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Mendenhall Research Fellowship - Research Opportunity #: 19-8. Geology, geochemistry and global context of deep-ocean marine minerals
Any true evaluation of global minerals must consider the marine realm.Marine minerals occur in every ocean basin, on both continental and oceanic crust; some are currently forming today, and some began forming 70 million years ago. The most well-known deep-ocean mineral deposits are ferromanganese crusts and manganese nodules (Hein and Koschinsky, 2014) composed mainly of iron and manganese oxides that accumulate trace metals sourced from seawater and porewaters over millions of years, and hydrothermal deposits composed mainly of metal sulfide minerals (Gartman et al., 2014) that accumulate over thousands of years at tectonic boundaries and intraplate hotspots. These deposits exhibit significant variability in extent and element composition across both timescales of formation, as well as spatially on local and global scales. In addition to manganese nodules, ferromanganese crusts, and seafloor sulfide minerals, other marine minerals that have generated interest include phosphorite deposits, found in open-ocean environments and continental margins, and rare-earth element rich marine muds in the deep ocean.
Interest in marine minerals is increasing globally from government, private industry, and research entities. In addition to containing elements that may be economically valuable or critical to societal needs, these minerals may be used to provide insight into the formation of ancient marine mineral deposits now emplaced on land such as Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) deposits. The deep oceans are difficult to access and many challenges remain for this research, including deposit mapping and characterization, interactions between minerals and the marine environment, and the development of technology for oceanographic mineral exploration. There is currently no mining of deep-ocean minerals, however increased delineation of resources and a clarifying regulatory regime suggests doing so may be viable within the next several years. Scientific understanding of these mineral resources is necessary to provide information to society as to the location, extent, manner of formation, and marine mineral extraction options and their potential consequences; as well as context for marine minerals in the global framework of mineral resources.
Proposed Duty Station: Santa Cruz, CA
Areas of Ph.D: Geology, earth science, marine geology, oceanography or related fields (candidates holding a Ph.D. in other disciplines, but with extensive knowledge and skills relevant to the Research Opportunity may be considered).
Qualifications: Applicants must meet one of the qualifications for: Research Geologist, Research Oceanographer, Research Chemist, Research Geophysicist
(This type of research is performed by those who have backgrounds for the occupations stated above. However, other titles (see link below) may be applicable depending on the applicant's background, education, and research proposal. The final classification of the position will be made by the Human Resources Specialist.)
Mendenhall Basic Qualification Requirements:
Physical/Environmental Demands: Work is usually performed in an office setting. The work area normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices or meeting and training rooms.
Work may occasionally involve exposure to moderate risks and discomforts, such as those due to:
- fieldwork that includes some physical exertion, for example bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, or similar activities;
- adverse weather conditions, such as high winds and low or high temperatures;
- crowded or constricted maritime docks or ship cargo areas;
- irritating chemicals; noxious fumes; flammable liquids;
- radiation; carcinogenic materials.
Work may at times require special safety precautions and/or protective clothing and equipment.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel an average of 2 nights for this position.
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This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/580466700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.