Nancy Foster Remote Sensing Cruise
During a 5-day cruise onboard the NOAA ship Nancy Foster
in June 2005, archaeologists used a magnetometer and side scan
sonar to survey areas of the sanctuary. The project's goal was
to conduct a systematic survey of discrete areas of the sanctuary.
The survey areas were chosen based upon historically reported
vessel losses and fishing hangs. In total, the project surveyed
10 square kilometers of seafloor ranging in depth from 70 meters
to 140 meters.
NOAA ship Nancy Foster was the platform
for the remote sensing cruise.
Archaeologists use a magnetometer and side scan sonar to
locate maritime heritage resources in the sanctuary.
side scan sonar mapped several areas of seafloor with large
boulders and rock ridges deposited by the glaciers that
formed the topography of the sanctuary. The remote sensing
equipment located several anomalies with shipwreck characteristics.
Historic uses of the sanctuary include fishing and maritime
transportation, all evidenced by the remains of shipwrecks
on the seafloor. Remote sensing surveys are the best means
available to the sanctuary to locate the physical remnants
of this extensive maritime heritage.
investigations with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) will
determine whether these anomalies are maritime heritage
resources. A ROV will be used to ground truth targets and
determine if they are natural or manmade objects. This project
helps the sanctuary locate, inventory, and assess its shipwrecks
in compliance with the National Marine Sanctuary Act and
the National Historic Preservation Act.
hydraulic winch is used to raise and lower the towfish in
sonar image of a boulder field created
from two passes with the side scan sonar.
project was made possible through support from NOAA's
Maritime Heritage Program and the National
Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut.