The area known as “Shipwreck Alley” in Lake Huron is the graveyard of over 200 vessels, of which not even 100 have been located! Researchers are turning to photogrammetry and 3D modeling tools to create facsimiles of the ships as they are on the lake floor, using images taken from “pre-planned paths around the shipwreck” capturing images with 60% overlap. Sketchfab have a fun write-up on the subject including some fun interactive embedded 3D models using their online viewer!
Located in northwestern Lake Huron, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is adjacent to one of the most treacherous shipping lanes within the Great Lakes system. Unpredictable weather, murky fog banks, sudden gales, and rocky shoals earned the area the name “Shipwreck Alley.” Today, a 4,300-square-mile National Marine Sanctuary protects one of America’s best-preserved and nationally-significant collections of shipwrecks. Fire, ice, collisions, and storms have claimed over 200 vessels in and around Thunder Bay. To date, nearly 100 shipwrecks have been discovered within the sanctuary. Although the sheer number of shipwrecks is impressive, it is the range of vessel types located in the sanctuary that makes the collection so significant. From an 1838 side-wheel steamer to a modern 500-foot-long German ocean-going freighter, the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay represent the microcosm of maritime commerce across the Great Lakes.