Dec 17, 2018

An Underwater ‘Ghost Fleet’ of Shipwrecks Is On the Move, and Here’s Why

Posted by in categories: futurism, military

WASHINGTON — The history of maritime vessels in the U.S. is preserved in an unlikely place — at the bottom of a river.

Nearly 200 military shipwrecks — dating as far back as the Revolutionary War and including ships from the Civil War and both World War I and World War II — were deliberately sunk over centuries, in an area of the Potomac River called Mallows Bay, in Maryland. Over time, this so-called ghost fleet of wooden ships has come to serve as habitat for local wildlife.

But is this artificial ecosystem stable? Researchers recently investigated how the shipwrecks have changed over time; their findings, presented here on Dec. 13 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), explained how the bodies of the ships weathered river conditions — in some cases for hundreds of years — and how that might affect the future of the ghost fleet ecosystem. [Mayday! 17 Mysterious Shipwrecks You Can See on Google Earth].

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