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Muthukrishna Babu S.,National Institute of Ocean Technology ChennaiTamil Nadu | Ramesh N.R.,National Institute of Ocean Technology ChennaiTamil Nadu | Muthuvel P.,National Institute of Ocean Technology ChennaiTamil Nadu | Ramesh R.,National Institute of Ocean Technology ChennaiTamil Nadu | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Offshore and Polar Engineering | Year: 2014

The optimum design of an integrated mining system for polymetallic nodule mining is mainly dictated by the soil properties of extremely soft seabed at depths of 5000–6000 m. During the design process, the entire weight distribution and traction of the mining machine has to be configured by considering the bearing strength and shear strength parameters of the soil. The shear strength of the soil also provides useful information on the maneuverability and control of the mining machine. It is also imperative that the mining area be delineated to eliminate vulnerable areas of low strength where the equipment may sink suddenly beyond recovery due to anchoring of the machine. A remotely operable in-situ soil tester has been developed for 6000-m operations, with a cone tester and a shear vane tester for soft soils and shallow depth of penetration. This paper describes the methodology used for soil property measurements and the soil tester’s performance at 5462-m water depth in the Central Indian Ocean Basin. © by The International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers.

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