ELEMENTS OF OCEANOGRAPHY

TOPIC 22 - NATURAL RESOURCES

Overheads (Two Lectures)

Lecture 1:

Natural Resources
Mineral Resources
e.g., metals, rocks, sediment
Non-mineral Resources
e.g., wood, air, water, food
Energy Resources
fossil fuels- e.g., coal, oil, natural gas
renewable sources- e.g., solar, wind, tides

The Economy of Resources
Reserves- resources that are economically recoverable with current technology
Conditional Reserves- known resources whose recovery is not currently economically feasible
Speculative Reserves- resources that we think are present but that have not been proven to exist.

(Q) Quality of Life
The quality of life in any society depends on four factors:
(R) availability of resources
(E) availability of energy
(I) ingenuity of the population (degree of education and technology)
(P) population
Q= (RxExI)/ P

Oceanic Mineral Deposits
Hydrothermal Ore Deposits
mid ocean ridges
geothermal systems
Sedimentary Deposits
evaporates, manganese nodules
placer deposits (concentrated by wave action)

Other Oceanic Resources
Water- fresh water can be in short supply in some parts of the world.
Desalination of sea water is one way to remedy that condition
Fisheries- The potential exists for much of the world's food to be grown in the oceans. The problem is to manage it properly.

Desalination Plants
Convert salt water, brackish water, or treated waste water into potable (drinkable) water
Problems:
Permitting process
Large number of agencies with regulative authority over desalination in the USA
Impact on costal environment

Oil (Petroleum)
Oil is a complex hydrocarbon (a type of organic compound composed of rings of carbon atoms bound together with hydrogen atoms and other selected elements)
The type of hydrocarbon depends on the molecular weight of the compounds (light oils to heavy asphalt)

oil initially forms in marine sedimentary rocks (mostly shales) that are rich in microorganisms through heat and pressure associated with sediment burial

Oil Reserves
World petroleum reserves are about 500 billion barrels of oil
World uses about 20 billion barrels of oil each year
Reserves only for about 25-30 years
World oil production will start to fall around 2000 AD (limited resource)

Oceanic Renewable Energy Sources
Geothermal Energy- heating water to run a turbine using the natural heat of the Earth's interior (hydrothermal systems, gysers, etc.)
Tidal Energy- daily runup of tides in coastal areas may provide enough energy to run turbines (in use in Britain and Netherlands)

Lecture #2


Oceanic Food Supplies
Commercial Fisheries
Open ocean (international, pelagic regime)
Coastal ocean (national)
Sport Fisheries
Aquaculture

 

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