Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shipwrecks: Sulfur haunts the ghost wreck

Date:
March 5, 2014
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Sulfur and iron accumulation has once again been found in wood samples from old shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea. This time the samples are from the merchant vessel Ghost wreck and the warships Sword and the Crown. Wood samples from the ships have been analyzed by a group of scientists.

Sulfur and iron accumulation has once again been found in wood samples from old shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Gothenburg

Sulphur and iron accumulation has once again been found in wood samples from old shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea. This time the samples are from the merchant vessel Ghost wreck and the warships Sword and the Crown. Wood samples from the ships have been analysed by a group of scientists from the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University and University of Calgary. The results are published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports.

Scientists from the same team have previously reported large amounts of sulphur and iron accumulation in the warship Vasa. In that study, the scientists found an outbreak of acidity and sulphate salts on the surface of the hull and other wooden objects.

'This is the result of biological and chemical processes that occur naturally in low-oxygen waters and in sediments,' says Yvonne Fors from the Department of Conservation at the University of Gothenburg and one of the scientists behind the article.

However, even if sulphur and iron accumulation is commonly occurring in old waterlogged wooden shipwrecks, it can cause problems for future preservation of the ships in a museum environment.

Ships of high archaeological value

The Ghost wreck was found by coincidence in the Baltic Sea in 2003. The Dutch merchant vessel from the 1600s was discovered by a private diving company in connection with a search for the DC3 that vanished in the area in the 1950's. The Ghost wreck has turned out to be of great archaeological importance, and there are far-reaching plans to recover, and conserve the ship. If the samples analysed thus far are representative of the entire hull, the ship may not have to face the same problems as the Vasa.

'The iron amounts in the wood seem to be comparatively low, and the potentially most aggressive sulphur compounds don't seem to occur in any significant levels. But we can't be more certain until we've done some more analyses. The more we know about the chemical composition of the wood, the better the conservation efforts can be prepared,' says Fors.

More ships will probably be recovered

The royal warship Crown may eventually be recovered.

'We have analysed samples from the Crown during a few years and have now also had the opportunity to analyse samples from the warship Sword, which was wrecked in the same battle in 1676,' says Fors.

The Crown displays potentially more aggressive sulphur compounds and higher iron concentrations than the Ghost wreck. Of the three studied ships, the highest levels of both sulphur and iron were found in wood samples from the Sword.

Similar accumulation has previously been analysed in wood samples from the Vasa, Riksnyckeln, Götavraket, Stora Sofia, the British Mary Rose, the Australian Batavia and the Viking ships of Skuldelev.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. The original article was written by Carina Eliasson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yvonne Fors, Håkan Grudd, Anders Rindby, Farideh Jalilehvand, Magnus Sandström, Ingemar Cato, Lennart Bornmalm. Sulfur and iron accumulation in three marine-archaeological shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea: The Ghost, the Crown and the Sword. Scientific Reports, 2014; 4 DOI: 10.1038/srep04222

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Shipwrecks: Sulfur haunts the ghost wreck." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305084757.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2014, March 5). Shipwrecks: Sulfur haunts the ghost wreck. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305084757.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Shipwrecks: Sulfur haunts the ghost wreck." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305084757.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) — As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

AP (July 18, 2014) — Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Speaking at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Aldrin described what he was thinking right before the historic walk. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins