Ocean minerals

By:  and 
Edited by: Hance D. SmithJuan Luis Suárez de Vivero, and Tundi S. Agardy



Nearly 71 percent of the Earth is covered by ocean, yet during the entire history of societies, the mineral resources essential for nation building have been acquired solely from the continents. Deep-ocean minerals were discovered over a century ago during the Challenger expedition of 1873—1876, but only relatively recently did programs develop to determine their origin, distribution, and resource potential. Continental margin marine mineral deposits include aggregate, sand, placer minerals, and phosphorite. Aggregate, sand, and placers are detrital minerals that were transported and deposited on the shelf, whereas phosphorite is a chemical sedimentary deposit that formed in place from chemical reactions in the near-surface sediment. Seawater makes up 98.8 percent of the world's surface water and contains every element in the periodic table, mostly in trace concentrations. Fe-Mn crusts are found on rock surfaces of seamounts, ridges, and plateaus as pavements and coatings on talus in areas that remain sediment-free for millions of years.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Ocean minerals
Chapter 20
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Routledge handbook of ocean resources and management
First page 296
Last page 309
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details