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Ford, Farnsworth, and Colleagues Publish on Black River Bay Survey

Ben Ford (Anthropology), Katie Farnsworth (Geoscience), Glen Henson (Anthropology), and colleagues from the Great Lakes Historical Society and the College of Charleston recently published an article in the journal Inland Seas describing their multidisciplinary survey of Black River Bay, Lake Ontario.

Black River Bay Survey AreaFigure: Black River Bay Survey Area

During the winter and summer of 2012, the authors surveyed Black River Bay utilizing a combination of side-scan sonar, magnetometer, sub-bottom profiler, ground penetrating radar, and archaeologically trained divers. The goals were to investigate the possibility of War of 1812 shipwrecks and to understand the sediment patterns within the bay since it formed approximately 5000 years ago. While no shipwrecks were discovered, the multidisciplinary approach allowed the survey to be more definitive than many archaeological investigations. The geoscientific results indicated that less than one meter of soft sediment overlaid a hard substrate—not nearly enough to hide a large shipwreck. Additionally, the survey produced valuable information on the bay’s sediment patterns, which will be published in a separate journal article.

This research was supported by National Geographic Society/Waitt Foundation Grants Program, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Great Lakes Historical Society, College of Charleston, Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, and Institute of Nautical Archaeology.

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