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New map of Titanic wreck site created

March 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM   |   Comments

FALLMOUTH, Mass., March 12 (UPI) -- A map of the Titanic wreck site has been made using thousands of photos taken by underwater robots in the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean, researchers say.

The map, created with 130,000 photos pieced together, shows debris and ship parts scattered across a 15 square-mile patch of ocean floor and might provide new clues about what happened after the "unsinkable" British luxury liner hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912 with the loss of more than 1,500 of the 2,200 passengers and crew on board, they said.

"If we are going to do our best to manage the Titanic wreck site as a testament to those that sailed on her, we need to understand the disposition and physical state of what's there," Titanic expedition co-leader David Gallo, director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass., told Discovery News.

The expedition to the wreck to take photos using an ROV -- remote operated vehicle -- fitted with cameras was led by RMS Titanic Inc., the legal custodian of the wreck, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Waitt Institute of La Jolla, Calif.

The thousands high-resolution photos were stitched together by computer to create a detailed photomosaic map of sunken liner and the surrounding ocean bottom.

"The images are staggering. There you are on the bottom of the ocean, transported to the sea floor," Gallo said. "It's mind boggling; even veterans who have been to Titanic numerous times are slack-jawed."

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