For poly-metallic nodule mining in water depths up to 6000 m, a current concept of mining is based on tracked vehicles comparable to land operated caterpillars. Therefore the knowledge and understanding of the interaction between the dynamic behaviour of the mining machine and the soil properties are essential. For this reason a method is presented to deduct soil mechanical parameters from the actual operation data of the vehicle. A brief introduction of the calculation of the vehicles' traction force and driving resistances is given. Furthermore, an overview is presented about the vehicles parameters to be measured to derive soil parameters.


For the safe and stable operation of a mining machine on the seabed it is necessary to know the relevant soil mechanical properties of the ground. Such information can be won with the investigation and testing of the seabed in connection with the exploration of deposits of raw mineral materials. Because the mining machine is hardly accessible during the operation on the seabed, precise information about the trafficability of the ground is necessary. For the operation of vehicles on the deep sea bed, a question comes to the allowed operation velocity and maximum possible traction force, which can be developed by the vehicle on the seabed. Therefore it is important to look at the interaction between mining machine and seabed. To ensure safe operation, the balance of measurement based on the expected soil parameters and actual values occurring during mining machine operation would be additionally desirable. The following contribution tries to derive from the consideration of the machine-ground-interaction a possibility to receive conclusions on the local ground soil properties from actual driving state. The influence of static and dynamic pipe motion and hydrodynamic drag on the moving vehicle is outside the present investigation.

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