• Earth Resources and Hazards Assessment & Mitigation

    CSIR has been playing a major role in understanding the processes that influence climatic and extreme events and survey of our land and offshore regions for minerals as well as bio-resources. It has made remarkable contributions to the areas of Earth structure, mapping of hazard zones and hazard mitigation, exploration of mineral and water resources, mining, extraction and beneficiation of various minerals, and is at present paying considerable attention to the exploration of gas hydrates and hydrocarbons to help meet the energy demands of the country.

    The mandate of CSIR is to:

    • Build up competence for exploration and judicious use of the land and marine resources
    • Explore groundwater resources
    • Carry out basic and applied research in the frontier areas of solid earth, land, seas and oceans, and study the processes involved in and related to natural and other hazardous events
    • Undertake R&D pertaining to natural hazards assessment, disaster mitigation, shelter planning, etc.


    The CSIR laboratories are in the forefront in the areas of—earth structure studies, seismology, earthquake prediction, hazard assessment, exploration of mineral and water resources particularly in today’s context, gas hydrates and hydrocarbons, and related labs are as detailed below.

    The CSIR laboratories are in the forefront in the areas of—earth structure studies, seismology, earthquake prediction, hazard assessment, exploration of mineral and water resources particularly in today’s context, gas hydrates and hydrocarbons, and related labs are as detailed below.
    Labs Core Competence
    National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI, Hyderabad) Exploration of hydrocarbons and gas hydrates, mineral exploration and engineering geophysics, exploration, assessment and management of groundwater resources, earthquake hazard assessment, Lithosphere, Earth's interior and Palaeo-environment, geo-environment studies and geophysical instrumentation
    National Institute of Oceanography (NIO, Goa) Coastal and oceanic resources’ exploration and exploitation; Resource mapping of polymetallic nodules, gas hydrate deposits, beach placer deposits, Marine bioresources exploration and utilization; bioresources for new bioactive compounds; Seismology, marine seismics, geodynamics of the continental margins, plate tectonics processes, earthquakes of the peninsular shield;
    CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modelling & Computer Simulation (C-CMMACS, Bangalore) Oceanic modelling, geodynamics and earthquake hazards; modelling of water table, geological hazards and resources
    Central Fuel Research Institute (CFRI, Dhanbad) Characterization and beneficiation of coal and other minerals
    Central Mining Research Institute (CMRI, Dhanbad) Exploitation of coal deposits and other minerals in different geo-mining conditions, numerical modelling and application of computer and information technology in mines, tunnels and underground caverns, development of methods and devices to improve safety standards in mines, environmental management, reclamation and development of innovative eco-friendly mining practices, design for underground space, tunnels, dams, caverns and hydel projects, disaster management for mines, development of beach placer deposits.
    Central Building Research Institute (CBRI, Roorkee) Disaster mitigation and process development, precast cyclone resistant houses; shelter planning, seismic stability analysis; testing facilities and design solutions for geotechnical problems; fire hazards assessment and analysis, and fire alarm systems; setting up of seismic stations
    Structural Engineering Research Centre (SERC, Chennai) Earthquake-resistant structures, shelters for earthquake affected areas
    Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI, Durgapur ) Robotics & mechatronics for exploration of deep-sea wealth; pumps for drinking water
    Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI, Bhavnagar) Marine chemicals, salts, marine bioresources exploration and utilization; seaweed resources, phycocolloids; technology for water desalination/purification
    Regional Research Laboratory, Bhopal Water resources management and watershed development
    Regional Research Laboratory, Jorhat Disaster mitigation and process development, precast cyclone resistant houses; seismotectonic studies for earthquake hazard assessment
    Regional Research Laboratory, Thiruvananthapuram Development and utilization of strategic/precious mineral resources
    Industrial Toxicology Research Centre (ITRC, Lucknow) Preparation of plans for chemicals disaster management, and helping in solving problems arising out of toxic adulterants
    Central Road Research Institute (CRRI, New Delhi) Landslide correction and hazard mitigation


    Knowledge-based Products/Technologies Developed and Basic Findings


    • Deep seismic sounding studies to help oil exploration programmes
    • Demarcation of zones for gas hydrates along western continental margin using seismic methods for Gas Authority of I
    • Delineation of Mesozoic sediments for oil prospecting in Saurashtra and Kutch for hydrocarbons for Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.
    • Collection of 2-D seismic reflection data for oil prospecting in Brahmaputra river valley on north and south banks for Oil India Ltd.
    • Gravity and magnetic data modelling for Saurashtra offshore basin for Oil India Ltd.
    • Delineation of Nagpur - Wardha basin in central India using magnetotellurics for Directorate of Gas Hydrates
    • Exploration of sub-trappean Mesozoic basins in Deccan syncline using CSS, Gravity, DRS and MT methods for Oil Industry Development Board
    • 2-D Seismic surveys in Mahanadi delta for Oil India Ltd.
    • High-resolution seismic surveys for coal/lignite exploration in Bikaner for Department of Petroleum, Government of Rajasthan
    • Extensive surveys for groundwater and civil engineering investigations
    • Monitoring of reservoir induced seismicity: Three-dimensional seismic models were generated to decipher critical linkages between recurring seismicity and high velocity. Surface rupture zone of the region was defined through helium surveys and westerly dip of Koyna fault was established. Narmada-Son lineament in the zone could be related to the seismogenic fault believed to be associated with Jabalpur earthquake and also the reactivation processes that the region has experienced.
    • Development of portable multiprobe borehole logger, capable of logging up to a depth of 300 m and useful for investigating ground water and minerals for logging electrical temperature and natural gamma radiation.
    • In situ stress measurements for studying mine safety.
    • borehole
      Portable multiprobe borehole logger and resistivity equipment developed by NGRI


    • Physical, chemical, biological, geological and geophysical studies of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of India and other areas in the Indian Ocean which have led to understanding of the ocean processes and the resources hitherto unknown.
    • Survey of marine living resources and development of new culture techniques with a view of increasing seafood production
    • Discovery of ilmenite deposits in offshore areas of Konkan Coast
    • Survey for polymetallic nodules in an area of about 4 million km2 in the Central Indian Ocean. This work resulted in registration of India as the first 'Pioneer Investor' country in the world under UN and getting allocation of an area of 1,50,000 km2 for developing a mining site.
    • Generation of gas hydrate resource map of India; multidisciplinary investigations in Goa and offshore areas and Krishna Godavary region indicate the presence of proxies of gas hydrate such as sulphate reduction and chloride depletion, increasing trend of the methane flux with core depth, gas escape features, presence of pock marks and microbes related to the presence of gas hydrates
    • Discovery of black sands in some areas of South Maharashtra and Goa
    • Discovery, development and commercialization of new bioactives and traditional preparations, identification of marine organisms for compounds with industrial applications.
    • EIA studies for offshore mining
    • Study of coastal seismicity in relation to neotectonic activity
    • Integrated data acquisition system, electronic tide gauge, wind recorder, automatic weather station, direct reading current meter, etc.


    • Setting up of Global Positioning System (GPS) stations in remote locations and analysis and modelling of GPS data as well as other modelling studies on geophysical processes, which have provided valuable insight to understanding of geological/geophysical processes over the Indian region, paving the way for rigorous quantification of earthquake hazard.
    • A seismic hazard map of the territory of India and adjacent areas has been prepared using the input data set consisting of structural models, seismogenic zones, focal mechanisms and earthquake catalogue. The synthetic seismograms have been generated by the modal summation technique. The three biggest cities of India, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have been found to lie in the hazardous zones of the DGA map.
    • As part of a NMITILI project, an innovative methodology has been developed to simulate and forecast tropical cyclones, which combines the advantage of a GCM and LAM to a large extent
    • map
      C-MMACS has developed the first seismic map of India. The map shows
      the spatial distribution of the design ground acceleration in g


    • Mining methods and related R&D: Cable bolting, wide-stall, underpinning, goaf-pillar, yield pillar, chess bord, limited span, narrow panel and mechanized short walling methods for extraction of complex mineral deposits; numerical modeling for development of underground and surface mining methods as well as design of underground pillars; classification of rock mass; quick setting organic cement capsules for roof bolting; Evaluation of cavability, prediction of periodic weighting and mean load density, and estimation of support capacity for effective application of longwall mining; management of hard roof by water injection ; stoping methods and application of stoping parameters; safe slope design and analysis of slope stability are some of the other examples of CMRI. R&D output being utilized in the various mines
    • Blasting and Fire Safety: New blasting techniques to improve fragmentation as well as loading efficiency and to reduce explosive consumption, flyrock formation and ground vibration; spacer-aided initiation technique for blasting-off-the solid to increase pull; Air deck system for blasting; explosive-detonating cord system for gallery blasting; evaluation of post-detonation toxic fumes of explosives and incendivity of detonators in coal dust atmosphere; determination of blast vibration threshold; heat-resistance explosive for blasting of hot holes; emulsion explosive for blasting in opencast mines; fire protective coating material for preventing spontaneous heating in coal benches of opencast mines; coal categorization and prediction of spontaneous fire risk in mines; pressure balancing techniques and high expansion foam for control of coal mine fire.; cryogenic technology for control of coal mine fire and quick reopening of mines; simulation of open fire in a model gallery for suppression of fire and explosions; technique for the assessment of status of fire in coal mines.
    • Mine Stabilization/Safety: Method for effective drilling; Efficient back filling of underground mine voids with flyash and mill tailings; Delayed bulk filling of open stopes with high density cemented fill for extraction of pillars; stabilization of unapproachable mine workings ; 3-D subsidence prediction numerical modeling for single and multi seam mining; control of subsidence for safe mining and environmental management; multi-zonal ventilation system to improve working environment and safety in underground mines.
    • Mining equipment/instruments and systems: Hydromechanical steel cog, high set remote prop, steel rigid prop with remote released mechanism, steel arch setting device, pit prop, roof fall indicating system, flyash-based support for mines, stowing plants, intrinsically safe digital indicator, methane sensor, data acquisition system, environmental monitoring system, portable data logger, flood warning system, auto coal sampler, breaking load monitoring system, machine health condition monitoring system, communication system for mines, two-wire temperature transmitter, cordless inundation alarm, integrated monitoring and communication system for toxic and combustible gases, mechanised system for spraying fire protecting coating material, handy gas sampling device.
    • Other achievements: Bio-degasification of coal and bio-leaching of minerals; gassification of coal using microorganisms; environmental impact assessment and planning of alternate scenarios to reduce environmental degradation of mineral-rich areas; assessment of potential for the production of mineral and hydel-power for the north-east region; application of remote sensing methodology for waste-land utilization, management and evaluation as well as watershed management in mining areas.
    • mini_roof
      Light duty hydraulic prop for mine roof support, designed and developed by CMRI


    • Technologies/software have been developed pertaining to structural analysis and design of earthquake-resistant buildings, earthquake engineering including strong motion instrumentation, Construction technologies including prefabrication, for tremor-prone areas, rehabilitation of distressed structures, preconcrete cyclone resistant houses, instant shelter for disaster relief.
    • Damage assessment and vulnerability analysis, development of improved methodologies and guidelines/codes for safe and economical designs of buildings and structures subjected to extreme winds, cyclone-resistant design of buildings and structures
    • Development of suitable methodology for condition assessment and monitoring of corrosion-affected RC and prestressed concrete structures and evaluation of their strength and residual life
    • Installation of free-field strong motion accelerograph network for recording ground vibrations

    CSIR has played a key role in damage assessment studies of buildings and road infrastructure affected by disasters; in providing disaster mitigation technologies for rehabilitation of cyclone ravaged people of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and in providing earthquake-resistant houses and building technologies to the affected people of Uttarkashi/Chamoli (Uttaranchal), Latur (Maharashtra), Jabalpur (MP) and Bhuj (Gujarat).

    Some other CSIR laboratories have also contributed significantly to this theme area.

    • RRL-Jorhat: Generation of a comprehensive seismological database for North East India (1897-2002); source zone characteristics, active tectonic lineaments and seismological maps of North East India, and periodic updates; use of anomalous variation in radon emanation as earthquake precursor studies in North East India.
    • RRL-Bhopal: GIS application for driving groundwater prospects, database creation for selection of sites for drilling and recharge structures, finding drinking water sources for villages of Madhya Pradesh; evolving soil and water conservation measures, application of SWAT model and ARC view for watershed development, bottom-profiling studies and application of CEQUAL-W2 water quality and hydrodynamic model for Kolar and Tawa reservoirs of Madhya Pradesh.
    • CMERI: Development of ‘Autonomous Underwater Vehicles’ for exploring marine-wealth in the depths of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) has been developed to operate up to a depth of 200 m with unlimited operational time. It would be useful in routine inspection of all underwater primary and secondary structure using camera and NDT methods for all-shore structures; pipeline inspection, debris cleaning, water jetting for removal of marine growth, etc., mapping and photo documentation in marine geological survey, marine life survey etc.