Scientists start expedition to South China Sea

Added On February 17, 2017

Unlocking the distant past! Scientists are to drill into the South China Sea to get a better understanding of how it came into being.
The expedition is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, which is intended to explore Earth's structure and history through scientific ocean drilling.
China Report has the details.
Sixty-six scientists from 13 countries including China, the U.S., Germany and India are heading for the South China Sea.
They've boarded a U.S. research ship which sets sail from Hong Kong on Monday. 
For this expedition, the scientists will drill four sites to a depth of 3,000 to 4,000 meters in the north of the South China Sea. 
By doing this, they hope to have a better understanding of how the earth's rocky crust formed during continental breakup.
The study is expected to improve our understanding of how marginal basins grow.
A total of 26 Chinese scientists have joined the expedition, the most among participating countries.
SOUNDBITE (Chinese): SUN ZHEN, Chinese scientist 
"We want to explore the sediment record of the South China Sea since its inception. Our target is to drill to the lithosphere to study the Earth's crust."
Since joining the International Ocean Discovery Program, China has played a major role in two previous expeditions to the South China Sea, one in 1999 and again in 2014. 
The expedition, coming in two phases, will last a total of four months.