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Assessment on the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on the marine ecosystem Ⅰ. Epipelagic ecosystem

WANG Chun sheng, ZHOU Huai yang (Second Institute of Oceanograpgy, Key Lab of Submarine Geoscience, SOA, Hangzhou 310012, China)  
The major achievements of these studies will be analysed and evaluated in this series of papers. The potential impacts of deep sea mining on epipelagic ecosystem are here analysed and reviewed. The results indicate that the changes to the epipelagic environment resulting from deep sea mining, such as increased suspended particles, greatly increased light attenuation due to turbidity, mixing of cold bottom water with the surface water, and variations of nutrients, trace metals in seawater and density of the surface water, are not extensive enough to endanger the health of epipelagic ecosystem. Despite these encouraging results it must be noticed that these tests and experiments were of a quite limited scope and duration. The impacts of the large scale commercial mining on the marine environment need to be monitored and simulated in advance in order to exclude any serious threast to the environment.
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