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Open File Report 89-020

Chemical Composition of Ferromanganese Crusts in the World Ocean: A Review and Comprehensive Database

By Frank T. Manheim and Candice M. Lane-Bostwick

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (33.6 MB)Abstract

A comprehensive database of chemical and mineralogical properties for ferromanganese crusts collected throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and has been assembled from published and unpublished sources which provide collection and analytical information for these samples. These crusts, their chemical compositions and natural distribution, have been a topic of interest to scientific research, as well as to industrial and military applications. Unlike abyssal ferromanganese nodules, which form in areas of low disturbance and high sediment accumulation, crusts have been found to contain three to five times more cobalt than these nodules, and can be found on harder, steeper substrates which can be too steep for permanent sediment accumulation. They have also been documented on seamounts and plateaus within the U.S. exclusive economic zone in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and these are therefore of strategic importance to the United States Government, as well as to civilian mining and metallurgical industries. The data tables provided in this report have been digitized and previously uploaded to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Geophysical Data Center in 1991 for online distribution, and were provided in plain text format. The 2014 update to the original U.S. Geological Survey open-file report published in 1989 provides these data tables in a slightly reformatted version to make them easier to ingest into geographic information system software, converted to shapefiles, and have completed metadata written and associated with them.

First released 1989

Revised November 18, 2014

  • Downloads Directory
    Contains: Shapefiles and data files (appendixes A, B, and C); refer to the readme.txt and the metadata files in each ZIP file for more information.

For additional information, contact:
Director, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
384 Woods Hole Road
Quissett Campus
Woods Hole, MA 02543
(508) 548-8700

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Suggested citation:

Manheim, F.T., and Lane-Bostwick, C.M., eds., 2014, Chemical composition of performance crusts’ in the world ocean—A review and comprehensive database (version 1.1, November 2014): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 89–020, 476 p., 3 appendixes,

ISSN 2331–1258 (online)



History of Investigation of Ferromanganese Oxide Crust

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Analytical Methods

Analytical Methods

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