Flooding of the Grand Staircase and Dining Room


Mar 17, 2006
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So I've been doing some thinking recently and examining pieces of evidence that I've gathered from various sources on the Internet (this board included) and kind of came to my own theory on how the Grand Staircase and the Dining Room ended up to be the way they are today.

First I will present the evidence:
1. The fact the Grand Staircase is destroyed with even the iron balustrades gone.
2. The D deck foundation being intact with pieces of the dome lying there too.
3. The fact both the port and starboard doorways into the Dining Room are gone as pointed out by Parks Stephenson on his site.
4. The fact at least two of the door grills from said doorways were found in the debris field, one bent and the other in perfect condition and even recovered.
5. The pile of 9 or so Grand Staircase balustrades photographed in the debris field in 1986.
6. The dining room window found in the debris field.
7. The layout of the grand staircase and the dining room as per the deck plan on this site.

As evidence no. 1 shows us, something must have destroyed the Grand Staircase on Boat, A, B and C decks but leaving the D deck foundation intact (as per evidence no. 2).
Evidence no. 2 also points us that whatever caused this destruction must have come from upwards down and went no further than D deck (as well as decreased severely on D deck).
Evidence no. 3 to no. 5 points in my opinion that the same factor must have affected the Dining Room too and pushed the objects here relevant (stairs, balustrades and door grills) all the way to the break-up section.
Evidence no. 6 serves as a reinforcement to this.

Now we've determined the force came from upwards down the Grand Staircase, smashing about anything in the process (starting from the dome) but changing direction once reaching D deck to instead go towards the stern but retaining enough force to completely rip off the doorways on the entrance of the Dining Room.

Now the hard thing is to explain how the things were later ejected from the ship. They were to me obviously ejected during the break-up but now it's unknown to me whether any part of the Dining Room was affected at all by the break-up. If a part was, then it's easy - the objects in question were pushed as far as the aft end of the Dining Room only to be ejected as that part broke during the break-up and land in the debris field.
However if the entire Dining Room still lies perfectly intact on the bottom today, then that makes explaining all of it more difficult.

However, there might be an alternate explanation, in case the Dining Room was not affected by the break-up. In this alternate explanation, the change of the direction of the force (most likely a very forceful water inrush) that destroyed the staircase changed direction on C deck rather than D deck, while the door grills somehow floated up (buoyancy of the wood they were attached to?) to C deck too, and were transported by the force all the way to the break-up area where they were then ejected from the ship.
This explanation has a problem, namely how would metal door grills float up on the water.

So my attempt at exampling what happened is kind of limited both ways. However, if the dining room was affected by the break-up, then the explanation might work.

However, I would very much welcome any input from the experts of this board whom I'd say know the subject much better than I do and will no doubt find a lot of fallacies in my theory which I'd greatly appreciate if they were pointed out.
 
Mar 17, 2006
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And it seems I forgot to make a small edit. Change evidence 3 to 5 to become evidence 3 to 6. And change the evidence 6 serving as a reinforcement to evidence 7.

Fact is, I had only just stumpled opon a photo of the dining room window in the debris field on Google Images as I was writing the post.
 

Kevin Tischer

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Dec 24, 2011
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Perhaps the doors got pushed out of the back of the bow in the slip stream on the way to the bottom? After the break there would've been only that back wall of the dining room left and it very well could've been punched out by the slip stream or weakened from the break and collapsed.

Another theory could be that when Titanic slammed into the ocean floor the water trailing behind it down blasted through the grand staircases hole and through the reception area and dining saloon taking those doors with it.

I'm no scientist but those are my conclusions.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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>>2. The D deck foundation being intact with pieces of the dome lying there too.<<

According to one of the members of the 2005 Cameron expedition, there are no remains of the dome on D Deck. All what is there are remains of the iron work of the staircase.

>>5. The pile of 9 or so Grand Staircase balustrades photographed in the debris field<<

It is not sure if they belonged to the forward or the aft staircase.

>>4. The fact at least two of the door grills from said doorways were found in the debris field, one bent and the other in perfect condition and even recovered.<<

Similar doors were at the aft end of the dining room, leading to the kitchen which is now missing (reason below)

>>6. The dining room window found in the debris field.<<

The aft end of the dining room (roughly 1/3) is directly at the break area.
 
Mar 17, 2006
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>>According to one of the members of the 2005 Cameron expedition, there are no remains of the dome on D Deck. All what is there are remains of the iron work of the staircase.<<
Here:


It's mentioned that not only dome remains were found on D deck but that James Cameron even specifically pointed out the dome remains among the wreckage on D deck.

>>It is not sure if they belonged to the forward or the aft staircase.<<
Indeed. What's intriguing is though, that no-one has been ever able to find those balustrades again after that. And no-one has even been able to recover any of them.

>>Similar doors were at the aft end of the dining room, leading to the kitchen which is now missing (reason below)<<
Hmmm... I didn't know about that. Thanks for the information.

>>The aft end of the dining room (roughly 1/3) is directly at the break area.<<
Thank you very much for this information. Then then aft end of the dining room was affected by the break-up, just like I thought. Then the doors being pushed back and ejected during the break-up along with possibly bits of the staircase and the aft kitchen doors, is plausible.

To me it seems water had just flooded D deck when some of it had somehow rushed from upwards down the staircase, smashing all the stairs in the way except for those on D deck which had sufficient water pressure below them pushing upwards the the pressure differential wasn't enough to smash them, instead causing the down-flooding water to deviate towards the dining room, most likely smashing through the doors that were the first stop from the staircase to the dining room.

>>Another theory could be that when Titanic slammed into the ocean floor the water trailing behind it down blasted through the grand staircases hole and through the reception area and dining saloon taking those doors with it.<<
That's not really likely as when the Titanic hit the bottom, the bow was pretty much flooded solid with water. Had it not been, it'd have ended up in pretty much in the same shape the stern ended up in. Instead, the bow is pretty much intact.

>>Perhaps the doors got pushed out of the back of the bow in the slip stream on the way to the bottom? After the break there would've been only that back wall of the dining room left and it very well could've been punched out by the slip stream or weakened from the break and collapsed.<<
Well the doors were pushed out of the back of the bow according to my theory too, except my theory places the pushing during the break-up proper, explaining why they ended up in the debris field rather than just behind the bow (at least if I understood their location right).

And as Ioannis here pointed out, the aft end of the dining room was affected by the break-up so the aft wall of the dining room wouldn't even have been there, leaving open room for the doors to get out of the bow.

The problem with my theory is, how on Earth would there have been such a forceful downflow of water down the grand staircase while water from below had only flooded D deck.
A possible explanation would be the force of the flow increasing starting when C deck was flooded, being then enough to smash those doors but not enough to smash the stairs, and getting worse for each further deck flooded, with the force of the B deck flooding being enough to smash the stairs already.

I'll be doing some more thinking and reading any further input from you guys and any other expect that decides to post a reply in here.
 
You should take into account that there was water already flooding the forward C deck first class cabins by 1.55 am when boat nº4 was being launched. The collapse of the dome must have happened around 2.17 am, so I would say that when the collapse of the dome ocurred, water would have already flooded the C deck foyer and was beginning to flood the B deck Staircase area.
 
Mar 17, 2006
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>>You should take into account that there was water already flooding the forward C deck first class cabins by 1.55 am when boat nº4 was being launched. The collapse of the dome must have happened around 2.17 am, so I would say that when the collapse of the dome ocurred, water would have already flooded the C deck foyer and was beginning to flood the B deck Staircase area.<<
In that case, the relevant D deck area was already flooded solid by that time which makes it much harder to explain what we see on the bottom.
One explanation could be the D deck flooding having been more violent than then gentle flooding we see in Cameron's movie, at least violent enough to smash that doorway and send the grilled doors to the aft end of the dining room.

So maybe another explanation could be done here for those doors. If the break-up was violent enough, it might have caused enough movement up to a certain radius to shatter doorways in the process. That however would fail to explain why the exact same grilled doors in the reception room entrance remained in place.

Basically if I get it right we have 10 to 12 (depending on whether the kitchen doors were double or single) such grilled doors:
- doors 1-2 and 3-4 would be the one on the entrance to the reception roomn, and still in place;
- doors 5-6 and 7-8 would be the doors on the doorway to the dining room from reception room/grand staircase, and gone;
- doors 9 and 10 (or 9-10 and 11-12 if the kitchen doors were double) were the kitchen doors, and obviously gone as that area broke apart.

So counting the grills, we have a total of 10 to 12 grills, out of which 6 to 8 are no longer in the place they originally were. Out of these, 2 are known about. One is in the debris field, where the other was too but recovered while the first one is bent and thus impossible to recover.
Now while 2 to 4 of those grills were obviously torn and ejected by the break-up, the fates of the other 4 grills (of the entrance doorways) are less known.
We're not sure if the 2 grills identified are from the kitchen entrances or from the dining room entrance doorways.

However, we have a similar problem with the forward grand staircase where it seems none of it from C deck upwards still exists, even in pieces (except for balustrades if any of the photographed balustrades in that pile were from the forward staircase).
Which is why I'm presuming here that the staircase and those grilled doors shared a common fate.

It seems to be both were pushed aft and subsequently ejected during the break-up, the problem is how were they pushed aft and when.
For the staircase, we know the parts of the staircase that were pushed aft were pushed before the dome collapsed as at least part of the dome framework rests on top of the D deck foundation.

Problem is, just what caused the smashing of the stairs and their pushing aft? And what caused the smashing of those grilled doors in the doorways and their pushing aft?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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According to one of the members of the 2005 Cameron expedition, there are no remains of the dome on D Deck. All what is there are remains of the iron work of the staircase. Here It's mentioned that not only dome remains were found on D deck but that James Cameron even specifically pointed out the dome remains among the wreckage on D deck.

I would be very careful to use something which was mentioned in a life show as a fact. Cameron said that he things it looks like the remains of the dome. He did not said that it really were there!
Ken Marschall later report it is only the steel foundation of the staircase.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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>>One explanation could be the D deck flooding having been more violent than then gentle flooding we see in Cameron's movie, at least violent enough to smash that doorway and send the grilled doors to the aft end of the dining room.<<

The condition of the D Deck in the wreck show the contrary.
 
Mar 17, 2006
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>>I would be very careful to use something which was mentioned in a life show as a fact. Cameron said that he things it looks like the remains of the dome. He did not said that it really were there!
Ken Marschall later report it is only the steel foundation of the staircase.<<
From how I understand it, there's fragments of either the dome or the dome cover on top of the steel foundation of the staircase. I might be wrong though.

>>The condition of the D Deck in the wreck show the contrary.<<
Yeah, I know, which is why I'm puzzled that those doorways were smashed.
 

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