Deep sea minerals and their investigation orientation in the Vietnam’s East Sea: An overview

Lường Thị Thu Hoài, Nguyễn Văn Vượng, Phạm Nguyễn Hà Vũ, Nguyễn Đ́nh Nguyên,

Phan Thanh Tùng, Nguyễn Thế Hùng, Hoàng Thị Phương Thảo

The paper presents a synthesis of basic understanding of the three types of deep sea minerals and their research history as well as their future for the world's high-tech industries and the current research status in Vietnam. The occurrences of the ferromanganese nodules and crusts updated to 2020 in the Vietnam’s East Sea (VES) have been synthesized to find out their spatial distribution rules, thereby guiding the further their investigations in the southwest sub-basin and adjacent areas. Their distributions show that the ferromanganese nodules and crusts, possible polymetallic sulfide in the VES are distributed on the transition zone between continental and oceanic crust (COB) and on the seamounts along with the adjacent flat plains on the oceanic crust of the central basin. The mineral composition of VES ferromanganese nodules and crust is similar to that in the world oceans but contains abundant silicate minerals originated from continent and low content of Mn, Cu, Co, Ni meanwhile rich in Fe, Ti, P, Nb, Pb, Rb, Sc, Ta, Sr, Th and rare earth elements with Yttrium (REY). The VES ferromanganese nodules and crusts grew mainly in the Late Pliocene-Quaternary with relatively fast growth rate.

Keywords: Deep sea minerals; ferromanganese nodule; ferromanganese crust; polymetallic sulfide; Vietnam’s East Sea.