2009, Oceanography 22(2):50–63, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.38
Robert A. Church | C & C Technologies Inc., Lafayette, LA, USA
Daniel J. Warren | C & C Technologies Inc., Houston, TX, USA
Jack B. Irion | Social Sciences Unit, Minerals Management Service, New Orleans, LA, USA
In 2004, researchers from across North America came together to investigate six World War II-era shipwrecks discovered in the Gulf of Mexico. The science team included marine archaeologists, microbiologists, marine vertebrate and invertebrate zoologists, a molecular biologist, an oceanographer, remotely operated vehicle technicians, and professional marine surveyors. The US Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Ocean Exploration and Research sponsored this multidisciplinary project under the auspices of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The organizational involvement included six universities, two nonprofit organizations, three commercial companies, and three federal agencies. All six vessels studied were casualties of World War II. Each was found during modern oil and gas surveys in water depths ranging from 87 to 1,964 meters. Today, these wrecks function as artificial reefs. Their well-documented sinking dates offer biologists a unique opportunity to study the "artificial reef effect" of manmade structures in deep water. Historically, these sites represent an underwater battlefield and a vital historical resource documenting a little-studied area of world history. They preserve information vital to scholarly and popular understanding of the impact of World War II in the Gulf of Mexico, on the American home front, and in the wider world.
Church, R.A., D.J. Warren, and J.B. Irion. 2009. Analysis of deepwater shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico: Artificial reef effect of Six World War II shipwrecks. Oceanography 22(2):50–63, http://dx.doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.38.
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