Capturing history while updating charts
USA Coast Survey’s Navigation Response Team 4 is conducting a year-long survey of the sea floor in the Port of Houston and Galveston Bay navigational areas, re-measuring ocean depths and searching for dangers to navigation.
In collaboration with NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and the Texas Historical Commission’s Marine Archeology Division, the navigation response team has re-mapped the location of two historically significant wrecks, one of them being the City of Waco steamship.
The steamship City of Waco is one of the historical wrecks that Forfinski’s crew was asked to survey.
The steamship burst into flames and sank on 8 November 1875, and 56 people died.
The sunken ship was ordered to be demolished in 1900, to protect navigation in the area, and the wreck was discovered seven years ago.
Nick Forfinkski, the navigation response team’s leader said that with the often-shifting sediment around that area, there are periods of covering and uncovering, so archeologists like to periodically map historically significant wrecks to see what’s changed.
As the team was around surveying for maritime commerce, they were able to obtain up-to-date images of the wrecks.
Forfinkski’s team captured some fascinating images of the City of Waco, created from data they gathered during last week’s hydrographic survey as the multi-beam image with this article, obtained from NOAA.
The echosounder used is a Kongsberg EM3002, grid resolution 0.25m and vertical exaggeration 2.5x.