TITANIC 100 YEARS LATER: THE ROLE OF SCRIPPS SCIENCE IN UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS DISASTER
Finding Titanic: Public Lecture April 9 at Birch Aquarium
Scripps Research Oceanographer Jules Jaffe was a member of the science team that discovered the wreckage of Titanic in 1985. Then a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Jaffe helped design the optical system that oceanographer Bob Ballard employed to find the sunken ship. Come to Birch Aquarium at Scripps at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 9, to hear Jaffe reveal special insight about Titanic's discovery and other amazing imaging systems engineered during his days as a Scripps scientist. RSVP here to the lecture, entitled "From Titanic to the Tiny."
The Forgotten Search: The Scripps Role in Narrowing Down the Location of Titanic's Final Resting Place
Before scientist Bob Ballard famously came across the wreckage of Titanic and renewed the world's fascination with its tragic sinking, other expeditions took place. The first was in 1981 when millionaire adventurer Jack Grimm enlisted Scripps oceanographer Fred Spiess, a famed developer of research instruments and vehicles, to look for the lost ship. The voyage did not yield a find but eliminated a vast swath of ocean from consideration and made Ballard's job considerably easier. Now, more than 30 years later, members of that expedition have shared photos from the cruise that have earned a place in international Titanic commemorative exhibits. View a gallery of personal photos taken by Mark Olsson, a member of the 1981 cruise who went on to become an adventurer in his own right and a key contributor to the film Titanic.
Seeking the Climate of the Titanic Disaster Region
In June, Scripps Professor of Paleobiology Richard Norris will lead an Integrated Ocean Drilling Program expedition near the area where Titanic sunk to investigate climate phenomena that may have played a central role in the disaster. Today, icebergs like the one that sank the Titanic come from the Greenland ice sheet and are carried south by cold currents along the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The goal of the expedition is to determine when Greenland became ice-covered, or "glaciated" and how long the currents that delivered ice into the path of Titanic have existed. According to Norris, Titanic collided with a giant iceberg because ice drifting south along Newfoundland tends to be blocked by the Gulf Stream, causing massive chunks to cluster to the north, particularly in April, when iceberg density peaks. "The Titanic was sailing north of the Gulf Stream to make maximum speed," said Norris. "If it had sailed in the Gulf Stream, the oncoming current would have slowed it down. We think the same oceanographic processes that cause ice to 'pool' over the Newfoundland Ridges have operated for a long time."
Deep Sea Exploration at Scripps
Exploring the deep sea and investigating its many mysteries is an emerging area at Scripps. With its decades-long history of deep-sea exploration, Scripps is recognized as a world leader in investigating the science of the deep ocean, from exploring the deep's geological features, researching its exotic marine life inhabitants, to development of sensor and sampling technologies. Scripps is contributing scientific expertise to several initiatives attempting to reach the ocean's deepest point as well as leading recent investigations that have uncovered new aspects of the deep sea frontier and exposing the threats against this largely unexplored environment.