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Carlsberg Ridge & Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount

Published: 5th Apr, 2024

Carlsberg Ridge & Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount


Carlsberg Ridge & Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount in Indian Ocean are of India’s interest for which it has submitted applications for exploration to International Seabed Authority.

Carlsberg Ridge:

  • It is the northern part of the Central Indian Ridge, a tectonic plate boundary between the African and Indian plates, running along the ocean between India and Africa.
  • It was formed nearly 30 million years ago, and has been seismically active with major earthquakes. 
  • Running along Seychelles and spanning 3,00,000 sq kms, the Carlsberg Ridge is rich in polymetallic nodules— meaning, it contains mineral deposits with commercially viable quantities of at least 3 metals. The ridge is thought to contain trace elements of copper, lead, and zinc.

The Afanasy-Nikitin Seamount (ANS) seabed 

  • The ANS is a major structural feature in the Indian Ocean, rising up above the sea bed but below the surface, and forming a seamount.
  • It is 400 km long and 150 km wide, and is located in the Central Indian Basin — southeast to Sri Lanka, right below the equator, to the west of Singapore — and it was formed about 80 million years ago, while dinosaurs still roamed the Earth.
  • The Seamount is named after Afanasy Nikitin, a 15th century Russian merchant who was one of the first to document his travels to India.
  • The ANS seamount is about 3,000 km from India’s coast, and is rich in cobalt, copper, manganese, and nickel. 
    • Cobalt is in high demand among other metals due to its ubiquitous use in electronics and batteries.
    • Nickel is used in electric vehicles as it is resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
    • Manganese is also used for lithium ion and alkaline batteries
    • Copper is one of the most commonly used metals in electricity

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