Object and Wreck Investigation
Evolution of technology in underwater archiology
Bathymetric surveys allow us to measure the depth of a water body as well as map the underwater features of a water body. Multiple methods can be used for bathymetric surveys including multi-beam and single-beam surveys, ADCPs, sub-bottom profilers, and autonomous underwater vehicles.
The evolution of technology in archeology
Underwater archeology is a separate science branch which requires highly advanced tools and sometimes includes equipment from space or military programs. High-tech devices have replaced the old-fashioned methods which posed threats to researchers’ safety.
The essential importance of the sonar
The sonar is the key research element in underwater archeology. It allows archeologists to identify submerged objects or wrecks and to thoroughly inspect them.
Sonar technology significantly reduces the risks and costs by eliminating the need to send divers and heavy equipment underwater. The traditional one offers two-dimensional projection. Side scans provide complex 3D images of the studied place and specific object.
Main types of sonars and their applications
The most frequently used sonars are side-scan sonars and echo sounding. They are able to offer comprehensive insights in the preliminary stage.
When they identify and study particular objects, these types of sonars can perform helpful tasks such as mapping the site and evaluating it so it can be properly researched.
Every archeology tool has a specific purpose that can determine, evaluate and refine the research. However, these two sonars really can’t be left out. As they provide crucial data, they are considered to be absolute must-haves for underwater archeologists.
Side-scan Sonars in Bathymetric Surveys
These ones need to be particularly mentioned as they have basically no limitations in terms of water clarity, depth or overheard cover.
Their two arrays makes them special as it enables them to use a sound spectrum to view nearly each submerged object. Each of the two is capable of creating a sonar beam that follows a 90-degree arc vertically and horizontally.
The resolution is incredibly high. This quickly facilitates the research thanks to the amount of information gathered from the studied objects.
Multi-beam sonars produce a resolution equal to entire degrees, while side-scanners can offer resolutions of one tenth of a degree.
This results in accurate pictures of the waterbed. When it comes to high precision, side-scanning sonars are preferred as they can deliver images that are tens of times more precise to further aid in object and Wreck Investigations.
Other Research Tools
There are some further ways to improve the research results of underwater archeology.
Modern videography can complement the research through submersible video cameras. Short-term diving can be used when the conditions impose it.
The historical aspect shouldn’t be neglected. Preparatory archival studies and the assessment of existent historical records can help the scientists understand the archeological site better before they undertake any activities using modern technology.
Geographical maps and navigation charts accompanied by satellite imagery can bring interesting points to consider. Bathymetric tools or echo sound systems can assist in the study as well.
Sometimes the seabed isn’t clear enough. The objects and wrecks might be tough to distinguish or to research without extra instruments.
Another significant tool is the acoustic Doppler current profiler. This kind of equipment is especially designed to inspect partially hidden objects that need to be studied or taken into consideration. It is useful when the object can’t be seen properly because it got covered by sand or silt. Hydrographic Surveys.