AIST Stories No1
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Impact in the following fields! Community lifeIndustry◦Food◦‌‌Safety and security◦‌‌Environment, resources, energy ◦Food products◦‌‌Agriculture and fisheriesAIST in present day living! 23at a glanceTerminologyscientific basis, and the submission must be reviewed and approved by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf comprised of experts from various countries in geology, geophysics and hydrography, etc.Thereupon, in 2004 the Japanese Government commenced an initiative (continental shelf delineation survey) with the objective of compiling a submission to the United Nations based on the findings of a sea area survey. AIST was responsible for the country’s geological survey: the Continental Shelf Survey Research Team was formed with the Institute of Geology and Geoinformation as the nucleus. The team was responsible for (1) the sea area survey, (2) analysis and interpretation of the rocks collected, and (3) compiling the submission, thereby contributing to this eight-year project AIST has an extensive track record of sea area surveys in the vicinity of Japan and incorporating data such as geological data for specific areas into geological maps. In addition to this, it possesses technology of the highest level internationally for marine rock analysis. Thus, it possessed more than sufficient qualifications to be able to contribute in a comprehensive manner to the project as a marine geology specialist group. Nevertheless, the current task of bringing scientific proof to contribute to expansion of territory was a rare event for AIST, even historically speaking. Transfer of heritage in the hands of future society and citizens is an important point of viewIn recent years, it has come to be known that unknown resources may exist in the seabed. It is thought that various seabed resources exist in locations that have been newly recognized as Japan’s continental shelf, such as rare metals that are indispensable for manufacturing automobiles and electronic components. The extended continental shelf is expected to give a major impetus to initiatives directed at seabed resource development.However, there are issues associated with seabed resources development. Specialized technologies and significant cost are required to better utilize these resources and furthermore, scientific assessment of the environmental effects accompanying development are required. As such, considerable time will be required to attain actual commercial project status. This is the very reason why project team participant Kiyoyuki Kisimoto emphasizes the major significance of a Japanese government organization taking time to carry out the survey.“At this point in time, Japan have taken approximately 30 years to at last complete the first batch of geomorphological /geological survey of an immense sea area and are just now starting on the next steps for a survey of seabed resources in detailed scale. While it is easy for discoveries of resources such as under-the-spotlight rare metals to become news, we expect there exist resources with future value that cannot be assessed with current knowledge and technologies. I believe that such dream resources will emerge serendipitously from steady surveying and research.”To the future, AIST will continue to survey resources in sea areas including the extended continental shelf.Senior Chief Scientist, Tectonics and Resources Research Group, Institute of Geology and GeoinformationKiyoyuki KisimotoExtended continental shelfAccording to the legal definition of continental shelf as prescribed in Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a sea area where an extension of sovereign power has been recognized. On April 27, 2012, the Japanese Government received the recommendation in which the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf recognized four sea areas in the Pacific Ocean with combined area of approximately 310,000 square kilometers as being part of Japan’s extended continental shelf. The newly recognized extended continental shelf is said to include locations estimated to incorporate cobalt-rich crust as well as potential for the discovery of seabed hydrothermal deposits and substantial quantities of rare metals.●Schematic interpretation of continental shelf formulated in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (M: nautical mile)●Japan’s extended continental shelfSource: Press conference material from the Maritime Safety Agency (now Japan Coast Guard) for submission on limits of continental shelf (October 31, 2008).Source: Cabinet Secretariat; On the recommendations of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf related to extension of Japan’s continental shelf.Outer limit can be established by one of the two rules (constrained by 350 M from TSB or 100 M from 2500 m isobath)Point where the ratio of thickness of sedimentary rock and distance from FOS is 1%Territorial sea baseline (TSB) (low-water line, straight baseline, etc)Foot of the Continental Slope (FOS)defined by the point of maximum change in the gradient of the slopeThickness ofSedimentary RockBasementSedimentaryRockDistance from FOS60 M from FOS200 MTerritorialSeaExclusive Economic ZoneContinental ShelfExtended ContinentalShelf (ECS)TerritorialSea12 MMTSOGPMGSSKBMITKPRODRRange where the establishment of the extended continental shelf was agreedRange where the action to make recommendations was postponedSKB: Shikoku Basin RegionOGP: Ogasawara Plateau RegionMIT: Minami-Io To Island RegionODR: Southern Oki-Daito Ridge RegionKPR: Southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge RegionImpact in the following fields! Community lifeIndustry◦Food◦‌‌Safety and security◦‌‌Environment, resources, energy ◦Food products◦‌‌Agriculture and fisheriesAIST in present day living! 23at a glanceTerminologyscientific basis, and the submission must be reviewed and approved by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf comprised of experts from various countries in geology, geophysics and hydrography, etc.Thereupon, in 2004 the Japanese Government commenced an initiative (continental shelf delineation survey) with the objective of compiling a submission to the United Nations based on the findings of a sea area survey. AIST was responsible for the country’s geological survey: the Continental Shelf Survey Research Team was formed with the Institute of Geology and Geoinformation as the nucleus. The team was responsible for (1) the sea area survey, (2) analysis and interpretation of the rocks collected, and (3) compiling the submission, thereby contributing to this eight-year project AIST has an extensive track record of sea area surveys in the vicinity of Japan and incorporating data such as geological data for specific areas into geological maps. In addition to this, it possesses technology of the highest level internationally for marine rock analysis. Thus, it possessed more than sufficient qualifications to be able to contribute in a comprehensive manner to the project as a marine geology specialist group. Nevertheless, the current task of bringing scientific proof to contribute to expansion of territory was a rare event for AIST, even historically speaking. Transfer of heritage in the hands of future society and citizens is an important point of viewIn recent years, it has come to be known that unknown resources may exist in the seabed. It is thought that various seabed resources exist in locations that have been newly recognized as Japan’s continental shelf, such as rare metals that are indispensable for manufacturing automobiles and electronic components. The extended continental shelf is expected to give a major impetus to initiatives directed at seabed resource development.However, there are issues associated with seabed resources development. Specialized technologies and significant cost are required to better utilize these resources and furthermore, scientific assessment of the environmental effects accompanying development are required. As such, considerable time will be required to attain actual commercial project status. This is the very reason why project team participant Kiyoyuki Kisimoto emphasizes the major significance of a Japanese government organization taking time to carry out the survey.“At this point in time, Japan have taken approximately 30 years to at last complete the first batch of geomorphological /geological survey of an immense sea area and are just now starting on the next steps for a survey of seabed resources in detailed scale. While it is easy for discoveries of resources such as under-the-spotlight rare metals to become news, we expect there exist resources with future value that cannot be assessed with current knowledge and technologies. I believe that such dream resources will emerge serendipitously from steady surveying and research.”To the future, AIST will continue to survey resources in sea areas including the extended continental shelf.Senior Chief Scientist, Tectonics and Resources Research Group, Institute of Geology and GeoinformationKiyoyuki KisimotoExtended continental shelfAccording to the legal definition of continental shelf as prescribed in Article 76 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a sea area where an extension of sovereign power has been recognized. On April 27, 2012, the Japanese Government received the recommendation in which the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf recognized four sea areas in the Pacific Ocean with combined area of approximately 310,000 square kilometers as being part of Japan’s extended continental shelf. The newly recognized extended continental shelf is said to include locations estimated to incorporate cobalt-rich crust as well as potential for the discovery of seabed hydrothermal deposits and substantial quantities of rare metals.●Schematic interpretation of continental shelf formulated in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (M: nautical mile)●Japan’s extended continental shelfSource: Press conference material from the Maritime Safety Agency (now Japan Coast Guard) for submission on limits of continental shelf (October 31, 2008).Source: Cabinet Secretariat; On the recommendations of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf related to extension of Japan’s continental shelf.Outer limit can be established by one of the two rules (constrained by 350 M from TSB or 100 M from 2500 m isobath)Point where the ratio of thickness of sedimentary rock and distance from FOS is 1%Territorial sea baseline (TSB) (low-water line, straight baseline, etc)Foot of the Continental Slope (FOS)defined by the point of maximum change in the gradient of the slopeThickness ofSedimentary RockBasementSedimentaryRockDistance from FOS60 M from FOS200 MTerritorialSeaExclusive Economic ZoneContinental ShelfExtended ContinentalShelf (ECS)TerritorialSea12 MMTSOGPMGSSKBMITKPRODRRange where the establishment of the extended continental shelf was agreedRange where the action to make recommendations was postponedSKB: Shikoku Basin RegionOGP: Ogasawara Plateau RegionMIT: Minami-Io To Island RegionODR: Southern Oki-Daito Ridge RegionKPR: Southern Kyushu-Palau Ridge Region

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