Sound of the impact


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Stephen Stanger

Guest
Would it be logical to say that anyone who had their ears either under or near the water, would they have heard any of the sound that the ship mad when it hit the bottom?
 
Apr 22, 2012
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I seriously doubt that, although I could be wrong. The wreck lies in 12,500 feet of water, which makes it around 2.5 miles deep. While there was no doubt a tremendous force when the hull hit the bottom, combine the distance with the overwhelming cries for help on the surface. This leads me to think that it is very unlikely that the actual impact was heard by anyone on the surface.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
If it were to happen today, the sophisticated passive sonar systems on the worlds most advance submarines might be able to pick it up, although this could be a dicey proposition given what the different temperature layers can do to sound waves traveling through water. However, this wasn't the case in 1912. Hydrophones were in use, (For the submarine signalling system) but they were extremely primitive. I don't think that people using nothing more then their ears could have heard the sound of the impact with the bottom.
 
Jan 29, 2005
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That is an interesting question. My wholly unqualified opinion is no, the sound would not have travelled to the surface.

However, this thread posed similar questions:

Would people underwater have heard the Lusitania or Britannic when they hit the bottom?

The water would have been warmer (especially for the Britannic) and obviously much shallower. I think the variable here is that both ships hit bottom before fully sinking, I am not sure how that would affect the answer.
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
On a very tangetially related note, I remember seeing a paper a while back in which the author was looking a seismic data to try to draw conclusions about the cause of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I think it was someone's thesis. The data was supposedly there for the collision of the Fitz with the bottom, but I don't remember what conclusion about cause of sinking he drew.

Yeah, I know, sorry, the brain draws interesting parallels at times....

Wayne
 
Jan 2, 2008
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Impact with the bottom would not have been heard but some people did say they heard muffled booms just AFTER the stern slipped under... I'd like to hear opinions on what those booms might have been. My FIRST ever post here by the way, but have read through posts before. I have to say if i've ever needed to know something about Titanic that I didn't already, I look here. You guys (and Girls!) are great!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I'd like to hear opinions on what those booms might have been.<<

In all likelihood, what they heard was the end of the breakup along with any air filled compartments imploding under the water pressure as the ship sank.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Mark. The large fresh water tanks on the sides of electric dynamo compartment are certainly candidates if they were mostly empty. Another set of candidates would be the the two large condensers in the turbine room. Their internal pressure was kept close to a vacuum by the air pumps during the operation of the steam plant. Does anyone know if there is any evidence on the bottom as to state of these condensers?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Does anyone know if there is any evidence on the bottom as to state of these condensers?<<

It might help if there were a few raw photos of the engines and what's around them today. I have to admit I never thought about the condensers since these things were made extremely tough. They had to be. However, if the pipes leading to them were not compromised and these heavy castings were to implode, I would think the event would be...interesting! (Chinese style!)
 

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