The University of Texas at Austin
  • Researchers on the hunt for Lake Huron shipwrecks

    By Tim Green
    Tim Green
    Published: Aug. 20, 2010
    The University of Texas at Austin team launches the ATLAS; it will be in the water for nearly 12 hours. Every 45 minutes or so, ATLAS will surface so the team can download data.Image courtesy of Thunder Bay 2010 Expedition, NOAA-OER.

    A group of researchers at the Applied Research Laboratories (ARL) are cruising the Thunder Bay Maritime Sanctuary on Lake Huron, mapping the lake floor for undiscovered shipwrecks and a prehistoric archeological site.

    They are deploying an ARL-developed sonar device, the Autonomous Topographic Large Area Survey (ATLAS) sonar, to gather high quality images of the lake bottom and the objects down there.

    The survey is of the 448-square-mile Thunder Bay National Maritime Sanctuary, considered one of the nation’s most historically significant collections of shipwrecks.

    Thunder Bay is off the northeast side of Michigan’s lower peninsula and is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    Members of the team have posted information about the project — including videos and sonar images — at a NOAA Web site, Ocean Explorers. Also read the project log.

    The sanctuary contains 40 known shipwrecks, according to NOAA. Another 80 known sites are just outside the sanctuary’s boundaries. Archival research indicates that as many as 100 sites still await discovery in northern Lake Huron.

    Read more about the expedition in the Further Findings research blog.

    • Quote 2
      Bob Marley said on Jan. 7, 2011 at 9:59 a.m.
      this was very helpful in my report about ship wrecks in the great lakes.
    • Quote 2
      John said on Sept. 22, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
      Have there been any discovery's of the 'James C. Carruthers' the 550 ft. Steel freighter that was lost with all hands in the great storm of 1913?
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