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Sounding the Seabed

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The multibeam sonar system used on Bangor University’s research vessels emits sound waves in a fan shape. The amount of time which it takes the sound waves to bounce off the seabed and return to the receiver on the research vessel is used to build up a very detailed model of depth points over a wreck.

The sonar images are providing clues to the last moments of the ships by revealing the damage caused by torpedoes, exploding mines, and ramming.

The images also reveal a great deal of information about the present condition of the Great War wrecks around the Welsh coast. Some are still substantially intact, but others are suffering from extensive corrosion caused by being submerged for over 100 years and are beginning to collapse.

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