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NOAA and MMS Marine Minerals CD-ROM Data Set

World Data Service for Geophysics, Boulder

view larger gif image of Marine Minerals CD-ROM.


From 1983 through 1991, the National Geophysical Data Center (now the National Centers for Environmental Information)(now the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)) compiled a comprehensive, computerized bibliography and geochemical database on offshore marine mineral deposits. Construction of the bibliography and database was a cooperative effort with the Ocean Minerals and Energy Division of the National Ocean Service of NOAA, and the Office of International Activities and Marine Minerals (INTERMAR) of the Minerals Management Service. Additions to the bibliography and database stopped in 1991. The 1992 NOAA and MMS Marine Minerals CD-ROM Data Set, produced by NGDC (now NCEI) and partially funded by INTERMAR, contains the entire NGDC Marine Minerals Bibliography and Geochemical Database and several data files compiled by other organizations.


  • NOAA and MMS Marine Minerals Bibliography and Geochemical Database
  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography Ferromanganese Nodule Data
  • US Geological Survey Ferromanganese Crust Data
  • CNEXO Ferromanganese Nodule Data
  • US Geological Survey Placer/Heavy Minerals Data

The NGDC Marine Minerals Bibliography includes references to present-day marine deposits of ferromanganese nodules and crusts, placers/heavy minerals, phosphorites, and polymetallic sulfides. The final bibliography contains citations from 1831 through 1990. Information in the file includes author, title, publication/serial title, date of publication, language, etc., as well as several key word categories including geographic area and type of study conducted. Subject key words are annotated with "general" or "technical" to indicate whether a subject was mentioned briefly, or was explored in detail. Key words also include the names of each mineral and each element mentioned in the article. Geographic keys include ocean or sea name, numeric designators for the ocean/sea, the name of any pertinent geographic feature, US exclusive economic zones (e.g. East Coast), and geologic setting.

The Marine Minerals Geochemical Database contains chemical analyses and auxiliary information on present-day marine deposits of primarily ferromanganese nodules and crusts but also contains some data for heavy minerals. Sources of data include the historic Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) manganese nodule analysis file, the Centre National Pour l'Exploitation des Oceans (CNEXO) ferromanganese nodule analysis file, ferromanganese crust data compiled by US Geological Survey, and data coded at NGDC from the scientific literature. The ferromanganese nodule/crust portion of the database contains over 140,000 elemental/oxide analyses. Approximately 1,400 heavy mineral analyses coded at NGDC (now NCEI) are included, as well as data from the US East Coast contributed by the US Geological Survey.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION: Bibliography, Geochemical Database,


The 1992 Access software provided with the disc may not function on modern computers. We apologize for the inconvenience but have no resources to update the software. Alternate, ASCII versions of the data on the disc are still usable.

The following is a description of the original sofware:

Access software provided with the disc is a combination of custom menu-driven software developed and written at the National Geophysical Data Center (now the National Centers for Environmental Information)in the C programming language, and commercial software, Record ReferenceBook(tm) by Dataware Technologies, Inc., and operates in both PC-compatible and Macintosh environments. Data processing, reformatting, organization and indexing were performed at NGDC (now NCEI) using both custom programs and the ReferenceSet(tm) software. Software allows selection by the value of any parameter, numeric or text, as well as by geographic area.

Many files listed above are available in one or more of the following formats: ASCII, INMAGIC(TM), dBase(TM), Quattro Pro(TM) and Excel(TM).