EN486L and SO486Z:  HISTORICAL SHIPWRECKS: A MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVE


This course provides a multidisciplinary look at historic shipwrecks – their historic records, the science behind their discovery, and the technology of their recovery. From an historical perspective, the evolution of ship construction and naval tactics is discussed. The scientific effects of winds, tides and currents on ship drift, and the use of ship logs in locating lost vessels are introduced, along with the biological and chemical effects of long-term emersion of ship structures in different marine environments. The development and deployment of underwater sensors for searching and displaying search results are also illustrated. Once discovered, the engineering principles associated with planning the recovery operations of sunken vessels and their artifacts are considered. Case studies include that of John Paul Jones’ flagship, the Bonhomme Richard; from the early 1600’s, the Swedish warship Vasa; the SS Central America captained by William Herndon; and the USS Monitor, among others. The course concludes with an at-sea search, (hopeful) discovery, and planned salvage of a sunken vessel in the Chesapeake Bay. Either version counts as a free elective, or a majors elective; the two courses will be combined and taught together.

Course Policy Statement

SO486Z Final exam, Fri 5 May 0755, CH088 (note not normal classroom)

Syllabus