A Chinese research team has discovered a large area of rich sediment of rare earth elements (REE) in the southeast Pacific Ocean.
The scientists have preliminarily zoned a 1.5-million-square-kilometer area of REE-rich sediment in deep sea basins of southeast Pacific Ocean.
The discovery will assist the study of rare earth resources and deep sea environmental research.
The Chinese research team has completed its first maritime research mission in the southeast Pacific Ocean. They collected samples of deep-sea sediment and seawater, and data on seabed topography, geophysics, hydrology, meteorology, and biochemistry.
According to Shi Xuefa, chief scientist of the research mission, they conducted marine geological surveys and comprehensive environmental investigations within a 2.6-million-square-kilometer area in the deep sea basins of the southeast Pacific Ocean.
The research team are on board Xiangyanghong 01, China's elite scientific research ship.
The southeast Pacific Ocean mission was the fifth stage of Xiangyanghong's journey around the world, China's first maritime research expedition that integrates oceanic and polar research.
Departing from east China's Qingdao last August, Xiangyanghong 01 will cover around 35,000 nautical miles on its 260-day expedition, and is scheduled to return to Qingdao on May 15.