What does science reveal about Shipwreck Cemeteries?

Graveyard de pe mari

Un loc periculos: Graveyardele de pe mari

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De când oamenii au început să exploreze și să facă schimb comercial pe mare, am știut că poate fi un loc periculos. Și niciun avertisment nu este mai puternic decât un naufragiu care marchează locul unde marinarii și-au întâlnit sfârșitul tragic. De-a lungul secolelor, cimitirele de vapoare s-au adunat în anumite locuri din întreaga lume, acolo unde pare că apele sunt deosebit de periculoase. Forțele care creează acestea pot fi oceanice, atmosferice sau chiar economice sau politice. Așa că să ne înecăm și să privim știința din spatele acestor ape primejdioase și de ce se formează aceste cimitire acolo unde se întâmplă.

Mormântul Atlanticului

Unul dintre aceste cimitire este Cimitirul Atlanticului, situat în largul coastei Carolinei de Nord din Statele Unite. Din anii 1500, acesta a fost locul a aproximativ 2.000 de naufragii, inclusiv galioane spaniole, petroliere și submarine germane de tip U-boat. Și unii dintre supraviețuitorii naufragiilor chiar s-au instalat în Carolina de Nord și sunt strămoșii persoanelor care trăiesc încă acolo astăzi. Dar modul în care s-au întâmplat naufragiile în primul rând are mult de-a face cu curenții din zonă. Vedeți, în jurul acestui cimitir, este locul unde Curentul Labrador se întâlnește cu Curentul Golfului. Și naviganții profită de acești curenți pentru a-și accelera călătoriile, ceea ce aduce multe nave în această zonă. Este convenabil ca după ce au urmat coasta estică a Americii de Nord, Curentul Golfului se îndreaptă spre Europa, o autostradă pentru vasele care călătoresc din Caraibe.

Another feature of these currents is that Labrador brings cold water down From the North, and the Gulf Stream brings warm water up from the south. Generally, these currents remain stable because cold water is denser, so it flows underneath the warm water. But when that process is perturbed, these two can mix, creating turbulence and challenging currents. Combine that with sandbars constantly shifting on top of an already complex shoreline of bays, inlets, and islands, and you have a seafarer’s nightmare. But there’s competition for this nightmare; another contender for the Atlantic’s graveyard is Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. This island is near a place where fish are pretty abundant, so it lured lots of ships to this treacherous area, and over 350 have been claimed. For around 125 days a year, this island is hidden in fog, and before radar or GPS, navigation instruments like sextants were the most accurate tool To figure out your locațion. But to use it, you need to be able to see the sky, a pretty difficult feat with all the dense fog. So sailors could only estimate their position based on when they took their last accurate reading, so you can imagine how that went. Like many of the spots we’ll talk about, modern technology has done a lot to slow down the wrecks in both graveyards of the Atlantic. There has only been one wreck on Sable island since 1947, and the most recent one in North Carolina, in 2012, had extenuating circumstances related to Hurricane Sandy. But all in all, it is still way less than before. Heading over to the other coast of the Americas, the Graveyard of the Pacific refers to the dangerous conditions that occur from the northern tip of Vancouver Island down to Oregon off the west coast of North America. In these waters, mariners contend with pretty much everything from harsh Pacific weather, to strong tidal currents, to rocky coastlines. But the epicenter of this graveyard is likely the Columbia River Bar at the border of Washington and Oregon in the US, where the mighty Columbia River meets the ocean. When Europeans arrived, the wrecks started piling up, eventually reaching around 2000 ships. Big rivers carry lots of sediment, and when they meet a larger body, like the ocean, this sediment falls out of the water and accumulates. For most large rivers, this eventually Builds a delta, A large fan of sediment that slowly dissipates the river’s energy. But the Columbia doesn’t have a delta, so it hits the ocean at nearly full force. Many say it’s like the force of a “firehose” compared to other rivers. This current collides with ocean waves coming from the other direction Making the waters where they meet very unpredictable. While the Columbia has not built a delta, the sediment it carries has built a roughly 5-kilometer wide and 10-kilometer long sandbar extending out from the coast, which can shift rapidly and create another hazard for ships to contend with. But a lot of effort has gone into making this area safer. Lighthouses were built in the 1850s, followed by jetties made of boulders to guide the current and the sand in the early 1900s. Massive amounts of sediment are also removed every year to help deepen the waterway. And these measures have increased the safe depth for ships from 7 to 12 meters. If you’d like to see some shipwrecks up close, I got some news: you do not need scuba gear to see these. The shipwrecks of the Aral Sea located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are high and Dry in the middle of what is now a desert. But the forces that led to this bizarre sight were not natural; they were political and economic. The Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest lake in the world. But in the 1950s, the Soviet Union began diverting two Rivers flowing into it towards cotton farms instead. This caused the lake to shrink dramatically. It lost over 80% of its water and split into several smaller lakes, including the North and South Aral Seas. Many areas, particularly in the east, dried up completely, leaving the Abandoned boats in the desert as the last reminder of the prolific fishing place it used to be. 48,000 tons of fish were caught in the 1950s, and that went to zero by the late 1980s. And even in places that didn’t dry up completely, the remaining water Became so salty that many freshwater fish died, and the ecosystem collapsed. To top all that off, the cotton farms that took the lake’s water also used a lot of pesticides, including the now-banned DDT. This left a barren desert landscape of contaminated salt and sand which Can be whipped up by winds creating toxic dust storms. And scientists have traced these contaminants to the blood and breast milk of those living in the area. Despite the massive scale of this ecological disaster, there has been some recent progress. A dam completed in 2005 has managed to raise the level of the North Aral Sea by over three meters in the first seven months. Salinity has dropped, and fish stocks have improved as a result! The Skeleton Coast of Namibia was initially named for the sight of bones from the whaling industry. Now, many associate it with the skeletons of ships and even of the unlucky sailors aboard. There are around 500 wrecks along the coast, and a big reason is the way the wind blows. Winds come from the south along the coast of the continent. But winds don’t transport water in the same direction As they blow. In the Southern hemisphere, a wind blowing towards the North transports water towards the west, away from the shoreline, due to an effect called Coriolis force. Earth is constantly spinning eastward, so things like air and water at the Earth’s surface are deflected slightly as they move. This is also why hurricanes spin counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern! Moving water away from the coast pulls up nutrient-rich cold water from deep in the ocean, a process called upwelling. These nutrients support a rich ecosystem that brings fishing ships to the area. But when warm air from the continent moves over the upwelled cold water, the moisture in the air condenses, and fog forms. As we’ve seen from a couple of these graveyards, before modern navigation, the dense fog made for a bad time. Even with modern satellites and GPS, these conditions are challenging. A Japanese fishing ship ran aground in


Clip video in engleza despre asta, numit : Ce dezvăluie știința despre Cimitirele de epave

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