Delineation of the outer limits of the Indian continental shelf


The Indian Continental Shelf Project which commenced during November 1999, is a multi-institutional and multi-crore national mission that seeks to gather, analyse and document the requisite scientific and technical information that would help define the country’s extended shelf boundaries beyond 200 M as per the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Underpinning our efforts has been a comprehensive multi-institutional marine geophysical survey and data analysis programme comprising state-of-the-art multi-channel seismic reflection, refraction, gravity and magnetic data profiling. The data acquisition work was initiated through a contractual agreement on the 17th July 2002 and was completed on the 7th of February 2004. Spread over 385 days of fair-weather period, around 31,000 km of seismic reflection, gravity and magnetic data were collected in and off the EEZ of India. In addition, for the first time in the country, 90 state-of-the-art Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) were successfully deployed along several seismic transects to constrain the velocities from the reflection data as well as to develop a crustal model of the area. On the 11th May 2009, India submitted to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), the country’s first partial submission for an extended continental shelf beyond 200 M under the provisions of article 76; technical documentation for a second partial submission under the provisions of the Statement of Understanding has also been provided to the Ministry of External Affairs for submission to the CLCS.

a) Objectives:

To gather the requisite scientific and technical data in and off the Indian EEZ that will help define, delineate and substantiate India’s claims for an extended continental shelf beyond 200 M under the provisions of UNCLOS.

b) Participating Institutions

  1. National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research, Goa
  2. National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad
  3. National Institute of Oceanography, Goa

c) Implementation Plans:

As in the previous years, all the aspects related the planning, co-ordination and implementation of the scientific and logistics aspects related to the programme shall be undertaken by NCPOR on behalf of the Ministry.

d) Deliverables:

The most significant deliverable from this project is the sovereign rights for the country to explore and exploit the natural resources (mineral and other non-living resources as well as the living sedentary organisms) of the seabed and sub-soil of the continental shelf beyond 200 M.

e) Budget requirement : 11.00 crores

(Rs. In crores)

Budget Requirement
Name of the Scheme2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17Total
CLCS Project2.


Last Updated On 08/14/2018 - 11:53
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