Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seafloor Study Produces A Copper Bonanza

Date:
April 7, 1998
Source:
University Of California, Davis
Summary:
Geologists drilling into the Pacific floor to study hot-water vents have made an unexpected discovery: a zone of high-grade copper ore deposited below the seafloor. The finding could point the way to similar valuable deposits on dry land.

Geologists drilling into the Pacific floor to study hot-water vents have made an unexpected discovery: a zone of high-grade copper ore deposited below the seafloor. The finding could point the way to similar valuable deposits on dry land.

Hot-water, or hydrothermal, vents are deep-sea springs where seawater heated by volcanic activity bubbles up through layers of rock and sediment to the seafloor, depositing copper, gold, iron, zinc and sulphur along the way. Sometimes the metals and minerals build hills called massive sulfide deposits, and copper-rich veins often occur just below these hills.

In the new research, UC Davis geologist Robert Zierenberg and international colleagues were profiling a massive sulfide deposit that lies off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Their findings are described in a letter to this Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

As expected, the researchers found copper-rich veins at the hill's base. But about 180 feet below those veins, they unexpectedly struck a second copper zone. Its ore was up to 16 percent copper, which would be considered high-grade commercially.

"It's possible that copper deposits that have been mined on land may have a similar structure," Zierenberg said. "There may be additional copper ore zones below these deposits that remain to be discovered." However, he cautioned, environmental studies should precede any deep-sea mining.

The Nature letter adds that some of the boreholes into the Bent Hill deposit created new hydrothermal vents. Zierenberg noted that established vents are known to be inhabited by exotic biological communities that live on chemical energy without sunlight, so the new vents might serve as study sites for how those communities develop.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California, Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California, Davis. "Seafloor Study Produces A Copper Bonanza." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980407074909.htm>.
University Of California, Davis. (1998, April 7). Seafloor Study Produces A Copper Bonanza. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980407074909.htm
University Of California, Davis. "Seafloor Study Produces A Copper Bonanza." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980407074909.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wildfire Hits California's Angeles National Forest

Wildfire Hits California's Angeles National Forest

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 17, 2014) A wildfire sweeps across the Angeles National Forest prompting campers to quickly leave as officials began evacuating the area -- local media. Gavino Garay reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Symphony Performs at Southern Utah's Red Rocks

Symphony Performs at Southern Utah's Red Rocks

AP (Aug. 16, 2014) The Utah Symphony hopes to complement the beauty of Utah's soaring red rocks and canyons with free desert performances near Utah's national parks this weekend. (Aug. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins