Deep sea robots reveal mineral riches in the abyss
"It's totally fair to say that we know much more about the surface of the moon and Mars - mapped by satellites and different devices - than we know about our own planets," says University of Bergen scientist Thibaut Barreyre. "So we need to be smart and go with robots that need to map, take pictures or do what we call bathymetry which will give you the topography of the seafloor.
"This water is charged with many different chemicals, metals; you can go from gold, to copper, zinc, rare Earths," he says, "...it's very important to us as scientists to understand it."
They're now planning future voyages to the abyss using robotic vehicles and new manned submarines. They want to understand how material is being transferred from the earth through the water column and the impact on the ecosystem if such minerals were to ever be mined.