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Phamv NECC Fa12 GEO101

Phamv NECC Fa12 GEO101

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Published by victoriapham

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Published by: victoriapham on Jan 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Victoria Pham Unseen TitanicIntro to Geography by Hampton SidesProf Padova April 2012How the Titanic Really Went DownThe Titanic has been a famous story since its occurrence, and of course, years later whena famous movie was made to romanticize this incredible ocean-liner. But even from the accountsof its tragic end that dreary morning on April 15, 1912, do we really know how it sank?Scientists and experts from the original expedition in 1985 as well as researchers whofollow on this ship’s legacy 12,000 feet below the sea surface, all come together to explain howfar from the truth it really was. In fact, nothing from the physics and science used to determinehow the ship sank is comparable to our grand standing illusion of a Queen gracefully laying torest.Technology has come a long way since its first discovery by James Cameron and hisexpedition team in the mid-80s. With the team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, surveymaps from underwater are taken to recreate how the ship really looks, helping experts interpretand understand how the ship came to rest. These images are geo-referenced, and almost perfectlygridded with much clearer image-quality and can focus in on exact details found on the ship.In understanding more about where the ship is now and how the ship got to where it is,new light can be shed on what may have really happened when the ship sank, something of amystery to all but those who went down with it.Of course, it is always hard to solve a problem if you have missing puzzle pieces, and for Robert Ballard, one of the researchers, it is incredibly irritating to be in such a position where the
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Titanic’s wreckage has been legally salvaged since 1994. RMS Titanic, Inc., the legal wreck salvager of the Titanic. The RMST has salvaged things from large parts of the actual line, like itshull, to smaller relics (like preserved China dishes dug up from the dining quarters, a champagne bottle with the cork still on it, and many pairs of shoes of the many passengers) to simply displayon roadshow exhibits. In comparing this action to perhaps the disrespect of historic preservationgiven if one were to “go to the Louvre and stick [one’s] finger on the
 Mona Lisa
,” Ballard aswell as many marine archeologists clearly see greed as reason to salvage not only a piece of history, but as well as a grave, resting place if you will, of many who did not survive the perils.So even though RMST, Inc. did not start off on the right foot and did not win too manyhearts, new management has taken over and all parties involved in the research of the Titanic areto work together in demystifying the legendary story while keeping this lost wonder’s integrity.Some new insight of how the Titanic sank? For one, when the ship hit the iceberg at11:40 p.m., the ice ripped along the hull, causing damage at ‘a million foot tons a second,’ whichgave her only 5 seconds before all the compartments along 300 feet of her hull completelysmashed open. Due to certain visibility conditions like refraction, which refers to the ‘strangeoptical effects and distortion in the clear air,’ and a rare cold-weather mirage, which is when lightis bent due to the difference in the air density between opposite temperatures (hot and cold)stacked on top of each other, the iceberg which ultimately sank the ship could have actually beeneffectively invisible for 20 minutes! Of course once the damage was done, nothing can be fixed.So what was thought of as the strongest ship finally split at 2:18 a.m., when the bow wasfilled with water, and the stern risen high into the air to expose its propellers, which createdheavy stresses in the middle of the ship, where then, the ship cracked. Relative to its weight, the
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ship sank in the center of a 1035 millibar arctic high, the highest pressure anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere at the time. This meant that a heavy force per unit area was exerted fromthe weight of air above the region onto the ship, giving little time to save those locked inside. Asvelocity increased, the parts under pressure began to shear off, projecting itself within the water,which some landing a few hundred feet away. Once fully submerged, she merely took fiveminutes before hitting the ocean floor.So why learn about the Titanic? Why is it so important to know the science behind it?Well, even though most of this is really curiosity and (sometimes) treasure finding, it is history,truth, and preservation. The accountability of how a story is told is a great tool in society, because that piece of information could shape the future. We do not build ships like the Titanicanymore, and we have since modified how a ship is moderated, from its capacity to its crewsince then (no more inattentive Joe’s and Larry’s as lone lookouts as based on the movie, for example).This also shows how powerful science can be. We can break that glass ceiling that limitsus from getting to the truth of the matter. The technology at the Woods Hole OceanographicInstitute as come a long way since its precedents when Cameron discovered the shipwreck in1985. Without these advancements, we would not come to realize that gruesome truth, butnevertheless, the truth.And of course, some of our ancestors perished from the wreck, so its remembrance is a projection of the memory of those who were just like us a hundred years ago, looking and sailingto a better future.
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