Titanic wreckage to be raised digitally by new 3D map
By Laura Roberts - Telegraph
But now researchers believe they will be able to raise the Titanic - digitally - after amazing High Definition images were beamed back from its final resting place.
Images originally designed to give scientists an insight into how long it takes for wrecks to disintegrate are to be turned into a 3D map of the wreckage.
It will mean people could one day be able to take a 3D tour of the shipwreck. Using state-of-the art HD robotic cameras and sonar, scientists have been able to take the clearest pictures yet of the ship.
And they were amazed to find it is far better preserved than was previously thought, despite nearly a century underwater.
"In many ways we are raising the Titanic digitally. It's a new way of archiving these special wrecks.
"I'm just excited about one day being able to put on some 3D glasses and see the wreck as it," said Susan Avery, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, whose scientists are working on the site with RMS Titanic Inc.
Thousands of images and hours of video were taken by robots for Expedition Titanic two and a half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic - just over 370 miles from the coast of Newfoundland - using the latest high definition cameras and sonar technology.
The team will return next month for two weeks before compiling the footage into the 3D map which is likely to take more than a year. It had been thought that the front of the ship was on the verge of collapse but the birdseye view shows the bow, railings and anchors are all still in tact.
The largest passenger steamship in the world collided with ice on April 14, 1912, during her maiden voyage and sank with the loss of 1,517 lives.
Dr Avery added: "It could be that there are some new ecosystems living on the Titanic. We will understand better how these wrecks decay and how long we have to preserve records of them."
The new images have found evidence of rusticle - rust formation similar to an icicle or stalactite - growth on the starboard side of the bow including one of the anchors and covering portholes. Oceanographers, who began working at the site two weeks ago, have been forced to return to Newfoundland due to high seas and winds brought on by Hurricane Danielle.
On their return they will assess the rate of deterioration of the wreck to see how fast it is decaying.