MSc Thesis Oceanographic field expedition for marine mining in New Zealand

In cooperation with Royal Boskalis and the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), there is the opportunity for an MSc thesis based on measurements during a marine mining field experiment with a focus on the environmental impact in the EEZ of New Zealand. The aim of the assignment is to increase our understanding of the turbidity which is generated during the excavation of subsea minerals at a water depth of 300-400 m.

The offshore area ‘Chatham Rise’ near New Zealand is rich in phosphate nodules, a mineral valuable to the large agricultural sector of New Zealand. Royal Boskalis is currently involved in the development of a marine mining project to extract these nodules from the seabed. Uncertainty in the prediction of the environmental impact presents a challenge however.

The goal of the thesis is to assist in the field experiment and investigate the relation between the mineral excavation and production of turbidity.

The thesis will start with a short offshore training, after which is participated in the field experiment on board the research vessel of NIWA in the Chatham Rise field, New Zealand. Data collected during the expedition is than analysed at the offices of Boskalis and/or TU Delft, after which the thesis is written. Ideas for gathering additional data during the expedition are encouraged.

In order to apply for this thesis, you should be available during for the field expedition in May and June 2018.

If you are interested in this Thesis, please contact Prof. C. van Rhee ( as soon as possible.

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