The Scapa 100 Project

Research output: Other contribution


‘The Scapa 100 Project’ commemorated the centenary of the final military act of WWl – the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow, Orkney, on the 21 June 1919.

Rowland’s research for Scapa 100 developed new interactive 3D images that revealed the state of the shipwrecks after 100 years on the seabed: the production of 3D images revealed unprecedented levels of detail.

The project’s key methodology involved investigating existing methods for effective underwater data capture using Structure from Motion (SfM), deploying over 300,000 lumens of light close to features on the wrecks without disturbing the surrounding environment. Rowland also developed new methods for combining the SfM data (providing fine detail with colour), with multi-beam sonar (providing overall scale of the wreck), thus producing 3D images which combine and utilise the advantages of both techniques.

The work was exhibited though a series of events during June 2019, including demonstrations of the 3D shipwreck data in virtual reality. The Scapa 100 timeline was installed at Stromness Museum (2019-20), showing a history of Scapa Flow as a naval base from pre-WWI naval arms race, the scuttling of the German Fleet, salvage of the wrecks in the 1970s, to the current recreational diving industry. The exhibition’s timeline uses augmented reality with 3D images and animations of the wrecks and artefacts.

Rowland disseminated the project further through a series of public events culminating in the laying of wreaths on the wreck of SMS Dresden. Papers were presented at Oztek (Sydney 2019), Eurotek (Birmingham 2019), Shipwreck Conference (Plymouth 2020), and the resulting 3D images have been published in diving journals and a commemorative publication of Dive Scapa Flowby Rod Macdonald. The research was supported by Orkney Islands Council, Royal British Legion, Historic Environments Scotland and Newcastle University.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti Component Output
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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