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Dr VP Rao gets Raman Fellowship
Dr V Poornachandra Rao - scientist from the Geological Oceanography Division has been selected for 6 month Raman Research Fellowship. This fellowship is awarded by CSIR to the deserving Indian scientists for study abroad. Dr Rao would like to take up a study on the climatic change using Sr-Nd isotopes of the sediments in the Bay of Bengal during his fellowship at Department of Geochemistry and Isotopic chemistry, University of Munchen, Munchen, Germany. The Sr-Nd isotopes depend on the age of the geological formations. High Sr concentrations and high Sr isotopic ratios correspond to older formation. The radiogenic Nd decreases with increasing age of the formation. Chemical weathering also affects and increases Sr isotope ratios. Sr isotopic ratios of seawater in the Bay of Bengal are largely controlled by riverine fluxes. The Himalayas contain older (Precambrian) sedimentary rocks, which weather mostly under physical weathering conditions. Sr-Nd isotopic signatures of the sediments can trace the provenance and variations in weathering processes recorded in the sediments of the Bengal Fan and can be used as an indicator of global silicate weathering or the Himalayan erosion fluxes. To start with the sediments off the major rivers will be analysed to characterize the Sr-Nd signatures of each river to better understand the influence of chemical and physical weathering on these isotopes. The sediment cores close to the boundaries of the eastern Bengal Fan will then be analysed for the isotopes to understand the provenance, flux changes and interpret them in terms of changes in provenance, climate and oceanic processes operated through time. Dr Rao adds that NIO has a major program (10 years) on the exploration of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India. Under this program several sediment cores would be collected. The gained expertise during the Raman Fellowship will be used to analyse data collected during this program from other regions of the Indian Ocean. Dr Rao also foresees scientific collaboration with University of Munchen, Germany after fellowship and establishment of Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer facility at NIO in future.
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