Press release: Seabed minerals explored at MIT / TEDx event

January 27, 2020

Thomas Peacock, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of MIT’s Environmental Dynamics Lab, delivered a TEDx talk on polymetallic nodules, which is now available online (here). Professor Peacock provides a broad overview and lays out the considerations surrounding nodule mining, highlighting that science and data must play a key role in making informed decisions regarding minerals for a transition to a low carbon economy. In his talk, Professor Peacock discusses his research into the sediment plumes, which are created by collecting nodules. With seabed mineral collection there are two types of sediment plume - one formed by nodule collection on the seafloor and another created by sediment discarded from the surface vessel. Professor Peacock’s plume model research is designed to understand how far these plumes travel, at what rate they settle back on the seafloor and what impact they have on marine organisms in the water column and on the seafloor itself. The plume models being developed by Professor Peacock and his colleagues will help stakeholders understand the environmental impact of mining resources from the ocean and compare it with the impact of mining resources on land so that decisions can be based on evidence. Professor Peacock promotes the use of science and data to support the precautionary approach, which he describes as a key tenet of the seabed minerals industry. GSR supports the work conducted by Professor Peacock and the scientists of the Environmental Dynamics Lab at MIT.