Developing salvage visualisation methods to impact maritime heritage

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Using case studies such as the MV Rena, this paper explores the adaptation of 3D visualisation methods developed for maritime salvage for use on underwater heritage and conservation sites.
The MV Rena container ship ran aground on Astrolabe reef in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, in October 2011, resulting in the worst maritime oil spill in the country’s history. The ship split in two in January 2012 causing further oil leakage and debris to be spread across the reef. The clean-up operation was aided by a number of 3D visualisations created from multiple sonar surveys in 2012, 2014 and 2015, to show how the wreck was moving and breaking up during salvage.
Initially the visualisations were created to assist risk assessment and planning for the salvage teams. However, the 3D images are now being used by local conservation groups to highlight their ongoing work and also to offer guidance to visiting divers once the site reopens in 2016.
Methods developed for these visualisations are now being adapted for use on maritime heritage sites such as the remains of the German WWI High Seas fleet, scuttled at Scapa Flow Orkney, UK, and also the historic wrecks from the WWII Battle of the Atlantic off the East Coast of the USA. As these and other similar sites are ‘open’ to visitors from the diving community, the problems of monitoring and in-situ conservation are impacted. We ask the question: how can we improve our visualisation methods to help maximise positive impact?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2016
EventSixth International Congress for Underwater Archaeology: Shared Heritage - Western Australian Maritime Museum , Fremantle, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 20162 Dec 2016
Conference number: 6


ConferenceSixth International Congress for Underwater Archaeology
Abbreviated titleIKUWA6
Internet address


  • 3D Visualisation
  • shipwreck
  • Heritage
  • SImulation
  • Aesthetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing salvage visualisation methods to impact maritime heritage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this