Discovery of extremely REY-rich mud in the western North Pacific Ocean

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Author(s)

    • Iijima Koichi
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    • Usui Yoichi
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    • Nozaki Tatsuo
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)|Frontier Research Center for Energy and Resources, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo|Department of Planetology, Graduate School of Science, Kobe University
    • Yamazaki Toshitsugu
    • Department of Ocean Floor Geoscience, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo|Geological Survey of Japan, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
    • Ichiyama Yuji
    • Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Chiba University
    • Ijiri Akira
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)|Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, JAMSTEC
    • Inagaki Fumio
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)|Kochi Institute for Core Sample Research, JAMSTEC
    • Machiyama Hideaki
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    • Suzuki Katsuhiko
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    • Kato Yasuhiro
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)|Department of Systems Innovation, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo|Ocean Resources Research Center for Next Generation, Chiba Institute of Technology|Frontier Research Center for Energy and Resources, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
    • Yasukawa Kazutaka
    • Department of Systems Innovation, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo|Ocean Resources Research Center for Next Generation, Chiba Institute of Technology
    • Fujinaga Koichiro
    • Ocean Resources Research Center for Next Generation, Chiba Institute of Technology|Frontier Research Center for Energy and Resources, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
    • Nakamura Kentaro
    • Department of Systems Innovation, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
    • Machida Shiki
    • Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
    • Takaya Yutaro
    • Department of Resources and Environmental Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University
    • Nishio Yoshiro
    • Department of Marine Resource Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Marine Science, Kochi University

Abstract

<p>We have discovered deep-sea mud that is extremely enriched in rare-earth elements and yttrium (together called REY) in the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone around Minamitorishima Island, in the western North Pacific Ocean. The maximum total REY concentration reaches approximately 7000 ppm, which is much higher than that reported for conventional REY deposits on land and other known potential REY resources in the ocean. The extremely REY-rich mud is characterized by abundant phillipsite and biogenic calcium phosphate. In addition, the stratigraphic layer with the highest REY concentration occurs just ~3 m beneath the seafloor. The shallow burial of these strata together with the high REY content, especially those of heavy rare-earth elements, suggest that the newly discovered extremely REY-rich mud may be a promising REY resource.</p>

Journal

  • GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL

    GEOCHEMICAL JOURNAL 50(6), 557-573, 2016

    GEOCHEMICAL SOCIETY OF JAPAN

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