Hat Tip To James
Two robot vehicles scanned the ocean bottom day and night with sonar cameras, moving at 3mph back and forth in a grid pattern to create 130,000 high-resolution photos on a computer to provide a detailed mosaic of the wreck. Incredible.
New detail: Researchers have pieced together what is believed to be the first comprehensive map of the entire 3-by-5-mile Titanic debris field. This image shows the main body of the vessel
Marks on the ocean bottom suggest the stern rotated like a helicopter blade as the ship sank, smashing into the sea floor two and a half miles down at considerable speed, grinding the hull deep into the silt.
The bow, on the other hand, plunged straight down and landed relatively gently.
‘When you look at the sonar map, you can see exactly what happened,’ said Paul-Henry Nargeolet, one of the expedition’s leaders.
It is well known that the two halves settled almost half a mile apart.
But previous maps of the floor around the main wreckage were incomplete. Titanic historian Parks Stephenson said that studying the site with old maps was ‘like trying to navigate a dark room with a weak flashlight’.
‘But with the sonar map, it’s like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it,’ he said.
‘Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site.’
The items mapped out include a huge tangle of the remains of a deckhouse, a large chunk of the side of the ship and a hatch cover that blew off the bow section as it sank to the bottom.
Other items include five of the ship’s huge boilers, a revolving door and even a lightning rod from a mast.
Full details of the new findings will be revealed by the History Channel in a two-hour documentary on April 15, exactly 100 years after the Titanic sank.