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Digging Deep: An integrated approach for assessing the impacts of deep-sea mining

The focus of this project is to kick-start an initiative at MIT to assess the impacts of deep-sea mining by developing a high fidelity, regional, physical-biogeochemical oceanographic model of the Bismarck Sea. The latest Lagrangian data processing and nonlinear dynamical systems tools will be used to understand three-dimensional flow transport in the region, in order to provide a clearer understanding of the fate of material released by the mining activities at different depths and locations. The project brings together three MIT faculty with complementary expertise in numerical ocean modeling, dynamical systems methods for flow transport, and modeling of ocean-biological systems. We consider this to be a nucleus of a team that, based on the outcomes of this project, can grow over the next few years to encompass a wider scope, and involve other researchers at MIT and WHOI. The tools we implement and develop can be applied to assess the environmental impact at any proposed location for the growing field of deep-sea mining.