Tuesday, June 28, 2011

USS Cumberland and CSS Florida Expedition

Yesterday, Gordon Calhoun and I went with NOAA and NHHC's Underwater Archaeology branch to the sites of the USS Cumberland and CSS Florida wrecks, off Newport News. We spent the day observing marine archaeologists map the two wrecks with their new technology, creating sonar images of them so we can compare how the wrecks have settled and changed over the years.

Here are some of the images as the archaeologists viewed them on their computer screens. In future weeks, we'll be able to provide you with the official images, but these we took with our camera while on the boat.
The above image is of Florida. Note how fuzzy the sides of the wreck are, indicating the large amount of sediment on it.
This is an image of Cumberland. Note how much sharper this image is than Florida--much less sediment is on this ship. Below is another image of Cumberland in black and white.
All of the above images were taken by sonar equipment that was lowered into the water below the boat's hull. Here is a photo of the crew working to lower the equipment once we reached the approximate location of both wrecks.

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