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Published on November 7, 2007

Author: Arundel0

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Comparative Photometric Analysis of Structural Degradation on the Bow of RMS Titanic :  Comparative Photometric Analysis of Structural Degradation on the Bow of RMS Titanic David A. Bright Nautical Research Group, Inc. September 20, 2005 Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Introduction:  Introduction The Titanic is proving to be a literal treasure-trove for scientific study of the deep ocean floor Obviously, the difficulty of conducting scientific studies at this depth limits the number and types of comprehensive examination that can be performed on the wreck site of Titanic. Because there are only five submersibles in the world that can visit the extreme depths of 12,600 feet, where Titanic resides, every visit to the ship have proven to be of tremendous value to the scientific community. Each dive to the Titanic has the potential to discover a new species of plant or animal life - and in most cases, many new life forms has been found and cataloged for further study. The area surrounding Titanic can now be referred to as a natural field laboratory for the study of deep ocean ecosystems. By further understanding this in-situ environment, we can provide the associated research that could aid in the preservation of the Titanic. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Goal and Objectives :  Goal and Objectives The goal of our scientific research is to examine the deterioration of Titanic and explore potential mechanisms that would assist in the preservation of the wreck site. The objectives of our study will be to provide comparative photometric examination of the natural decay processes that are occurring on the ship. The crux of this study would involve the analysis of the structural integrity of the ship with emphasis on microbial decay and areas where the steel infrastructure has been compromised. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Methods :  Methods Diving to the wreck site of Titanic utilizing the Russian MIR submersibles launched from the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. Since this expedition is a scientific research venture, at no time was any items salvaged nor recovered. The MIR submersible will take close-up high-quality digital video and photographs of various areas of Titanic without ever coming in contact with the ship. By close-up examination of Titanic, we can observe its rate of decay and provide vital information that the scientific community can use to protect and preserve the ship and to understand its ecosystem. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Slide5:  R/V Akademik Mstislav Keldysh Comparators :  Comparators 1986 Dr. Robert Ballard Expedition using Alvin 1991 IMAX, French and Ralph White’s Expedition on Nautile 1998 Dr. Alfred McLaren’s Expedition using MIR 2001 Robert M. Williams’ Expedition using MIR 2003 David Bright’s Expedition using MIR 2004 Dr. Robert Ballard and Craig McLean’s Expedition ROVs 2005 David Bright’s Expedition using MIR Year Expedition Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Microbial Decay and Deterioration:  Microbial Decay and Deterioration Microbial bacteria, or microbes, are constantly consuming the steel of Titanic. These normally dormant microbes have been aggressively devouring the steel of the bow for its iron content. Large portions of the content of the rusticles contain the by-products of the microbial consumption and it has been found that these rusticle communities are quite complex. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Bow Sections for Analyses:  Bow Sections for Analyses Bowsprit and Nose Anchor Port side Officer’s Quarters Starboard side Bow Mast Hull on Starboard Bow Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Bowsprit and Nose:  Bowsprit and Nose Throughout the analysis of our study the sizes and density of the rusticles has increased over time on this portion of the ship. The next two photographs show respectively the starboard side and port side view of the bow nose with severe growth of rusticles on all areas of the ship. Clearly visible in the picture is the huge auxiliary anchor that is lying on the bow of Titanic. This thick anchor appears to be in very good shape but the wooden decking that once surrounded the anchor has been gone long before the discovery of Titanic in 1985. The appearance of strips of decking are in fact only the caulking that was used to seal the teak decking to the steel hull of the ship. It is believed that worms have devour this wood. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Bow Contact with Ocean Floor:  Bow Contact with Ocean Floor Most noteworthy is that rusticle communities can be seen lying adjacent to Titanic’s bow. These rusticle communities appear to be non-active and probably fell off the bow section of Titanic over long periods of time. Observations from this area suggest that once these rusticles reach a critical size that can no longer be supported on the steel of Titanic that the larger portions fall off of the ship. Without the supply of steel to feed the rusticle community via microbial consumption, the rusticles can not sustain their vibrant lifecycle. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Anchor – Port Side:  Anchor – Port Side Due to the colossal impact of Titanic’s bow on the ocean floor in 1912, nearly two-thirds of the bow is buried and the sandy sea floor can be seen within a few feet of the bottom portion of the anchor. Microbes have consumed significant amounts of steel from the anchor. The shape of the anchor has changed very little; however, the thickness of the anchor has dramatically been reduced over time, especially in the flukes. This part of the anchor has been fused with the hull of Titanic by rusticles and is rapidly decaying. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Officer’s Quarter’s – Starboard Side:  Officer’s Quarter’s – Starboard Side Microbes have consumed this area very significantly and the structure is in a serious state of collapse. A thin amount of steel and a thick layer of rusticles are the only things supporting areas within the window sills. Additionally, it appears that the window fixtures may have some brass but this has not deterred the inevitable collapse that will shortly occur. The roof of the Officer’s Quarters is buckling on the left hand side and the steel frame is bowing outward. This type of structural decay has been previously evidenced at the Captain’s Quarters, which was fairly intact when Titanic was discovered; however, the walls have collapsed over on the decking and has exposed the Captain’s porcelain bathtub Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Crow’s Nest :  Crow’s Nest Comparison of the forward mast reveals quite a large number of deformations due to the compromise of its structural integrity. The circular structure that was reportedly made of bamboo that surrounded the crow’s nest was very apparent, but slightly detached from its base during the early 1990’s. In our recent photo, this structure has disappeared and a small remnant is visible on the lower right hand portion and below the outlet of the mast. No visible sign of this structure has been found. There is some flaking of the steel on the upper right portion of the mast and the presence of rusticles lining the external area. Clearly visible on the left is the huge cargo hatch that is showing signs of large rusticle formation. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Bow Mast :  Bow Mast Metal decay is very evident on this portion of the mast. To the left of the bell stanchion, there is a clear break in the mast that becomes a long crack as the mast intersects with the cargo crane in the upper right. On the right portion of the mast, the metal is crumbling and decaying very noticeably. The steel on the mast looks to have thinned due to microbial consumption. In 2003 our observations revealed that the mast is in danger of breaking into two pieces at this critical spot within the next decade. In 2005, the mast collapsed in the exact location that we identified as the critical spot. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Hull – Starboard side Bow:  Hull – Starboard side Bow As Titanic is settling to the ocean floor, the pressure on the hull has increased. This pressure is beginning to cause a torque across the steel hull that is pulling the ship apart This torque of the ship’s sedentary bow combined with the internal and external decay has created pressure within the ship assisting in further destruction of the integrity of Titanic. This crack appears to have occurred within the past few years as the edges on the fissure are relatively devoid of rusticle formation that one would expect from an older break. The decking above this fissure is starting to fold inward as the pressure of Titanic’s settling and eventual collapse is becoming more pronounced. The main Starboard hull breech has reached minimally three decks levels and is getting larger Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com Summary:  Summary From our study on the bow of Titanic, there is clear evidence of natural deterioration processes that are compromising the structural integrity of the shipwreck. Almost all of these structural changes can be attributed to the interactions between the microbes and the exposed steel areas on Titanic Other natural factors that are contributing to the collapse of Titanic are the settling pressure effects, as the ship is slowly becoming part of the ocean floor. Many of the unique physical structures on the bow are in danger of total collapse within the next decade or two. Further comparator data will provide an enormous wealth of information that can provide the scientific community with extremely valuable knowledge. This knowledge can be used as a basis for monitoring the physical condition of Titanic into the twenty-first century. Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com End of Presentation:  End of Presentation To return to our Nautical Research Group Corporate Homepage: www.nauticalresearch.com OR Visit our award-winning Shipwreck web log (blog): http://shipwreck.blogs.com Nautical Research Group, Inc. Experts in global maritime research nauticalresearch.com

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