Methods of Manganese Nodule Exploration in the German License Area.

Rühlemann, Carsten, Kuhn, Thomas, Vink, Annemiek and Wiedicke, Michael (2013) Methods of Manganese Nodule Exploration in the German License Area. [Paper] In: UMI 2013 - 42. Underwater Mining Conference. , 21.-29.10.2013, Rio de Janeiro and Porto de Galinhas, Brazil .

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Abstract

Between 2008 and 2013, the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural
Resources (BGR) carried out five exploration cruises to the German license area in the
eastern Pacific Nodule Belt. The first two expeditions were mainly dedicated to multibeam
mapping to obtain an overview of the seafloor topography and acoustic backscatter
strength. These data were used to identify ten to fourteen prospective nodule fields for
potential future mining, which together cover about 16% of the total license area of 75,000
km2. During the last three cruises, three of these potential mining areas were explored in
detail. For this purpose, the BGR developed a suite of exploration methods to map nodule
size distributions and nodule abundances. These methods include acoustic surveys with
vessel-based multibeam systems as well as near-bottom video mapping complemented by
in situ sampling. The economically most valuable field has a size of ca. 2,000 km2, of
which 34% is covered by medium to large nodules (> 4 cm long axis of nodules) with an
average abundance of 22.4 kg/m2 and 44% is covered by small nodules (< 4 cm) with a
mean abundance of 17.5 kg/m2. The total mass of nodules in this field comprises more
than 30 million tons wet weight and could sustain deep-sea mining for at least 10 years.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Manganese Nodule Exploration, German License Area, eastern Pacific Nodule Belt
Related URLs:
Projects: Enrichment
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2018 10:25
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2018 10:51
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/41240

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