National Marine Sanctuaries - Exploration

USS Alligator
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Reports & Analysis

1. This 2002 report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Bruce Terrell and Jeremy Weirich was our program's first assessment of the historical documentation of the USS Alligator's loss. This report provides insight into the complexity of the Alligator hunt from historical and environmental contexts. Click here to read the report's first page and a link to the complete document in pdf format.


2. This report, produced by the Naval Academy's Midshipman Colleen Maloney, USN, examines the bathymetry, geology, and sedimentation in the area of the Alligator's loss. This area is characterized by a narrow continental shelf and a complex pattern of canyons, ridges, and slides. The sediments deposited on the seafloor are mainly silty clay and clayey silt. Click here to download the entire report in pdf format. [1.1MB]

3. This report, produced by Midshipmen Boncheul Koo and Quinn Rinehart, USN, of the United States Naval Academy, discusses the likelihood of locating the Alligator through current understanding of Gulf Stream / Labrador Current interaction and analysis of the structure and survivability of the submersible. Click here to download the entire report in pdf format. [1MB]

4. This report, produced by the Naval Academy's Midshipman Jared B. Thomas, USN, examines the geology of the continental shelf in the area of the Alligator's loss.  Search plans to locate the Alligator must consider the presence of submarine landslides, that result in vast debris fields, rough bottom conditions, and entrained gas hydrates that cause acoustic anomalies. Click here to download the entire report in pdf format. [888K]


National Marine Sanctuaries - Exploration

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The United States Navy's Office of Naval Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have initiated a cooperative project to unlock the secrets of the U.S.S. Alligator.