Human-Manned Submersible Studies Effects of Corrosion on Titanic

The bow of the RMS Titanic, which was recently visited by an exploration team from Triton Submarines. Image courtesy of Atlantic Productions.

In early August, Triton Submarines (Sebastian, Florida, USA), a global leader in the design and manufacture of manned submersibles, launched an expedition to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean to examine the remains of the RMS Titanic.

Over the course of eight days, the Triton 36,000/2 (Limiting Factor) submersible completed five dives to the Titanic, where crew members captured footage that illustrated the effects of salt corrosion, metal-eating bacteria, and deep current action on the wrecked ship. According to a press release issued by Triton, several environmental factors made a significant impact on the wreck, including a water temperature of 33 °F (1°C), sweeping eddies, and shifting sea currents.

The Triton expedition marks the first time since 2005 that the Titanic—located 370 miles (595 km) south of Newfoundland and nearly 4,000 meters (12,123 feet) beneath the surface—has been observed by a human occupied vehicle. The team of experts and scientists aboard the Limiting Factor utilized the submersible’s specially adapted cameras to take 4K footage of the wreck.

"The most fascinating aspect was seeing how the Titanic is being consumed by the ocean and returning to its elemental form while providing refuge for a remarkably diverse number of animals," says Patrick Lahey, president and co-founder of Triton Submarines. Leahy also piloted three of the five dives taken by the Limiting Factor.

Using the Limiting Factor’s camera systems, the team performed dedicated photogrammetry passes of the Titanic. This will enable them to produce 3D models that will enable its members to assess its current conditions and project its future, as well as make it possible to visualize the wreck using augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. In addition, footage from the Triton expedition will be included in a documentary produced by Atlantic Productions London.

Source: Triton Submarines,