Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Deep Ocean Mining Evironmental Study

Section Responsible for Processing



This is an invaluable collection of specimens from abyssal areas of the North Equatorial Pacific Ocean.


Multiple studies of the deep-sea fauna have been done in the Clipperton-Clarion Fraction Zone in or near manganese nodule mining claims to provide baseline information on community structure and for future assessment of changes caused by mining. Polychaetes from PRA and ECHO I were sent to Dr. Kirk Fitzhugh, NHMLAC Curator of Polychaetes, for identification and were retained for the collection. Additional material from DOMES is currently on loan to the Polychaete Section.
DOMES (Deep Ocean Mining Environmental Study)
Site A (8infinity27’N, 150infinity47’W, 4842-5283 m), Site B (11.7N, 138.4W, 4830-5001 m.), Site C (15infinityN, 125infinityW, 4183-4660 m.).
PRA (or BEPRA) – Baseline Evaluation of Provisional Interim Preservation Reserve Area .
12infinity57’N, 128infinity19.5’W, 4700-4900 m, October 1989, 16 box cores. PRA sites are meant to be stable reference areas that will not be affected by mining activities and will serve as controls. Samples washed with 25% ethanol in 300 micron mesh screens, stained with Rose Bengal dye, then preserved in 80% ethanol. All animals removed from sediment and nodules. Polychaetes identified by Dr. Kirk Fitzhugh, NHMLAC, and retained for museum.
ECHO I (name refers to original cruise focus of acoustic backscatter from nodule fields)
14infinity40’N, 125infinity25’W, 4480-4567m, June 1983, 16 box cores. Study compared the benthos from two adjacent sites, one which had been disturbed 5 years earlier by manganese nodule dredging and one control. Screened sediments and associated fauna were fixed in 4% buffered formaldehyde-seawater, washed in fresh water, preserved in 80% ethanol. Nodule fauna kept separate, most were originally fixed in 4% formaldehyde solution but a few went into either 2% gluteraldehyde-water or 85% ethanol.

Collection Location and Dates

1970s and 1980s.

Taxonomic Contents



Hard copies of Fitzhugh’s work sheets are kept in the Polychaete Section. Relevant papers also kept by the Section, including:
Hecker, B., A.Z. Paul. 1977. Benthic baseline survey of the DOMES area. DOMES final report under NOAA contract 03-6-022-35141: 1-115.
Hecker, B., A.Z. Paul. 1979. Abyssal community structure of the benthic infauna of the eastern equatorial Pacific: DOMES sites A, B and C. In : Marine Geology and Oceanography of the Pacific Manganese Nodule Province, J.L. Bishoff and D.Z. Piper Eds., Plenum Press, New York: 287-307
Jumars, P.A. 1981. Limits in predicting and detecting benthic community responses to manganese nodule mining., Mar.Mining, 3: 213-229.
Mincks, S.L., C.R. Smith (2005) Summary of Benthic Biological Data Availability from the Clarion-Clipperton Zone and Adjoining Areas (including collection techniques, geographic locations, major geographic gaps, and potentially untapped data sources).* Report to the International Seabed Authority, Geological Model Phase I.** 18 pp.
Mincks, S.L., C.R. Smith (2006)* Critical review of benthic biological data from the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ) and adjoining areas.* Report to the International Seabed Authority, Geological Model Phase II.* 23 pp.
Piper, D.Z., H.E. Cook, C.T. Gardner. 1979. Lithic and acoustic stratigraphy of the equatorial north Pacific : DOMES sites A, B and C. in Marine Geology and Oceanography of the Pacific Manganese Nodule Province, J.L. Bishoff and D.Z. Piper Eds., Plenum Press, New York: 309-347.
Spiess, F.N., et al. 1984. Echo I Cruise Report. SIO Reference 84-3, 22 pp.
Wilson, G.D.F. 1987. Crustacean communities of the manganese nodule province: DOMES Site A compared with DOMES Site C. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, Report for the NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (Ocean Minerals and Energy) on Contract NA-84-ABH-0030, 44 pp.
Wilson, G.D.F. 1990. Biological evaluation of a preservational reference area: BEPRA I cruise report. Scripps Inst. of Oceanography. NOAA. RUM 3. R/V New Horizon cruise Quagmire II: 23 April - 17 May 1990. Postcruise report: 1-34.
Wilson, G.D.F., R.R.Hessler. 1987. The effects of manganese nodule test mining on the benthic fauna in the North Èquatorial Pacific. In : Environmental Effects of Deep-sea Dredging. Final report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on contract NA 83-SAC-00659, Reference 87-5: 24-86.

Description of Collection

Wet preserved collection. Some samples originally fixed in 4% buffered formaldehyde-seawater, some in 80% ethanol, later rinsed in fresh water and transferred into 70-80% ethanol.

Collection Inventory

None at present. Specimens are presently separated by taxon and held as a subcollection on the survey shelves.

Collection Assets

No collection assets available.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)