Federal Researchers Use Sonar Technology to Map Civil War, World War II Shipwrecks

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NORFOLK (AP).- World War II shipwrecks off North Carolina and Civil War shipwrecks in Virginia are being analyzed with sonar technology so sophisticated that the public could one day view near photographic images in detail even better than diving at some of the sites could provide. Federal researchers are using sonars to gather data that will result in vivid, three-dimensional images of the shipwrecks that will likely end up online, in museums and as part of other programs designed to promote American maritime heritage. “Not everybody dives, and so that’s why we embrace technologies like this that are cutting edge, cost effective and give you a three-dimensional sense of that ship on the bottom,” said James Delgado, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Maritime Heritage Program. “The kinds of imagery — it’s almost photographic.” Shipwrecks are often