Hi, I’m Amelia Astley, a PhD student at the University of Southampton. Although my office is within the National Oceanography Centre my PhD focuses on the dynamics of shipwreck sites, specifically looking at the effects of varying marine environments on the evolution of wreck sites.
Presently I am focusing on the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery, a WW2 liberty ship, which wrecked after becoming stranded on a sandbank off the Sheerness. The hull still contains some 3,000 tonnes of ammunitions; maritime archaeologists are therefore concerned with the stability of this ship. Since 1995 the wreck has undergone near annual multibeam bathymetry surveying, this has provided an exceptional time-series of the changes in the seabed height.
As well as using this field data to describe the site, I am also drawing on my oceanographic background in order to account for the site stability observed in the bathymetry time-series. This includes measurements of the local tidal and wave-induced currents.
As part of the MOOC, I shall be introducing the concepts of geophysical surveying and describing a few case studies, including the Richard Montgomery.
I you would like to follow my future research you can follow me on twitter @Amelia_Astley.