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The National Science Foundation (NSF) now is considering a proposal to begin initial studies on a 10-km drill hole, deeper than any drilled in the United States to date, to be located in the southern Appalachians. Earlier this year a National Research Council (NRC) committee recommended that this area—a thin-crust overthrust region—should be a first priority if and when monies are made available for deep drilling projects.

If NSF accepts the proposal, funding, reportedly $2 million, will be made available to pinpoint the specific drill location and to develop the necessary base of regional information needed to conduct the drilling operations and scientific investigations. NSF is expected to reach a decision soon.