Project Background

The aim of Round 2 of Wrecks on the Seabed is to provide industry, regulators and contractors with a framework for a staged approach to the investigation of wreck sites. Such a framework is important when considering the time and cost of marine investigations. It is also helps effective communication between industry, regulators and contractors. The project design for Round 2 of Wrecks on the Seabed builds on the experience of Round 1 of the project.

The project addresses the following aspects of wreck site investigation:

  • A geophysical survey of a 2x2km area of seabed presents an opportunity to develop methodologies for the survey of ephemeral wreck sites.
  • With the dredging industry moving into deeper water, one of the key points emerging from industry is the applicability of wreck investigation methods to greater water depths. The geophysical and Remotely Operated Vehicle survey of three unknown wreck sites in water depths between 46 and 60m will serve as a basis for the development of effective methods for assessing, evaluating and recording wreck sites in deeper water.
  • As most of the problems encountered during the diving fieldwork of Round 1 were related to the size of the diving vessel, a larger Remotely Operated Vehicle / diving support vessel will be deployed in Round 2 of the project. An analysis of the costs and benefits using larger vessels will be carried out.
  • Four of the wreck sites investigated by divers in Round 1 of the project will be revisited with an Remotely Operted Vehicle in Round 2. This will allow a direct comparison of Remotely Operated Vehicle and diver based results.
  • The project results will be made available to the public through web pages, brochures, lectures, conferences and diver information packs for recreational divers.
As the project is specifically tailored to the requirements of marine aggregate dredging, the study areas and sites chosen are all situated close to existing or intended marine aggregate extraction areas.