Scientific Glossary

Glossary of terms and abbreviations relevant to the International Seabed Authority and the documents it produces

Please note that this is a constantly evolving document.

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Titlesort descending
Calcareous

Composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO3)..

Calcite Compensation Depth

Synonymous with Calcium Carbonate Compensation Depth.

Calcium Carbonate Compensation Depth

The depth at which Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) dissolves. Below this depth calcium carbonate deposits are not found. Also calledCalcite Compensation Depth and Carbonate Compensation Depth. Abbreviated to CCD.

Carbonate Compensation Depth

Synonymous with Calcium Carbonate Compensation Depth.

Carnivore

An organism that feeds on flesh. Compare to herbivore.

CCD

Calcium Carbonate Compensation Depth.

CCFZ

Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone.

CCZ

Clarion-Clipperton Zone.

CFU

Colony-Forming Unit..

Chemoautotrophic

Pertaining to chemoautotrophy. Synonymous with chemotrophic. Compare to photoautotrophic.

Chemoautotrophy

Synonymous with chemosynthesis.

Chemosynthesis

The biological synthesis of organic material using chemical reactions as an energy source. Microorganisms metabolically transforminorganic carbon to organic carbon (cells) using energy derived from oxidation of reduced compounds. Chemosynthesis is the basis for the food web associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Compare to photosynthesis. Synonymous with chemoautotrophy.

Chemosynthetic

Pertaining to chemosynthesis. Compare to photosynthetic.

Chemotrophic

Synonymous with chemoautotrophic.

Chlorophyll

The green pigment in plants that absorbs energy for photosynthesis.

CHN

Carbon, Hydrogen and Nitrogen

Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone

An area in the Eastern Pacific Ocean approximately 20oN, 120oW to 5oN, 160oW bounded by the Clarion Fracture Zone to the north and the Clipperton Fracture Zone to the south. All of the potential polymetallic nodule exploration contracts that have been granted in the Pacific are in this region. Also called the Clarion-Clipperton Zone. Abbreviated to CCFZ or CCZ.

Clarion-Clipperton Zone

Synonymous with Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone. Abbreviated to CCZ.

Class

An intermediate level of taxonomic classification containing one or more Orders forming a subgroup of a Phylum.

Cobalt Crust

Hydroxide/oxide deposit of cobalt-rich iron/manganese (ferromanganese) crust formed from direct precipitation of minerals from seawater onto hard substrates in the deep sea on features with significant topographic relief, such as seamounts and ridges. Contain minor but significant concentrations of cobalt, titanium, nickel, platinum, molybdenum, tellurium, cerium, other metallic and rare earth elements. Synonymous with cobalt-enriched crust.

Cobalt-enriched crust

Synonymous with cobalt crust.

Colony-Forming Unit

A unit of measurement for fungal or bacteria samples. Abbreviated to CFU.

COMRA

China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association. One of the groups granted a contract for the exploration of polymetallic nodules. Other contractors listed here

Continental Rise

The gently sloping seabed from the edge of the Continental Slope to the Abyssal Plain. An average gradient of approximately 1:50 (approximately 1°). {Figure}.

Continental Shelf

The shallow seabed extending from the part of the shore permanently submerged down to the Continental Slope (typically 100-200m depth). Gradient usually less than 1:100 (approximately 0.5°). {Figure}.

Continental Slope

The steeply sloping seabed from the Continental Shelf down to the Continental Rise. Gradient ranging from 1:3 to 1:20 (approximately 2.5-20°). {Figure}.

Contractors

The groups granted a contract by the International Seabed Authority for the exploration of polymetallic nodules. The various contractors include AFERNOD/IFREMER, COMRA, DORD, IOM, KORDI, the Government of India and the Government of Korea.

Copepod

Synonymous with Copepoda.

Copepoda

Small planktonic, benthic or parasitic crustaceans. Planktonic forms are usually the numerically dominant group within thezooplankton. Synonymous with copepod.

Cosmopolitan Species

Species which are widely distributed.

CSIRO

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

CTD

Pertaining to a system for measuring Conductivity (a measurement of salinity), Temperature and Depth (determined from pressure measurements). Additional parameters, such as pH and dissolved oxygen concentration, can be measured if optional sensors are installed. Often has Niskin bottles attached for taking water samples at specific depths.

Cumulative Impacts

Impacts resulting from incremental changes caused by other past, present or foreseeable actions. Compare to direct impacts.