Numerical calculations of environmental impacts for deep sea mining activities

Wenbin Ma*, Dingena Schott, Cees van Rhee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


With the expected dramatic increase of mineral resources consumption, deep sea mining (DSM) was proposed as a method supplying the running of world economy by cooperating with or compensating for the terrestrial mining industry. However, its industrialization process is hindered by various reasons including the technological feasibility, economic profitability, and the DSM environmental impacts. The objective of this paper is to calculate the DSM environmental impacts based on a DSM environmental impact framework, which was selected through a systematic literature review in earlier work. The numerical calculations focus on the initial DSM disturbances and plume source, species disturbance, sediment plume and tailings. More importantly, the interconnection between the sediment plume and the species disturbances is also analysed particularly in this paper. The research quantifies the environmental impacts into a systematic framework, which could be helpful to assess the comprehensive environmental performances of a DSM activity and to promote the DSM industrialization process in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1012
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Deep sea mining
  • Environmental impacts
  • Interconnection
  • Numerical calculation
  • Sediment plume
  • Species disturbance


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