Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

2016 Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, JÖrn Thiede

Manganese Nodules

  • James R. HeinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6238-1_26


Fe-Mn nodules; Ferromanganese nodules; Iron-manganese nodules; Polymetallic nodules


Manganese and iron oxide mineral deposits formed on or just below the sediment-covered surface of the deep-ocean seabed by accretion (precipitation) of oxide layers around a nucleus, thereby forming nodules of various shapes and sizes and which contain minor but significant amounts of nickel, copper, cobalt, lithium, molybdenum, zirconium, and rare earth elements.


The existence of manganese (Mn) nodules (Figure 1) has been known since the late 1800s when they were collected during the Challenger expedition of 1873–1876. However, it was not until after WWII that nodules were further studied in detail for their ability to adsorb metals from seawater. Many of the early studies did not distinguish Mn nodules from Mn crusts. Economic interest in Mn nodules began in the late 1950s and early 1960s when John Mero finished his Ph.D. thesis on this subject, which was published in...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveySanta CruzUSA