There are more than just shipwrecks on the sea floor. Surveyors find:
- lobster pots
- oyster beds
- underwater sand dunes
Not all shipwrecks on the sea floor are from accidents. Sometimes, an old ship is sunk to create a new coral reef, where fish and other sea life can live. There are even old trains, tanks, and cars underwater!
What Do Sonar Echoes Look Like?
Scientists use computer-mapping software to turn sonar echoes or soundings into rainbow-colored maps and 3-D models.
On the right is a multibeam rainbow image of a sonar. Place your mouse over the picture to compare the differences between a multibeam and a side scan sonar image. What do you see?
Did you know?
Scientists use sonar machines that don't need to be connected to a ship or boat. They are called AUVs for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles. Scientists can tell these machines where to go underwater. The AUV will go to the sea floor, get information, and bring it back to the scientists!
For more information on AUVs and how NOAA uses them for research, click here:http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/