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Science

Gravity Hole: Anomaly In Indian Ocean 

~Anomaly In Indian Ocean

Gravity Hole
Gravity Hole

Gravity Hole:

  • Indian scientists have uncovered the cause of the mysterious giant anomaly referred to as a gravity hole in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is also known as the Indian Ocean Geoid Low (IOGL) and was discovered in 1948 during a survey by Dutch geophysicist.
    • IOGL covers more than three million square kilometres of the ocean.

Concept of Gravity

  • While it is easy to imagine the Earth as a perfect sphere that has uniform gravity all over, but that is not the case;
  • Our planet is flat at the poles, and it bulges at the equator. Also, it doesn’t have uniform gravity everywhere.
  • For example, there is a massive “gravity hole” in the Indian Ocean and now, researchers have uncovered why that is the case.

About: Gravity Hole & It’s Cause

  • These are areas where the gravitational pull is significantly stronger than in the surrounding areas.
  • These anomalies are caused by variations in the gravitational pull of the Earth due to differences in the density of the materials that make up the Earth’s crust.

Effect of Gravity Hole

  • It can have a profound effect on the ocean currents and the movement of water around them.
  • The gravitational pull of a gravity hole can cause water to be pulled towards it, creating a vortex that can suck in anything that comes too close.
    • This can be dangerous for ships and other vessels that are navigating the area.
  • It can also influence the geology of the surrounding area. The increased gravitational pull can cause the rocks and sediment in the area to be compressed, which can lead to the formation of new geological features.

Indian Ocean Geoid Low (IOGL)

  • It is a negative geoid anomaly, meaning that the sea level in this region is lower than what would be expected based on the Earth’s gravitational field.
  • It has important implications for oceanography, climate science, and geodynamics.
  • It affects the ocean circulation patterns, the distribution of heat and salt in the ocean, and the sea level rise projections for the Indian Ocean region.

Different Anomalies in the world

South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA):
  • The SAA is a region in the Earth’s magnetic field where it is significantly weaker than in other parts of the globe. This anomaly is located in the South Atlantic Ocean, extending from South America to the southern coast of Africa.
Karakoram Anomaly:
  • ‘Karakoram Anomaly’ is termed as the stability or anomalous growth of glaciers in the central Karakoram, in contrast to the retreat of glaciers in other nearby mountainous ranges of Himalayas and other mountainous ranges of the world.
Temperature anomaly:
  • The term temperature anomaly means a departure from a reference value or long-term average.
  • A positive anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was warmer than the reference value, while a negative anomaly indicates that the observed temperature was cooler than the reference value.
  • For Example, March 2023 was the second warmest March on record. The warmest March occurred in 2016, when the biggest El Niño of the 21st century triggered a ‘mini’ global warming.

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