software of that name for predictions about structures, based on swarm intelligence algorithms. Scientists said the so-called CALYPSO method and software could speed up the discovery of new materials, change people’s lives and promote social progress.

“We have made countless attempts on every single improvement, which probably needs years of effort, but this is science,” Ma said. “You can’t be afraid of failure when working on science, because results of the scientific research are innovative,” he added.

Currently, more than 2,000 scientists in 56 countries and regions are using the team’s CALYPSO method and software. They include Nobel Prize winners and top scholars at the US National Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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 Chinese super drill rig sets a new Asian depth record

Technicians closely observe operations of the record-breaking Crust 1, one of China’s most-advanced onshore drilling rigs.Provided To China Daily

(China Daily 06/15/2018 page10)

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