A Study on the Distributional Characteristics of Unminable Manganese Nodule Area from the Investigation of Seafloor Photographs

해저면 영상 관찰을 통한 망간단괴 채광 장애지역 분포 특성 연구

  • Kim, Hyun-Sub (Deep-sea Resources Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Jung, Mee-Sook (Deep-sea Resources Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Park, Cheong-Kee (Deep-sea Resources Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) ;
  • Ko, Young-Tak (Deep-sea Resources Research Division, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute)
  • 김현섭 (한국해양연구원 심해연구사업단) ;
  • 정미숙 (한국해양연구원 심해연구사업단) ;
  • 박정기 (한국해양연구원 심해연구사업단) ;
  • 고영탁 (한국해양연구원 심해연구사업단)
  • Published : 2007.08.31

Abstract

It is well known that manganese nodules enriched with valuable metals are abundantly distributed in the abyssal plain area in the Clarion-Clipperton (C-C) fracture zone of the northeast Pacific. Previous studies using deep-sea camera (DSC) system reported different observations about the relation of seafloor topographic change and nodule abundance, and they were sometimes contradictory. Moreover, proper foundation on the estimation of DSC underwater position, was not introduced clearly. The variability of the mining condition of manganese nodule according to seafloor topography was examined in the Korea Deep Ocean Study (KODOS) area, located in the C-C zone. In this paper, it is suggested that the utilization of deep towing system such as DSC is very useful approach to whom are interested in analysing the distributional characteristics of manganese nodule filed and in selecting promising minable area. To this purpose, nodule abundance and detailed bathymetry were acquired using deep-sea camera system and multi-beam echo sounder, respectively on the seamount free abyssal hill area of southern part ($132^{\circ}10'W$, $9^{\circ}45'N$) in KODOS regime. Some reasonable assumptions were introduced to enhance the accuracy of estimated DSC sampling position. The accuracy in the result of estimated underwater position was verified indirectly through the comparison of measured abundances on the crossing point of neighboring DSC tracks. From the recorded seafloor images, not only nodules and sediments but cracks and cliffs could be also found frequently. The positions of these probable unminable area were calculated by use of the recorded time being encountered with them from the seafloor images of DSC. The results suggest that the unminable areas are mostly distributed on the slope sides and hill tops, where nodule collector can not travel over.

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