Analysis of Fe-Mn-deposits from the ocean


A compilation of published and unpublished chemical analyses of samples of ferromanganese deposits from the ocean floor reveals that only in relatively few areas of the world are the copper and nickel contents sufficiently high for the nodules to represent a potential source of metals. The North and South Atlantic and Indian Oceans are characterized by deposits whose metal content (Cu, Ni, Mn and Co) are well below the minimum values necessary for economic exploitation. The situation is more favorable in the Pacific Ocean and most encouraging in the North Pacific. In the South Pacific, nodules containing over 1% Ni and lesser amounts of copper occur in the Peru Basin, in deep waters east of the Marquesas Islands and Tuamotu Plateau, and within the Southwest Pacific Basin. The relatively low Cu and Ni values obtained in these areas may eliminate them as prospective mining sites. Only in the North Pacific do the analyses consistently show values greater than 1% Cu and 1% Ni, and these nodules, therefore, are the immediate target of the ocean mining industry. The deposits of interest lie north of the equator in a broad band between 6° 30' N and 20° N and stretching from 110° W to 180° W. Maximum copper and nickel values occur along a line 8° N to 10° 30'N and 131°3 0'W to 145° W.

From 1983 until 1989 NOAA-NCEI compiled the NOAA-MMS Marine Minerals Geochemical Database from journal articles, technical reports and unpublished sources from other institutions. At the time it was the most extended data compilation on ferromanganese deposits world wide. Initially published in a proprietary format incompatible with present day standards it was jointly decided by AWI and NOAA to transcribe this legacy data into PANGAEA. This transfer is augmented by a careful checking of the original sources when available and the encoding of ancillary information (sample description, method of analysis...) not present in the NOAA-MMS database.

Supplement to: Horn, D R; Delach, M N; Horn, B M (1973): Metal content of ferromanganese deposits of the oceans. Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, New York, Technical Report, Office for the International Decade of Ocean Exploration, National Science Foundation, Washington, D. C. 20050 (unpublished manuscript), 3 (NSF GX-33616), 78 pp (pdf 3 MB)

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Metadata Access
Creator Horn, D R; Delach, M N; Horn, B M
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 1973
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Publication Series of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 5 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-170.983W, -60.125S, 152.950E, 45.083N); Atlantic Ocean; Indian Ocean; Pacific Ocean; Southern Ocean
Temporal Coverage Begin 1909-05-16T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1971-10-08T00:00:00Z