Seabed Mining Could Form Plumes: Dust Clouds Formed Within Sea

Piyali Roy | Science Times | 30 April 2017

Treasure troves of raw materials are laying on the sea floor and the abundance of these raw materials is driving the rise of deep sea mining, and hurling worries about the ecological effect. The sea covers 66 percent of our planet and offers significantly more potential in discovering profitable raw materials than the land.

According to HiTech Days, deep sea mining will also leave a mark on the planet Earth like any other type of mining. As per a statement from the managing director of Seascape Consultants, the biggest problem for the marine environment is the plumes. Plumes can destroy a part of underwater ecosystems or habitat to any type of marine creature.

What are plumes? How are they formed? Plumes are the dust clouds which are formed within the sea and are hung suspended in the water. The dust particles in the plumes can cause harm to the marine environment as they may also contain some kind of toxic chemicals in it. Mainly, deep sea mining can cause plumes to be formed, that is the main issue arising.

After deep sea mining, plumes can spread over a bigger area of seabed causing harmful effects on the marine ecosystems. Phys.org reported that there can be other issues arising up after sea mining other than plume formation, such as loss of habitat over large areas. In light of this, the EU-financed MIDAS look into venture united industry and NGOs to analyze how best to deal with the impacts of deep sea mining.

The impacts of deep sea mining were evaluated by carrying out a plume modeling by the MIDAS. Their research affirmed the significance of compelling plumes to avoid critical harm to ecological systems. It’s a responsibility for the scientists to find a sustainable technological solution for effective deep sea mining which will have less negative impacts on the marine underwater ecosystems.

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