SO486Z “Historic Shipwrecks: A Multidisciplinary Perspective” Science Block

Spring 2017 Schedule (revised 2/28/2017)


Science Lesson

Online lesson

Reading to be completed before Tuesday class

Science Focus (Test review)

History tie-ins

Intro Intro

GIS of ship logs and climatology of shipping lanes:


email turn in Wed 0800 next week


History 4:  History and Construction of the Duc de Duras and the Bonhomme Richard

1. Extract from book by Wheeler and others (online at Read (PDF pages 13-17, 58-60, 87-101; actual book pages on bottom left; pp. 5-9, 50-52, 79-93). Just the pages you need.

2. Go through the online lessons on the left to understand something of the construction of an East Indiaman, and about the French experience in the Indian Ocean in the 18th century.

See patterns of shipping lanes, the relationship to climate. 

Understand the monsoons.

Discuss the difference between latitude and longitude.

Reading logs, contents of logs, history of shipping and national fortunes for France, England, Spain, and the Netherlands from 1662-1855.


Analysis of drift models

email turn in Wed 0800 after spring break


Science 2: Geographic Information Systems and Oceanographic Modeling

Britvic, O., and Allen, A.A., (2008). “An Operational Search and Rescue Model for the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea.” Journal of Marine Systems, 69(1/2), p.99-113.

Last Day of the Bonhomme Richard  (3 short readings; you do not have to run the simulation)

Understand how Coriolis, tides, winds, leeway.  Evaluate the relative importance of each in a drift model for the BHR.

Discuss how we can use probability to model uncertainty.

History of French East Indiaman rigging, hull design; Museum visit to look at ship models


Analysis of 3D sonar point cloud from the Ghost ship in the Baltic

email turn in Wed 0800 next week

Science 1: Underwater Survey Strategies

Lab assignment (USNA only)

Understand how 3D mapping can be done, using light or sound.

Manipulation of sonar 3D data, measuring the ship.  Compare the results to historic records of fluyt ships.

Methods for bathymetric mapping, including gravity.

Reasons for changing coordinate systems.

History of Dutch fluyt ship design, and Dutch ascendency in the 17th century; Museum visit to look at ship models


Side scan sonar analysis

email turn in Wed 0800 next week

Science 4: Marine Geophysics /SonarPrimer/SideScanSonar.htm

Principles of side scan operation, deployment, and analysis.

Principles of magnetic surveys.

Marine surveys and crossover analysis.

History of sidescan sonar development, military role and secrecy

Exam Thursday, first hour

There will be an assignment each week worth 60% of the module grade, and the exam will be worth 40%.