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Earthquake Forecasts and Volcano Research

A seismo-geochemial observation laboratory to monitor continuous variations of some desired components including helium (He), nitrogen (N2), argon (Ar), methane (CH.), radon (222 Rn) and gamma in the gas expelled from the mud volcano at Baratang Middle Andaman, was established in March 2009. This is the third such field laboratory, after the ones at the therma I springs at Bakreswar in West Bengal and at Tatta Pani near Jammu, J&K, which has been set-up with the aim at examining the application of gas concentration anomalies towards seismic surveillance.The work is a priority research programme initiated by the Government of lndia, Department of Science and Technology) (DST), and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),Government of lndia to address the question of obtaining reliable pre-seismic information within the country. All data obtained from the three local laboratories are compounded through a satellite based VSAT module operated broadband internet connectivity to a central laboratory at the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) Kolkata, for carrying out continuous round the clock in situ monitoring of geochemical anomalies arising out of pre-seismic disturbances. Mud volcanoes serve as visible signatures on the surface of the earth that imply seismically active regions.