Hypothetical deterioration of Titanic wreck


Bob_Read

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This is a hypothetical question about the deterioration of the Titanic wreck. We see great deterioration of the Titanic wreck where it now lies. What would be the difference in the state of deterioration of the wreck if all the individual pieces of the wreck were magically transported to a green pasture in England in 1912 and was never touched again? Would the deterioration be greater because of being exposed to the surface elements where there is greater opportunity for oxidation of the steel (rust) and thus possibly more collapse?
 

Tim Aldrich

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You pose an interesting question Mr. Read. Does your hypothetical situation suppose the wreck has been in a field from the start or has the wreck been transported to a field after having been on the ocean floor for all of these years?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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This is a hypothetical question about the deterioration of the Titanic wreck. We see great deterioration of the Titanic wreck where it now lies. What would be the difference in the state of deterioration of the wreck if all the individual pieces of the wreck were magically transported to a green pasture in England in 1912 and was never touched again? Would the deterioration be greater because of being exposed to the surface elements where there is greater opportunity for oxidation of the steel (rust) and thus possibly more collapse?
A green pasture especially away from the salt air of the coast? I doubt it would be anywhere near the damage as she has undergone on the sea bed. But if she was never touched again you probably couldnt see her...would probably look like a hedge row with all the flora and fauna covering her. When my power plant closed down I was there for another 6 years on the maintenace team in case they ever re-started her. It was amazing how fast nature took over. I took pictures the entire time. Plants growing everywhere and the wildlife moved back in and made it a home.
 

Bob_Read

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Ok let me clarify and modify the scenario. Forget the green pasture. I don’t want plant growth to be a factor. Let’s say that when the wreck hit the ocean floor in 1912, every piece of the wreck was magically transported to the Thompson dry dock where it remained untouched by human intervention until today. The effects I am trying to hypothetically isolate are surface climate effects in a temperate climate like say Belfast. No arctic or desert climate. How would the effects of sun, wind, rain, heat, cold, etc. over 100+ years compare to the deteriorating effects of the ocean floor where she now lies? Would the surface conditions be more detrimental to the wreck?
 
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Alex Clark

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My garden is reclaimed by nature like a lost Aztec city every time I go to sea. Chopping away at the growth is rather reminiscent of combatting a large cephalopod.
 
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TimTurner

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Much better condition. The sea is not an ideal preservation environment. In a drydock, she'll still be exposed to salt air and water spray and rain. It would certainly be badly rusted. On the other hand, the rusticle-forming bacteria would not be eating her at an exponential rate. She would probably be much more structurally sound. It probably wouldn't be safe to walk around it, but you could likely hazard it. Without the steel-weekening bacteria, less of the structure would be collapsing in on itself, so more rooms would be accessible.

Much of the organic components - wood etc would probably be there, although not in great condition.
 

Tim Aldrich

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Ok let me clarify and modify the scenario. Forget the green pasture. I don’t want plant growth to be a factor. Let’s say that when the wreck hit the ocean floor in 1912, every piece of the wreck was magically transported to the Thompson dry dock where it remained untouched by human intervention until today. The effects I am trying to hypothetically isolate are surface climate effects in a temperate climate like say Belfast. No arctic or desert climate. How would the effects of sun, wind, rain, heat, cold, etc. over 100+ years compare to the deteriorating effects of the ocean floor where she now lies? Would the surface conditions be more detrimental to the wreck?
Apologies for the late reply Mr. Read. I think looking at the SS United States would provide a fairly good clue as to what would happen. Paint would eventually flake off, the bare steel would corrode but I don't think the ship (Titanic that is) would be nearly as bad as it is now.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Ok let me clarify and modify the scenario. Forget the green pasture. I don’t want plant growth to be a factor. Let’s say that when the wreck hit the ocean floor in 1912, every piece of the wreck was magically transported to the Thompson dry dock where it remained untouched by human intervention until today. The effects I am trying to hypothetically isolate are surface climate effects in a temperate climate like say Belfast. No arctic or desert climate. How would the effects of sun, wind, rain, heat, cold, etc. over 100+ years compare to the deteriorating effects of the ocean floor where she now lies? Would the surface conditions be more detrimental to the wreck?
well, it'd probably rust faster, but deteriorate slower. When the Olympic was laid up, people were allowed to to tour inside her for a week or so. People noted how rust was forming and visible on the white superstructure. I would say she'd be about the same condition as the SS United States is, as Tim said as well. Maybe being built as a Belfast ship, and being in a drydock, they would most likely take care of her. They could turn the bow into a museum, fix it up. Melt the stern down, and rebuild the second half. Would probably cost double of what it cost to build Titanic, but it would give the Belfast men, a ton of them, more work. Instead of melting the Stern, they could reattach it, and strengthen a new piece of keel to stand in for the Double Bottom. Is that possible? Then, they could scrap the imploded and pancaked decks. But they would have to add in new wiring. Maybe Harland and Wolffe could pay for this by giving the money, luggage, and jewlery back. Anyway, cool idea. I overthinked it way too much
 
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