Sonar to give best view yet of Civil War shipwreck

Sep 11, 2012 by Michael Graczyk

(AP)—Researchers are using new 3-D sonar imaging technology to capture the most complete picture yet of what remains of the only U.S. Navy ship sunk in combat the Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War.

A U.S. government-led team of archaeologists and technicians was scanning the wreckage of the USS Hatteras on Monday and Tuesday. The wreckage about 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the Galveston, Texas, coast has gone largely unnoticed since its discovery in the 1970s.

Researchers hope to post the 3-D images of the wreck online by the 150th anniversary of the January 1863 battle in which a Confederate raiding ship sunk the Hatteras.

Unlike photos and video, sonar is immune to the poor visibility caused by currents kicking up sand and silt.

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