Japanese Drilling into Core of Earth
In what resembles a journey to the center of the Earth, Japanese scientists have launched the world’s first attempt to bore a hole into the red-hot core of a volcano and unlock the secrets of deadly eruption.
A 50-meter-high oil-rig-like derrick perched on the scrubby slopes of Japan’s Mount Unzen will begin drilling through the volcano’s crust next week in a bid1 to sample the magma bubbling below2.
The aim is to study how the liquefied rock causes menacing gas buildup, said team leader Setsuya Nakata, of the University of Tokyo’s Earthquake Research Institute.
“Gassing is important because it controls the explosivity of eruptions,” Nakata said. “The results can be expanded to anti-disaster research.”
Mount Unzen , a wind-swept 1.486-meter dome on the southern island of Kyushu, is a perfect model. It erupted in 1991, showering avalanches of hot rocks over a nearby town, killing 43 people and leaving nearly 2,300 homeless. Another 11.000 people were evacuated from the area until 1995, when the volcano had stabilized.
The results are particularly important to a nation like Japan, where the meteorological agency monitors 20 dangerous peaks. Perhaps Japan’s most famous volcano is snowcapped Mount Fuji, which last erupted in 1707 and sprinkled Tokyo with ash.
The drilling on Mount Unzen will begin very soon from an altitude of 850 meters on its northwest slope. Scientists hope to tap a magma vent around sea level by August and extract a 200-meter-long core sample by summer 2004.3
Boring into the glowing magma at that level would normally be impossible, because of its fiery 700 degree Celsius heat. Thus, a slurry of water will be pumped into the drill shaft to cool the magma and allow the drill head to cut through.
Nakata said there is no danger of triggering another eruption.4
词汇: rig/ri^ /n.钻探平台 bubble / 5bQbl/v.冒气，沸腾 derrick / 5derik/n.钻塔 liquefy /5likwifai/v.(使)液化 perch / pE:tF/v.位于 menace /5menEs/v.威胁 scrubby / 5skrQbi/adj.长满矮树丛的 dome /dEum/n.圆顶 explosivity /[iks5plEusiviti/n.爆炸性 meteorological /7mi:tjErE5lCdVikEl /adj.气象的 avalanche / 5AvE7lB:nF/n.雪崩 vent /vent/n.出口 evacuate /i5vAkjueit/v.疏散 sprinkle /5spriNkl /v.撒 stabilize /5steIbIlaIz/v.稳定 magma /5mA^mE /n.岩浆 crust /krQst/n.地壳 slurry /slurry/n.泥浆 unlock / 5Qn5lCk/v.解开 shaft /FB:ft/n.井注释:
1. in a bid: 企图，努力 a在 in a bid之后，可接动词不定式，如 : The two sides negotiated again and again in a bid to find a solution. 双方进行一次又一次的谈判，努力寻求一个解决方案。
2.below: below指的是 below the crust。 3.Scientists hope to tap a magma vent around sea level by August and extract a 200-mcterlong core sample by summer 2004:到 8月底，科学家希望在约为海平面高度的地方引出一个岩浆口，到 2004年夏末，提取长度为 200米的样本。 4. Nakata said there is 110 danger of triggering another eruption: Nakata说，不存在引发火山新一轮爆发的危险性。练习:
1. According to the passage, Mount Unzen A erupted in 1707.
B erupted in 1991.
C erupted in 1995.
D several times in the last century.
2. According to the passage, the study of the Mount Unzen volcano may benefit Japan in all the following aspects
A finding causes of volcano eruptions.
B helping to launch anti-disaster research.
C looking into the connection between liquified rocks and gas buildup.
D predicting volcano eruptions.
3.Why is this research project so important to Japan?
A. Because Japan has many living volcanos. B Because Japan wants to turn Mount Fuji to a dead volcano. C Because volcano gas could be a source of energy. D Because Japan is testing a new way of drilling into the earth.
4. The drilling site on Mount Unzen is A around the sea level. B on the northeast slope of the mountain. C about half way up the mountain. D as high as 1,486 meters.
5. The title of this passage Japanese Drilling into Core of Earth actually means that they A drill a hole into the core of a volcano. B bore into the rocks near the volcanic vent. C conduct an imagery journey to the core of a volcano. D regard magma as the core of Earth.
2. D 选项 A是这个研究项目的主要宗旨(见第一段的“ unlock the secrets of deadly eruption”)，选项 B是这个研究项目的后续研究项目(见第四段的“ The results can be expanded to anti-disaster research.”)。选项 C是这个研究项目的具体目标(见第三段的第一句)。选项 D文中没有提到，所以是答案。
3. A答案的根据是第六段的第一句。这一句说到 : “… the meteorological agency monitors 20 dangerous peaks. ” dangerous peaks指的是 dangerous living vocanos。
4. C Mount Unzen高 1486米，而钻探地点选在海拔 850米的半山腰。