Report by Rashmi r Parida; Bhubaneswar: Odisha's Ashit Kumar Swain is the youngest Indian geoscientist to reach at Geographic South Pole. He has a distinction of being the first Odia to reach at this remotest place of the world. He is also the first Odia person to work in 790 North.
His work on Himalayan glaciers makes him a truly unique personality, who has worked on three poles of the world, where the Himalayas is considered as the third pole due to its altitude. Apart from this distinction, he participated in the 27th Indian Antarctic Expedition as a member of the wintering team. During the 15 months stay in the Icy continent, he carried out bathymetric profiling of a record 18 proglacial, landlocked and epi shelf lakes against the target of 8 lakes using ground penetrating radar apart from other geological and glaciological studies.
This was the first direct evidence of the epi shelf lakes connection with the Antarctic sea, which are lying at a distance of more than 80Km apart. He participated in the 29th Indian Antarctic Expedition as a member of the summer team. He carried out the investigations to delineate Land-Ice-Sea interface to the east of Schirmacher oasis apart from regular geological and glaciological studies. He participated in the 30th Indian Antarctic Expedition as a member of the summer team and carried out investigations on the ongoing project of delineation of Land-Ice-Sea interface.
He successfully could delineate some points where the triple junction passes through. He was a member of the first ever Indian scientific expedition to South Pole and carried out investigations to measure the depth of the bedrock using ground penetrating radar at some selected locations en route to South Pole. Apart from GPR investigations, he carried out the total electron count (TEC) measurements using GPS and assisted the fellow scientists in collection of snow and ice cores. He was a member of the Indian Arctic Expedition as a member of the summer team.
He carried out extensive survey of the Vestre Broggerbreen glacier, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard region to estimate the depth of the glacier-bedrock interface using GPR. Other than the depth estimation, he carried out other glaciogical studies in and around Vestre Broggerbreen glacier and instrumental in installation of deep stakes for snow accumulation and ablation studies. His works on the structural studies of Rairakhol alkaline complex, Sambalpur district of Odisha is published in the form of a scientific paper.
In his early scientific career, he studied the structural and petrological evolution of the rocks of Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt (EGMB) of Odisha and Southern Granulite Terrain (SGT) of Tamil Nadu and tried to correlate those with Antarctica. He has again a distinction of being amongst very few persons who have worked on this three disjointed blocks of EGMB, SGT and Antarctica, which were joined together in the geological past.
Apart from scientific works, he has written several articles on literary front also, which are getting published and will be published in the near future.