Deep Ocean Water

Hello, this is Suny. I would like to talk about deep ocean water, which is, one of the valuable resources that can be found in in the ocean. Deep ocean water refers to ocean water found below 200m where sunlight does not reach. Deep water circulates through the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, beginning its cycle near Greenland.

Seawater does not remain in one place, but circulates the whole planet, and when it reaches the glacial waters of Greenland, its specific gravity increases due to the cold temperatures. Once the specific gravity is great enough it sinks with its temperature rapidly falling to about 2℃. This cold water does not mix with warmer surface water, but forms a boundary similar to that between water and oil. This deep sea water is called deep ocean water.

This water is full of nutrient rich inorganic salts and is free from pollution. In waters closer to the ocean surface, sunlight triggers photosynthesis in small organisms which reproduce, and pollution from the air and land easily contaminate such waters. But the waters below 200m are maintained in pristine condition. Deep ocean waters circulate the whole planet in a regular cycle. This cycle is extremely slow, taking about 2000 years just to circulate one time! The water temperature is a consistent 2℃ 2during this cycle, and it is rich in such inorganic salts as nitrogen, phosphorus, and silicon.

The United States and Japan began to take an interest in the deep ocean waters about 30 to 40 years ago, with their utility and becoming more and more recognized in such fields as fisheries, food, beverages, cosmetics, and medicine. In Korea, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has begun research and development of deep ocean waters off the coast of Goseonggun in Gangwon-do, and the government has developed a model industrial complex for deep ocean waters.

The government is also promoting a method for ensuring a low-carbon environmental model for Olympic stadiums by using the cryogenic deep ocean waters which remain a constant 2°C year-round, in the Pyeongchang Olympic ice-rinks. If the new energy technology of deep ocean water can be used in the Pyeongchang Olympics sports complex, energy use will be reduced 60% over existing air conditioning and refrigeration machine systems. Costs are estimated to be reduced by about 81.9% or 800 million KRW annually, and carbon-dioxide emissions likewise reduced by about 63.8% or 1648 tons annually.

Energy supply instability is increasing globally, along with increases in oil prices. It would be of great benefit if we are able to harness deep ocean waters to help provide for our energy needs.