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3-D Scan of Titanic on Seabed Shows "Extraordinary Detail"

18th May 2023
The full-size digital scan of the Titanic shipwreck by Magellan Ltd
The full-size digital scan of the Titanic shipwreck by Magellan Ltd Credit: Magellan Ltd

The first full-size digital scan of the Titanic shipwreck lying 3,800 metres down in the Atlantic has been created using deep sea mapping.

As BBC News reports, the scan was carried out in the summer of 2022 by Magellan Ltd, a deep-sea mapping company, and Atlantic Productions, which is making a documentary about the project.

The team used submersibles, remotely controlled by a team on board a specialist ship, which took more than 700,000 images from every possible angle.

Over 200 hours were recorded surveying the length and breadth of the wreck, with the aim of shedding new light on what caused the ship to sink with the loss of 1,500 lives in 1912.

The shipwreck was discovered by North American oceanographer and marine geologist Robert Ballard in 1985, around 650km off the Canadian coast.

Ballard had been working with France’s Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer and was on board the US Navy research ship Knorr.

Magellan's Gerhard Seiffert told BBC News it was the largest underwater scanning project he had undertaken.

"The depth of it, almost 4,000m, represents a challenge, and you have currents at the site, too - and we're not allowed to touch anything so as not to damage the wreck," he explained.

Irish diver Rory Golden, who is preparing for his fifth expedition to the ship, described the level of detail in the 3D images as "extraordinary".

In an interview with RTÉ Radio’s News At One, Golden said that “the bow section is the most recognisable feature”.

“The stern section is a mess. It's a very dangerous area; the images show that it's just a tangled mess of metal and steel,” he said.

"The bow plunged into the seabed, and the bow is something that people recognise, and it's still quite intact," he said.

"The stern area is the area which more or less exploded when it hit the bottom, and all the debris and artefacts are scattered around that area,” Golden said.

"To see the whole imaging like that done in such a vast expanse on the seabed is a unique experience for anyone to see," he said.

The BBC News report is here

Listen to Rory Golden’s interview on RTÉ Radio News at One here

Published in Titanic Team

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