A deep dive into the complexities of deep-sea mining, with Andrea Koschinsky

CSmith deep sea cnidarian
A cnidarian (Relicanthus sp.) with 8-foot long tentacles attached to a dead sponge stalk on a manganese nodule in the eastern Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Credit: Diva Amon and Craig Smith.

The world’s growing population increases the already heavy demand on mineral resources on land, and so people are looking once more to the minerals found on the ocean floor, sometimes buried thousands of meters below the surface. The November 2018 issue of IEAM contains a critical review that explores the complexities of deep-sea mining, including the environmental, legal, economic, and societal impacts. In this episode we speak with lead author Andrea Koschinsky to learn more about this fascinating topic and the long road ahead to make it a reality.

Listen on iTunes or YouTube.

Access the article “Deep‐sea mining: Interdisciplinary research on potential environmental, legal, economic, and societal implications” in the November 2018 issue of IEAM.


About the Guest

Fahrtleiterin AKoschinsky FS SonneAndrea Koschinsky is of Professor of Geosciences at Jacobs University Bremen, Germany, where she teaches in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program. Her research focus is trace metals in marine systems, including their sources, cycling, sinks and biogeochemical reactions. As a marine geochemist, she enjoys cruising the world oceans on research vessels in the search of new scientific discoveries. She has worked in the field of marine mineral deposits in the deep-sea such as ferromanganese nodules and crusts for a long time. Apart from the formation and metal enrichment mechanisms, potential environmental impacts of a future deep-sea mining have been in the center of her research.  Other research projects focus on trace-metal cycles at interfaces such as sediment and bottom water at the seafloor, river water and seawater in estuaries, and hot metal-rich fluids and cold ambient seawater at hydrothermal vent sites.

Articles Referenced in this Podcast

Koschinsky A, Heinrich L, Boehnke K, Cohrs JC, Markus T, Shani M, Singh P, Smith Stegen K, Werner W. 2018. Deep‐sea mining: Interdisciplinary research on potential environmental, legal, economic, and societal implications. Integr Environ Assess Manag 14: 672-691. doi:10.1002/ieam.4071

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