sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : The disappearing Sandy Island - Scientist may have the answer.
The disappearing Sandy Island - Scientist may have the answer.


'Sandy Island on an old chart'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Sandy Island location - but no more -  .. .  
Where did the Coral Sea's Sandy Island go? This was the question posed by us in an article last November (see Sail-World story) when some Australian scientists aboard the RV Southern Surveyor went to where Sandy Island was meant to be and found only 1400m of water. Now, the mystery of the disappearing island may be solved.

The island, in the meantime, is having an extended obituary: The island has been removed from the latest version of the GSHHS coastline database (version 2.2.2) and from the latest satellite?derived topography (Smith and Sandwell

It will be removed in the next GEBCO release, according to the GEBCO Web site. Google Earth™ has deleted the big black polygon over Sandy Island, as well as its name. Data from the recent cruise will be made available to the National Geophysical Data Center database so that further data sets can be updated.

While the island, which was noted by Captain Cook on the Endeavour and again by the ship Velocity in 1876 more than a hundred years later, is now generally accepted to be non-existent, the mystery remained as to how the error could have started and then persisted for so many years.

Part of the answer lies in technology and the way in which digital information is translated, but the other part of the answer is more fascinating as described by the latest research.

The question which the recent study by the American Geophysical Union has tried to answer is: What actually DID the captain and crew of the Velocity observe in 1876 at the location of Sandy Island? - and what had Captain Cook observed some 100 years before? Some have suggested through online discussions that the captain observed an island that has since been eroded to wave base.

However, this is unlikely as the measured depths over Sandy Island are greater than 1400 metres and satellite imagery does not indicate shallow water over the Sandy Island region. Although the answer to what was originally observed may lie in a simple navigational and/or transcription error, one intriguing possibility is that they spotted a pumice raft.

A recent study of the 2001–2002 eruption of a volcano along the Tofua Arc off Tonga found that sea-rafted pumice associated with this eruption traveled more than 3000 kilometers westward, reaching the eastern Australia shoreline within a year after eruption.

Many cruising sailors have come across such floating pumice islands, some even reporting that their vessels skin fittings became clogged with the pumice as they came across it at night. Ships have also reported such sightings.

Pumice Island as sighted by cruising sailors -  .. .  

Pumice Island with yacht’s wake -  .. .  

For the scientists, an analysis of the pumice trajectory revealed that rafts passed within 20 kilometers of Sandy Island, approximately 200 days after the initial eruption. A study of coral migration from Tonga to the Great Barrier Reef found pumice rafts to be the mode of transportation, with a predicted path consistent with the earlier study. It is believed that wind and ocean surface currents in the area combine to funnel pumice rafts through the area between Fiji and New Caledonia on their way to Australia.

The formation of this 'pumice raft superhighway,' which passes by the location of Sandy Island, lends weight to the idea that the Velocity - and the Endeavour - may have captured a moment when some sea-rafted pumice was traversing the area.

For the full study in EOS by the American Geophysical Union, click here.


by Nancy Knudsen

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=108617

2:38 AM Sat 20 Apr 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Environment and the ocean

Related News Stories:

19 Apr 2013  Planetsolar - crossing oceans again, for science, for education.
01 Apr 2013  Planning a sail to the Antarctic any time soon? - check this out!
30 Mar 2013  Solar sailer PlanetSolar heads to sea again.
15 Mar 2013  The question of Turtles
23 Feb 2013  At 86 knots, enter the Cigarette - the world's fastest electric boat
16 Feb 2013  Windfarms to populate UK's sailing seas - the debate rages
27 Jan 2013  Rockefeller Mermaid Mission: Rescuing our seas in 2013
26 Jan 2013  Tres Hombres: slow cargo but sustainable, an early success
07 Jan 2013  DVD offers tips on keeping our seas healthy
02 Jan 2013  Farley the fin whale is staying put
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Alex Roepers doesn't like to dwell in the past. However, when prompted, the New York businessman will talk about the magical run he and the crew aboard Plenty enjoyed during the 2014 Farr 40 International Circuit. To the contrary, the thrill of victory only made Roepers and the Plenty team hungry for more. ... [more]  

Coast Guard crews continue the search Monday for Richard Byhre, the 76-year-old sailor who did not return from his sailing trip as expected. ... [more]  

The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA. Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

This year's 35th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is nothing less than an island-wide effort. Besides the sponsors, countless volunteers and the numerous local organizations that offer their excellent services, the Regatta Organizers would like to say special thanks to the hotels which are so generous to donate complimentary hotel rooms for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water and ashore for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images after the first three boats had docked. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean race, and captured these images from the final few miles of the race, and on the dock. ... [more]  

O MAPFRE conquistou de maneira emocionante a quarta etapa da Volvo Ocean Race, disputada entre a China e a Nova Zelândia. Na manhã deste sábado (28), o barco espanhol cruzou a linha de chegada em primeiro após quase 21 dias de navegação. ... [more]  

RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy
Our favourite boat show in the whole world is the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. It is like no other, with a large percentage of eight to 15-year olds, with many young siblings often dragging their parents down the aisles. Its a dull overcast day in Lonon with rain showers, but inside the heated halls of the Alexandra Palace, the fabled 'Ally Pally' , around 5,000 visitors will gaze at touch and feel ... [more]  

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) emerged victorious despite a pair of major setbacks in Leg 4 following one of the tightest-fought finishes in Volvo Ocean Race history on Saturday night. The victory gives the 2014-15 edition its fourth winner in four legs following successes for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). ... [more]  

Mapfre took the gun, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was second and Dongfeng third. Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air over Auckland for 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air as the fleet approached Auckland for the end of leg 4 for the 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

The wind has switched half turn and boats are now beating upwind to the finish, MAPFRE has held their lead and with the change in direction look quite safe. Team Alvimedica who was catching up at speed has slowed right up, caught in light winds behind Tiritiri Matangi island. With less than 10nm to go to finish and a fair 10kt wind holding, the slow patch looks to have been removed from equation ... [more]  

2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the morning of Friday 27th February none of the remaining teams had the ability to better Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. It was third time lucky for Bella Mente as the Maxi 72 has finished second overall for the past two years. ... [more]  

Catch the live coverage of the Leg 4 Finish in Auckland. Check the video timer for a countdown to the start of coverage and the expected race finish time. Sail-World is updating the on the water action and weather - which has compressed the lead four boats ... [more]  

Racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona sailor Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz passed Cape Horn (67° 17' 35 W) this morning at 2h12 UTC (3h12 am in Barcelona, 11h12 pm of the 27th of February in Chile), after 58 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes of racing since their start from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014. ... [more]  

On Sunday March 8th 2015, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will close out the final night of music with one of the most distinctive performances to date. DJ Natty Rico will be the final act to grace the regatta stage during the 'Legendary Party' following Kool and the Gang. His unique blend of saxophone playing and DJ skills will have your jaw dropping in amazement. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn beckons for second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. While the two IMOCA 60s are expected to pass at speed with around six hours of separation, in what might be considered favourable conditions for one of the most inhospitable and complicated corners of the Barcelona World Race, amidst the long hours of stress and fatigue ... [more]  

SCYA Manning Regatta – The youth-heavy event is the fourth and last stop of the Shadden Series for teenagers under 19 not yet in college and is also a move-up regatta under the advancement guidelines of the International Naples Sabot Association. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards 2015 ceremony celebrated the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) as it returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan after having moved to the west coast for the past three years. ... [more]  

Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us
CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall   
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston   
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland   
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo3 breaks record   
Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat pass Cape Horn   
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Records predicted to tumble + Video   
2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship - NOR released   
Asher Otto and Itchy Feet to open up the Caribbean Jam night   
RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America team up for sailing programs   
RORC Caribbean 600 – Record pace on Day 2   
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin   
10 tips from BoatUS for owners and renters   
Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – Notice of Race online   
2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from February 23 show   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston looking forward to his Kiwi home   
Volvo Ocean Race: Wislang expected to lead Kiwis home after fast ride   
Volvo Ocean Race – Now the race to Auckland is truly on   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT