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Gravity Hole


Source: Hindustan Times

 Context: A recent study suggests that the colossal and mysterious “Gravity Hole” in the Indian Ocean may be the remnants of an ancient sea that disappeared millions of years ago.


What is Gravity Hole?

A “Gravity Hole” refers to a large gravity anomaly, an area where gravity is significantly different from the surrounding regions. It is characterized by a substantial decrease in gravitational pull compared to the expected value based on the Earth’s normal gravitational field.

The causes of gravity holes can vary, including geological structures, variations in mass distribution, or other factors that affect the gravitational field in a particular area.

The phenomenon is estimated to have formed approximately 20 million years ago and is expected to endure for millions more.


More about the News: 

The Gravity Hole is a massive region in the Indian Ocean, about 1,200 kilometres southwest of the southernmost tip of India, and has such a low pull of gravity that the sea level of the Indian Ocean over the “hole” is around 106 metres below the global average. This pronounced dip in the ocean is called Indian Ocean geoid low (IOGL) and was discovered in 1948


  • Known as the Indian Ocean geoid low (IOGL), this vast depression spans over 2 million square miles and lies more than 600 miles beneath the Earth’s crust.
  • The study proposes that the IOGL consists of slabs from the Tethys Ocean, which was a sea that separated the supercontinents of Gondwana and Laurasia.
  • The Tethys Ocean is believed to have influenced the African Large Low Shear Velocity province, generating plumes beneath the Indian Ocean.