Current Affairs Notes: Non-Uniformity Of Himalayas; Oxygen Enrichment Unit

Non-uniformity of Himalayas foresees significantly large earthquake events

Scientists have found that the Himalayas are not uniform and assume different physical and mechanical properties in different directions – a property present in crystals called anisotropy, resulting in significantly large earthquake events in the Himalayas.

  • The NW region of India, an area covering Garhwal and Himachal Pradesh, has been hit by four destructive moderate to great earthquakes since the beginning of the 20th century — the Kangra earthquake of 1905, the Kinnaur earthquake of 1975, the Uttarkashi earthquake of 1991, and the Chamoli earthquake of 1999.
  • These seismic activities manifest large-scale subsurface deformation and weak zones, underlining the need for deeper insights into the ongoing deformation beneath these tectonically unstable zones.
  • Researchers from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, & Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) used the data from WIHG to show that The North-West Himalayan region exhibits a peculiar characteristic present in crystals.
  • The inhomogeneity along the Himalayas influences the stressing rate because of variation in the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) system’s geometry, and it controls the rupture size during the earthquake.
  • This lack of homogenous physical and mechanical properties of the Himalayas could help explore new perspectives about deformations taking place at the Himalaya-Tibet crustal belt involved in the formation of the Himalayan Mountains.

Source: Non-Uniformity Of Himalayas; Source: PIB; April 9, 2021

CSIR-CMERI Oxygen Enrichment Unit

An Oxygen enrichment unit is a device, which concentrates the Oxygen from the air around us by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched air.

  • The concentrated Oxygen is delivered to the patients, having respiratory diseases, through oxygen mask or nasal cannula.
  • The device may be used in remote places, homes or hospital like facilities for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), chronic hypoxemia and pulmonary edema.
  • It may be used as an adjunct treatment for severe sleep apnea (in conjunction with a continuous positive airway pressure unit).
  • The CSIR-CMERI indigenously developed Oxygen enrichment unit works on the principle of Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) and utilizes Zeolite Columns to selectively remove nitrogen from air under certain pressure, thereby increasing the Oxygen Concentration.
  • The subsystems of oxygen enrichment unit are Compressor, solenoid operated 3/2 valves, flow meter and Pre-Filter.
  • The Compressor feeds pressurized air into the module and oxygen is enriched on the permeate side due to its preferential permeation over nitrogen.

Source: PIB; April 8, 2021