Friday, March 11, 2016
Satellites and shipwrecks: Landsat satellite spots foundered ships in coastal waters
An estimated 3 million shipwrecks are scattered across the planet's oceans. Most maritime mishaps take place close to shore where hazards to navigation -- such as rocks, reefs, other submerged objects and vessel congestion -- are abundant. While there is a romantic association of shipwrecks and buried treasure, it is desirable to know where they are located for many other practical reasons. The ships may be of historical significance or, if the hard substrate of the ship has created a reef, of ecological significance. Modern-era shipwrecks are also commonly sources of pollution, leaking onboard fuel and corroded heavy metals. Nearshore shipwrecks can be navigational hazards themselves.