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Bowen LI, Yonggang JIA, Zhihan FAN, Kai LI. The profile of sound speed and dissolved oxygen in the polymetallic nodules depositional area in the Western Pacific[J]. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2023, 41(6): 2090-2100

The profile of sound speed and dissolved oxygen in the polymetallic nodules depositional area in the Western Pacific

Bowen LI1, Yonggang JIA2,3, Zhihan FAN3, Kai LI3
1 College of Oceanography and Space Information, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, China;
2 Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266100, China;
3 Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
With the consumption of terrestrial metal resources, the exploitation of deep-sea polymetallic nodule minerals has been widely concerned around the world. Therefore, the environmental impact of deep-sea polymetallic nodule mining cannot be ignored. However, duo to the lacks in stable and safe deep-sea (the depth >1 000 m) vertical profile observation systems and consequently in long-term in-situ observation data, the sound speed and dissolved oxygen and the other water environment factors in the deposition areas of polymetallic nodules remains poorly understood. In this study, a deep-sea in-situ observation system was designed and deployed, and the water environment data of the polymetallic nodule deposition area were collected and analyzed. Result shows that the dissolved oxygen in the depth of 0–600 m was mainly affected by biological factors, while that in the area deeper than 600 m was affected by physical factors. The sound speed in the water body was mainly affected by temperature and pressure. At depths below 840 m, the sound speed is mainly controlled by temperature, and at depths between 840 m and 5 700 m, the sound speed is mainly controlled by pressure. The correlations of sound speed vs. pressure and vs. temperature were regressed into equation. The resuspension of sediments rich in various metals may result in the reduction of dissolved oxygen and the improvement of redox potential. This environmental impact caused by a single sediment resuspension could last for 24 h or more. These findings enrich the understanding of the background value of the water environment in the polymetallic nodule deposition area.
Key words:    deep sea|dissolved oxygen|redox potential|sound speed|conductivity   
Received: 2023-04-05   Revised:
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