Summary form only given. The US Exclusive Economic Zone is an area approximately one and two-thirds the size of the land area of the United States. In this frontier area, US Geological Survey (USGS) research in marine minerals is aimed at three objectives: (1) defining geologic settings of potential mineral resources; (2) understanding the processes by which seafloor nonliving resources form; and (3) estimating the resource potential. Potential resources of primary interest are cobalt-rich manganese seafloor crusts, polymetallic sulfides in hydrothermal vent areas on the seafloor, and heavy-mineral placer deposits. Research activities include studies of manganese-crust samples from oceanographic-institution archives and a USGS research cruise through the central and southern Pacific. Preliminary results confirm that cobalt is concentrated by as much as 2. 5% in the manganese crusts at water depths of 1000-2600 m; further research on the precipitation processes and patterns of crust formation will be needed to understand the origin, occurrence patterns, and resource potential of these crusts. Research cruises have revealed a zone of polymetallic sulfide vent deposits a few hundred meters long in the Juan de Fuca spreading center.