The Sea Floor pp 277-302 | Cite as

Resources from the Ocean Floor

  • Eugen Seibold
  • Wolfgang H. Berger


The ocean floor contains energy sources (petroleum and gas) and raw materials (sand and gravel, phosphorite, corals and other biogenic carbonates, heavy metal ores). Also, the sea floor is used as a dump site for waste, which represents a considerable economic value. In terms of dollars and cents, energy (hydrocarbons) is the most important resource, while (at present) raw materials are of regional importance only. Nothing as yet has been gained from deep sea ores, although they are of great scientific interest and are potentially valuable. The various resources are summarized in Table 10.1. Many of the figures given are rather crude guesses: resources within the ground are difficult to quantify. We shall briefly treat the geologic background for seafloor resources here, with some mention of the economic and the political problems associated with the use of the sea floor.


Continental Slope Heavy Mineral Ocean Floor Salt Dome Manganese Nodule 
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Further Reading

  1. Rona PA, Boström K, Laubier L, Smith KL (eds) (1983) Hydrothermal processes at sea floor spreading centers. Plenum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Tissot B, Welte DH (1984) Petroleum formation and occurrence, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Notholt AJG, Jarvis I (1990) Phosphorite research and development. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 22, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Cronan DS (1992) Marine mineral in exclusive economic zones. Chapman and Hall, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Hsü KJ, Thiede J (eds) (1992) Use and misue of the seafloor. Dahlem Konferenzen. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugen Seibold
    • 1
  • Wolfgang H. Berger
    • 2
  1. 1.Geologisches InstitutUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Geological Research DivisionScripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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