PubTalk 5/2007 — Alchemy in the Abyss

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Detailed Description

Probing the mysteries of deep-ocean minerals

By James R. Hein, Marine Geologist

  • Since President Reagan in 1983 extended U.S. mineral rights 200 nautical miles offshore, interest in deep-sea mining has increased
  • Massive sulfide deposits form rapidly at very hot ephemeral vents..black smokers. and .white smokers.
  • Slow-forming manganese nodules cover vast areas of the cold abyssal depths
  • Cobalt-rich crusts form extremely slowly on the tops of extinct sunken volcanoes
  • The year 2009 may see the first commercial mining of deep-sea polymetallic sulfides in Papua-New Guinea waters

Details

Image Dimensions: 476 x 324

Date Taken:

Length: 01:18:52

Location Taken: Menlo Park, CA, US

Transcript

Contact wmcesic@usgs.gov for transcript.