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Polar Expedition Vessel the Sunken 'S.S. Terra Nova' Discovered

August 19, 2012

SS Terra Nova: Photo credit Wiki CCL

SS Terra Nova: Photo credit Wiki CCL

Schmidt Ocean Institute’s flagship 'R/V Falkor' locates the wreck of historic exploration ship off the coast of Greenland.

During routine functional performance testing of the mutibeam mapping echosounders on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s flagship R/V Falkor, the team aboard — including researchers from the University of New Hampshire, Ifremer, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — discovered the S.S. Terra Nova, a whaler, sealer and polar exploration ship that sunk off the southern coast of Greenland in September, 1943, after being damaged by ice.

The team used SHRIMP ((Simple High Resolution IMaging Package) to take video underwater images of the suspected wreck of the Terra Nova. Camera tows across the top of the target showed the remains of a wooden wreck laying on the seabed. The camera footage also identified the funnel of the vessel, next to the wreck.

The team compared the funnel image with historical photographs of the S.S. Terra Nova which posiively identified the wreck.

The discovery of the lost S.S. Terra Nova, one of the most famous polar exploration vessels, was an exciting achievement—in addition to serving to successfully verify the performance and operational condition of the Schmidt Ocean Institute's R/V Falkor multibeam echo sounders.

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