Minerals, Metal Contents, and Mechanism of Formation of Manganese Nodules from the Central Pacific Basin (GH76-1 and GH77-1 Areas)

  • Akira Usui
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 9)


Mineralogy, chemistry and microstructure of deep sea manganese nodules from the Central Pacific Basin have been studied by means of X-ray diffraction analysis, microspopy and electron microprobe analysis. The manganese nodules are composed of microscopically laminated phases of 10Å manganite and δ-MnO2. The 10Å manganite phase is a monomineralic phase of crystalline manganese oxide with minor elements such as nickel and copper, and the δ-MnO2 phase is a submicroscopic mixture of colloidal particles of 2 line-form δ-MnO2, amorphous hydroxide of iron, and minute detrital silicate minerals. Regional and microscopical variations in chemical composition and inter-element relationships of manganese nodules are well explained by the variation of occurrence of the two phases in manganese nodules.

The two phases differ remarkably in mineral and chemical composition, regional distribution, and mode of occurrence on the top and bottom surfaces of individual nodules. The differences suggest that the manganese nodules have grown as a result of two material supply routes, i. e., dissolved metal ions in the interstitial water of unconsolidated sediments resulting in the formation of the 10A manganite phase, and colloidal materials in sea water resulting in the formation of the δ-MnO2 phase. Internal structures of the phases in individual nodules show evidence of movements on the sea floor in past geologic time. In addition, the differences in morphology, mineralogy, and internal structures of the two types of nodules from the area studied, type A with internal older nodule fragments and surrounding layers and type B with small nuclei and concentric thin layers, seem to reflect the differences in growth history and mechanism of formation.


Interstitial Water Constituent Phasis Type Nodule Unconsolidated Sediment Manganese Nodule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Usui
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mineral Development EngineeringUniversity of TokyoHongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (113)Japan

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