INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHIC SCIENCES / NERC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHIC SCIENCES / NERC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Manganese nodules. Photograph of the floor of the North-East Atlantic Ocean, showing a large field of manganese nodules. Manganese nodules form when manganese and iron minerals are deposited on the surface of an object such as a tiny piece of bone. The minerals in the sea water deposit over a long time; a nodule grows by 1 centimetre in diameter in about 1 million years. Some fields of nodules, particularly in the Eastern Pacific, may one day be 'harvested' (mined) commercially. This photo was taken at a depth of 5350 metres using a purpose-built camera.
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