Sunken Civil War Ship Can Be Viewed Thanks To Sonar Images

By Jessica Rawden 2013-01-21 19:49:17
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A ship that sunk in 1863 during the United Statesí Civil War can now be seen in some detail, thanks to some brand new high resolution 3D images. The USS Hatteras was built as a civilian steamship, but was later reworked to be a ship fighting for the North. After working off of the coast of Florida for some time, the ship met up with a Confederate battleship, the CSS Alabama, which sunk the Hatteras into the Gulf.



Today, the USS Hatteras is protected by the Sunken Military Craft Act, but a department within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wanted to take a closer look at the shipís skeletal remains. To do this, they teamed up with ExploreOcean, Teledyne Blueview, and Northwest Hydro to put together 3D, high-resolution images of the 210 foot-long vessel, although it wasnít the easiest of tasks.

In fact, the wreck lies in the Gulf, under 57 feet of water and in a murky area. According to Red Orbit, for many years, sediment fully covered the length of the vessel. Storms in the last year uncovered the ship and scientists decided to use sonar technology to bring fans of history the best views possible before the sediment covered the skeletal remains of the ship, once more.

Taking a look at the wreckage has confirmed the engine room was damaged, which may have led to the shipís sinking. Additionally, the sonar images have shown that maybe 60% of the ship is actually still buried, but what is left above the sediment still makes for a pretty cool image.

Photo Credit @ Red Orbit via NOAA/ONMS/Explore Ocean/James Glaeser, Northwest Hydro, Inc.
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