Marine mineral resources from the deep sea are often seen as a possible contribution to future global metal supply. However, the commodities of highest interest (manganese nodules, Co-rich ferromanganese crusts, and seafloor massive sulfides) are very divers. This starts with overall geological setting in which they occur, their global distribution, the metals they contain, and ends with their global economic importance. Their differences also influence the environmental impacts of possible mining. The talk will provide background information on all these aspects and provides some news on the recent technology developments in deep sea exploration.
Sven Petersen received his PhD from Freiberg University (Germany) in 2000 after spending a number of years in Germany and Canada working on seafloor hydrothermal systems. He remained in Freiberg until 2004 when he joined GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany. Major aims of his research are to understand the formation, distribution, and evolution as well as the resource potential of marine mineral resources. He uses mobile drilling techniques and various geophysical methods as well as autonomous underwater vehicles and remotely-operated vehicles for their exploration and assessment. He spent over 38 months at sea researching all ocean basins.