Seafloor mineral resources
Exploration and environmental impacts
Growing global demands for metals such as copper and zinc require an increasing amount of mineral resources. Exploitation of deep-sea sulfide deposits formed in hydrothermal areas may provide a solution but needs careful assessment of their economic potential. In addition, environmental impacts of deep-sea mining need to be studied to determine effects on fragile ecosystems.
Our group studies potential mineral resources in the Norwegian-Greenland sea using AUV mapping and geochemical tools. As part of the EU-MIDAS project, we have set up experiments on the seafloor to study effects of sulfide weathering.
We are also actively working on assessing environmental pollution from mine tailings deposited in Norwegian fjords.
This research is done under Work Package 3 of the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep Sea Research “Deep sea mineral resources”.