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Projet SOS Epaves - Save Our Shipwrecks
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Depuis mai 2019, le LAPA est porteur d’une ANR « SOS – Save Our Shipwrecks » alliant la biocorrosion et le patrimoine sous-marin, comme les épaves métalliques sous-marines du second conflit mondial. « SOS » d’une durée de 4 ans,  vise à comprendre les mécanismes de dégradation des épaves et de manière ultime à mettre en place et tester la pertinence de traitements de protection cathodique pour préserver ce patrimoine historique enfoui. Ce projet fait appel à différents domaines : corrosion métallique, patrimoine historique et culturel, protection de ce patrimoine, biodiversité, protection cathodique. Ces différents domaines sont couverts par le choix d’un consortium multidisciplinaire.




This project combines fundamental research (corrosion mechanisms, microorganisms/inorganic materials interactions) and industrial application (cathodic protection of immersed metal structures). The consortium will rely on a scientific strategy based both on field resources (measuring tool, diagnosis and in situ protection of wrecks, 3D photogrammetry) and laboratory equipment at the forefront of technology.

In SOS, very different fields are concerned: cultural heritage, corrosion of iron and its protection, microbiology, solution chemistry, organic-pollutants interactions. A multidisciplinary scientific consortium (LAPA, IPREM, A-CORROS, DRASSM) was formed:

  • LAPA is the coordinator of SOS. LAPA will be in charge of researching corrosion mechanisms based on a description of the properties of corrosion layers using a multi-scale spectroscopic approach to characterize solid/solution interfaces, both of properties of corrosion products and bacterial biofilms.
  • IPREM from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour is the partner specialized in the study of environmental biodiversity, interactions between microorganisms and materials, speciation of metal ions in solution.
  • DRASSM (Département de Recherches Archéologiques Subaquatiques et Sous-Marines), an archaeological service with national competence from the Ministry of Culture and Communication, is the partner in charge of supervising all the work done on the wrecks, to put in place communication tools and manage links with databases. The scientific vessel André Malraux of DRASSM, specifically designed to conduct archaeological field operations, will operate on the selected sites as part of this project.
  • A-CORROS company, the private company partner of this consortium , is the specialized partner in on-site diagnostics and sampling, corrosion expertise and implementation of cathodic protection.


Communication to different communities

The consortium will introduce a participatory approach to sensitize the general public so that it becomes the own actor of its heritage. A sheet of conservation/state of the wreck will be elaborated and disseminated to local actors (tourists, fishermen, divers). All along the project, the objectives and the effect of the treatment of the shipwrecks will be explained through conferences and exhibitions for the general public and for the local actors (tourists, fishermen, divers, elected officials).

Actions since the beginning of the project:

A first sampling mission on the wreck of the HMS Daffodil was carried out from 27 to 30 May 2019.  Samples were collected from different parts of the wreck and are actually under characterization: sheets, sediments, concretions, water. Nature of the corrosion layers, of metals retained by the sediments and biodiversity are the researched information.

To date, SOS has given rise to various reports and articles for all audiences:

  •  JT TF1 20h du 3 juin 2019, rapportant l’objectif de la mission sur le HMS Daffodil, dans le cadre du 75ème anniversaire du Débarquement
  •  Article à l’occasion des 4èmes journées nationales de l’archéologie du 14 au 16 juin 2019 (Dieppe) « Un film en vision 360° sur l’épave du Daffodil à découvrir à Dieppe »
  •  Article posté sur les réseaux sociaux (Facebook et LinkedIn du 25 juin 2019) sur la mission sur le HMS Daffodil de mai 2019
  • Article "SOS Epaves en détresse" dans Les Défis du CEA n°238 (juinjuillet 2019)
#3154 - Last update : 06/11 2020


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