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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: BLUE MINING: Breakthrough solutions for sustainable deep-sea mining value chain

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Mineral extraction from the sea was investigated in the 1970s but abandoned due to changing market conditions. The main aim of the BLUE MINING project is to advance offshore mining technology by addressing all aspects from resource discovery to assessment and exploitation.

Schematic diagram of marine controlled source electromagnetic experiment
Schematic figure

Background

The project involves 19 large industry and research organisations spread across Europe.  The University of Southampton component of the project focuses on resource discovery and assessment using controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data.  These data will be collected during a research cruise to the TAG area of the mid-Atlantic Ridge in 2016. 

Key Objectives

CSEM data will be acquired in the same location as deep-towed seismic reflection and wide-angle seismic data to be acquired and analysed by project partners, and will be integrated with other geophysical and geological data.  Specific objectives for the CSEM analysis are:

  • Deliver pseudo-section profile maps of the electrical resistivity and conductivity of the seafloor in order to fully establish the metal potential over large areas.
  • Deliver an inversion of the electromagnetic data and an integrated interpretation with the other geophysical and geochemical data sets collected.

Key Contact

Professor Tim Minshull

PhDs and Other Opportunities

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Related research groups

Geology and Geophysics
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