Environmental Features Relevant to Deep-Sea Mining along the Rio Grande Rise for the Implementation of Protected Areas

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Date

2017-04-28

Advisors

Van Dover, Cindy
Halpin, Patrick N.

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Abstract

Interest in the extraction of mineral resources from the deep-sea has increased rapidly in the recent years due to technological advancements. Since 2001, the International Seabed Authority has granted over 25 exploration leases for deep-sea mining in oceanic Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. These areas are often poorly studied and thus it is currently a challenge to develop effective regulations before mining activities commence. This study attempts to address this issue by exploring the environmental characteristics found in an emergent area of deep-sea mining exploration, the Rio Grande Rise (RGR) off the Southeastern coast of Brazil. This is accomplished through the compilation and mapping of environmental datasets for the RGR region as well as a biogeographic classification of the RGR seafloor based on several datasets that are known to influence deep-sea biodiversity. The goal of this study is to identify areas and features within this region that are important for regulators to consider as mining regulations and protected areas are developed in the near future.

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Smith, Austin (2017). Environmental Features Relevant to Deep-Sea Mining along the Rio Grande Rise for the Implementation of Protected Areas. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14148.


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