2011 Update

The Seafloor Mineralization Working Group added a new member Dr. Sven Petersen from IFM-GEOMAR, Germany to its membership.  Several Working Group members attended the 40th Underwater Mining Institute in Hilo, Hawaii, Sept 14-16th. It was the largest attendance of any UMI meeting in its recent history. In addition to the UMI meeting, a special session on Marine Resources was hosted at the MTS/IEEE Oceans ’11 conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii Sept. 20-21 chaired by Steve Scott and John Wiltshire.  A list of the abstracts and some relevant papers by Working Group members are listed below in the reference section.  A workshop was sponsored by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) in the summer of 2010 in Dinard, France in part as a follow-up to the SMWG recommendation on investigating the impact on hydrothermal ecosystems of undersea mining of polymetallic sulfides.  The report was published in 2011 by Working Group Member Cindy Van Dover and others.  This Dinard report is available from the ISA website at : http://www.isa.org.jm/files/documents/EN/Pubs/TS9/index.html.  Cindy Van Dover is also leading a group to develop background information for a workshop proposal on deep-sea habitat restoration: guidelines for management - a high-level look at practices in restoration ecology and applications to deep-sea activities (3 Duke University work-study students are reviewing the restoration practices literature to discover leaders in the field and key concepts. A special session at Ocean Sciences in Salt Lake City (Feb 19-24, 2012) is planned on “Deep-Sea Conservation Imperatives in the 21st Century” and will be chaired by Lisa Levin, Cindy Van Dover, Jeff Ardron and Craig Smith.

At the end of 2010, InterRidge was asked by the Legal and Technical Commission of ISA to provide them with a list of hydrothermal vent fields for protection from the recently released “Regulations on Prospecting and Exploration for Polymetallic Sulphides in the Area” (ISBA/16/C/L.5). InterRidge canvassed the community for feedback and sent a memo to the ISA expressing concern about singling out specific sites and to reinforce the need for clarification on rules for Marine Scientific Research, release of contractor data in a timely way and how biological issues were going to be addressed.  In July 2011, the ISA approved license plans for exploration for polymetallic sulphides in the Area by China Ocean Minerals Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA) submitted 7 May 2010 for work in the Indian Ocean and by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation submitted 24 December 2010 for work in the Atlantic Ocean.  Licenses are expected to be issued before the end of the year.

Published Abstracts, Journal articles and Reports:

Barriga, F., 2011, Portugal, science and resources in the last frontier: Marine Technology Society (MTS), Oceans '11 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii, Abstract 110421-011.

Cherkashov, G., 2011, Seafloor massive sulfide deposits discovered at the mid-Atlantic Ridge – Potential target for the ocean mining in the area: Marine Technology Society (MTS), Oceans '11 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii, Abstract 110421-017.

Cherkashov, G., Poroshina, I., Stepanova, T., Ivanov, V., Bel'tenev, V., Lazareva, L., Rozhdestvenskaya, I., Samovarov, M., Shilov, V., Glasby, G. P., Fouquet, Y. and Kuznetsov, V. (2010) Seafloor Massive Sulfides from the Northern Equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge: New Discoveries and Perspectives. Marine Georesources & Geotechnology, 28: 3, 222 — 239

Godet L., Zelnio K.A., Van Dover C.L., 2011, Scientists as stakeholders in conservation of hydrothermal vents. Conservation Biology DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01642.x

Hannington, M.D., 2011, Discussion: Comments on what processes at mid-ocean ridges tell us about volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits: Mineralium Deposita, v. 45, no. 5-6, p. 659-663.

Hannington, M.D., Jamieson, J., Monecke, T., Petersen, S., and Beaulieu, S., 2011, The abundance of seafloor massive sulfide deposits: Geology (in press).

Hannington, M.D., Jamieson, J., Monecke, T., and Petersen, S., 2010, Modern seafloor massive sulfides and base metal resources – Towards a global estimate of seafloor massive sulfide potential: Society of Economic Geologists Special Publication 15, p. 317-338.

International Seabed Authority, 2011, Environmental Management of Deep-Sea Chemosynthetic Ecosystems: Justification of and Considerations for a Spatially-Based Approach. Technical Study: No. 9. ISBN: 978-976-95268-9-1 

Jamieson, J. and Hannington, M., 2011, Size, age and accumulation rates of seafloor massive sulfide deposits: 2011 SME Annual Meeting, Denver, March 2, 2011, Abstract Volume, p. 96.

Jamieson, J., Hannington, M., Petersen, S., and Monecke, T., 2011, Estimating the metal content of SMS deposits: Marine Technology Society (MTS), Oceans '11 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii, Abstract 110421-031.

Kim, J., Lee, K.Y., and Kim, J.H., 2011, Metal-bearing molten sulfur collected from a submarine volcano: Implications for vapor transport of metals in seafloor hydrothermal systems: Geology, v. 39, no. 4, p. 351-354.

Petersen, S., Hannington, M., Monecke, T., and Cherkashov, G., 2011, Are modern seafloor massive sulfide deposits a possible resource for mankind: Lessons learned from shallow drilling operations: Marine Technology Society (MTS), Oceans '11 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii, Abstract 110421-006.

Tivey, M.A. and the Seafloor Mineralization Working Group, 2011, InterRidge and international scientific research activities into seafloor mineralization at hydrothermal vent systems: Marine Technology Society (MTS), Oceans '11 Conference, September 19-22, Kona, Hawaii, Abstract 110421-044.

Van Dover, C.L., Cherkasov, G., Lodge, M., Smith, S. (submitted) The Dinard Guidelines: A conservation strategy for chemosynthetic ecosystems. (In Revision: EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union)

Van Dover, C.L., Smith, C.R., Ardron, J., Dunn, D., Gjerde, K., Levin, L., Smith, S. and the Dinard Workshop Contributors, 2011, Marine Policy, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2011.07.002

Van Dover C.L., 2011, Tighten regulations on deep-sea mining. Nature 470: 31-33.