Marine Mineral Resources (MMR)

What are Mineral Resources?
Methods & Tools
Ore-forming Processes
Resource Potentials
Seafloor Exploration
Public Outreach

Marine Mineral Resources are metal deposits in the oceans that may become of economic relevance in the near future. The research of the MMR group at GEOMAR focuses on the understanding of ore forming processes, geological exploration of the seafloor and estimating the resource potentials (and where we potentially find marine mineral deposits). The focus of our research are polymetallic massive sulfides and porphyry and epithermal copper-gold deposits. We are using a 'source-to-sink' approach in order to understand all aspects that contribute to the formation of metal deposits at the seafloor.


Prof. Dr. Mark Hannington (Head of the Group)
Dr. Sven Petersen (Senior Scientist)
Dr. Philipp Brandl (Research Scientist)
Sabine Lange (Team Assistant)


Dr. Sebastian Fuchs
Dr. Anna Krätschell
Dr. Florent Szitkar

PhD Students

Melissa Anderson
Sandra Wind
David Diekrup
Khalhela Zoeller
Sebastian Graber
Hannah Grant
Meike Klischies

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Annual Reports

Annual Report 2015
Annual Report 2016

Major research projects

  • Marine Mineral Resources (Helmholtz Gemeinschaft)
  • Blue Mining (EU FP7): 2014-2018
  • OASIS, Indian Ocean (BMBF): 2015-2018
  • BISMArc, in collaboration with GeoZentrum Nordbayern (DFG): 2017-2020
  • Critical Metals (Future Oceans): PhD Stipend, 2014-2017

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Recent research cruises


  • POS509 "Palinuro Geophysical Observatory", Palinuro Seamount/Tyrrhenian Sea with RV Poseidon, 15.02.-02.03.2017
  • POS510 "Aegean Rifting", Aegean Sea with RV Poseidon, 05.-29.03.2017 (Chief Scientist: M. Hannington)


  • MSM59/2 "INDEX" (Central-Indian Ridge), BGR license area with RV Maria S. Merian and AUV "ABYSS", 28.11.-22.12.2016
  • JC138 "ROCKDRILL 2" (TAG Field), TAG-Hydrothermal Field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge with RRS James Cook and BGS Rockdrill-2, 07.07.-24.08.2016
  • M127 "TAG", TAG-Hydrothermal Field, Mid-Atlantic Ridge with RV Meteor & AUV "ABYSS",  25.05.-28.06.2016 (Chief Scientist: S. Petersen)
  • TACT, Antarctica with RV L'Astrolabe, Feb./March 2016
  • VIRTUAL VENTS, Niua submarine volcano, Samoa with RV Falkor & ROV "ROPOS", 20.03.-02.04.2016
  • POS494 "HIerroSeis2", El Hierro, Canary Islands with RV Poseidon & Submersible "JAGO", 07.-14.02.2016 (Chief Scientist: M. Hannington/D. Lange (GDY))


  • ARCHIMEDES 1, NE Lau Basin/Fonualei Rifts with RV Sonne & AUV "ABYSS" (PIs: M. Hannington/H. Kopp (GDY), Co-PI: S. Petersen a.o.)
  • DYNAMET, New Ireland/Tabar-Lihir-Tanga-Feni island chain with RV Sonne, ROV "Kiel 6000" & AUV "ABYSS" (PIs: M. Hannington/P. Brandl, Co-PI: S. Petersen a.o.)
  • SMARTIES, Romanche Fracture Zone (South Atlantic) with RV Pourquoi Pas? & AUV "ABYSS" (PI: M. Maia (CNRS), Co-PI: S. Petersen a.o.)
  • HESS DEEP, The dyke/gabbro transition and hydrothermal fault zones at the Hess Deep Rift, equatorial EPR with RV Sonne, ROV "Kiel 6000" & AUV "ABYSS" (PI: J. Köpcke (Uni Hannover), Co-PI: S. Petersen a.o.)

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Events & Lectures

Talks & Events:

  • Prospects for Deep Sea Mining, Prof. Dr. Mark D. Hannington, AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting, Boston (Session: Should we Mine the Seafloor?), 18.02.2017, 8:00-9:30, Room 313 (Hynes Convention Center)


  • Hydrothermal Systems and Ore Deposits (MSc Marine Geosciences, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel), V/UE, 3 SWS, 31.10.2016-06.02.2017: Mo. 16:00-18:30, Dr. Sven Petersen
  • Marine Mineral Resources from the Deep Sea (Future Ocean, Integrated School of Ocean Sciences), 20.10.2016: 9:00-13:00, Dr. Sven Petersen

Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

The new Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences involving Dr. Sven Petersen as an editor has been published recently with Springer.

Harff, J., Meschede, M., Petersen, S. und Thiede, J., eds. (2016) Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Dordrecht, XXXIII, 961 pp. ISBN 978-94-007-6237-4

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Recent Publications



  • Fallon, E.K., Petersen, S., Brooker, R.A. & Scott, T.B. (2017): Oxidative dissolution of hydrothermal mixed-sulphide ore: An assessment of current knowledge in relation to seafloor massive sulphide mining. Ore Geology Reviews 86: 309-337. doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2017.02.028
  • Spagnoli, G., Hördt, A., Jegen, M., Virgil, C., Rolf, C. & Petersen, S. (2017): Magnetic susceptibility measurements of seafloor massive sulfide mini-cores samples for deep-sea mining applications. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 50: 88-93. doi:10.1144/qjegh2016-113
  • Hannington, M.D., Petersen, S. & Krätschell, A. (2017): Subsea mining moves closer to the shore. Nature Geoscience 10, 158-159. doi:10.1038/ngeo2897
  • Wang, Y., Han, X., Petersen, S., Frische, M., Qiu, Z., Li, H., Li, H., Wu, Z. & Cui, R. (2017):  Mineralogy and trace element geochemistry of sulfide minerals from the Wocan Hydrothermal Field on the slow-spreading Carlsberg Ridge, Indian Ocean. Ore Geology Reviews 84, 1-19. doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2016.12.020
  • Brandl, P.A., Hamada, M., Arculus, R.J., Johnson, K., Marsaglia, K.M., Savov, I.P., Ishizuka, O., & Li, H., 2017: The arc arises: The links between volcanic output, arc evolution and melt composition. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 461, 73-84 (Open Access)doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.12.027
  • Szitkar, F., Tivey, M.A., Kelley, D.S., Karson, J.A., Früh-Green, G.L., Denny, A.R., 2017. Magnetic exploration of a low-temperature ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal site (Lost City, 30°N, MAR). Earth and Planetary Science Letters 461, 40–45. DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.12.033 


Please find here a full list of publications of the Marine Mineral Resources Group.

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