Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Submarine Navigation Chart Updated, Yet?

How many U.S. submarines (not to mention those of other nations) have admittedly struck a few of the roughly 30,000 discovered seamounts? Those wondering may browse the bottom half of the preceeding link for a hint of frequency.

Remember the January 8, 2005, submarine tragedy? U.S. nuclear sub runs aground in Pacific 20 crew members injured (Machinist Mate 2nd Class Joseph Allen Ashley was reported dead the following day as a result of severe head injuries).

Much news coverage and more contoversy ensued in submarine blogs over the next year.

Submerged subs must always expect the unexpected. The sea floor is in a perpetual state of unseen flux, sometimes dramatic:

04/08/2008 - Iceland Review - Giant Underwater Volcano Discovered -
... a team of scientists recently discovered a more than 50-square-kilometer volcano off Reykjanes peninsula, southwest Iceland, and expect it to erupt at any time. ... the volcano is at a depth of 1,500 meters. The volcano’s discovery is considered significant because geographers believed it couldn’t exist in that area. 'Such large volcanoes are not located on oceanic ridges. They are always drifting apart and that prevents a volcano from being created. This is why the volcano’s existence came as a surprise,' Höskuldsson said.

How many seamounts, indeed. Submarines hope to steer clear of charted obstacles. Accurate navigation, and updated charts are fundamental for uneventful, underwater travel, when you cannot see where you are going.

Play with sound turned up high...

Submarines are always silent and strange.



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