Historical Shipwrecks off the Brazilian Coast: Digital Atlas Project

Monday, July 3
2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Exhibit Hall C

Brazil has a coastline approximately 8,500 km long where thousands of shipwrecks arising from accidents or naval battles occurred over time. These facts are part of the tragic Brazilian maritime history, and the ships - which now lie on the seabed - are considered members of the Underwater Cultural Heritage of Brazil.
Concerned about the protection of underwater cultural heritage, the Brazilian Navy developed a project for constructing a digital atlas related to the historical shipwrecks off the Brazilian coast, which main purpose was to create a mechanism using cartographic communication to help reveal the location (although estimated) of heritage sites in order to better plan the Navy's surveillance action. The methodology of the project comprised three stages:
The first stage consists of researching information on each shipwreck occurrence, which is carried out at the Underwater Archaeology Division of the Directorate of Historical Heritage and Marine Documentation (DPHDM) by History and Archaeology professionals who research and enter the obtained information into a standard sheet file. Each sheet refers to a coastal area of a specific Naval District jurisdiction. To date, the carried out research showed that there are approximately 2,125 shipwrecks occurrences from the early sixteenth century to the year of 1950. It was observed that most of the consulted documentary sources do not contain precise information regarding the coordinates of the shipwreck sites. Thus, the coordinates of each occurrence are classified as Estimated, Reported or Confirmed. The Estimated coordinates are determined based on historical information provided by documentary source that do not contain records regarding the georeferencing of the shipwrecks. The Reported Coordinates are those in which information relating to the georeferencing of the shipwreck is provided by documentary sources, but have not yet been subject to confirmation. Finally, Conformed Coordinates are those provided by reliable documentary sources, such as information depicted on nautical charts, or derived from archaeological research.
The second stage takes place at the Cartographic Division of the Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Center (CHM), where shipwreck data are stored in a cartographic production specific database, allowing the georeferencing information of the shipwrecks to be validated. This database is fed continuously by obtaining new information for each occurrence of historical shipwrecks located off the Brazilian coast. After validation of the coordinates and attributes of each shipwreck occurrence, SRW file extensions are produced which can be viewed on top of the nautical raster charts produced by the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of the Brazilian Navy (DHN) within some navigation systems. It is also generated KML/KMZ extension files that can be viewed on Google Earth or any other compatible system. So far, 988 shipwrecks have been included on the georeferenced database, whose locations can be viewed by specific symbols on top of raster charts or Google Earth.
The third stage of the project consists of supplying information to the various commands of the Naval Districts that have coastal areas under their jurisdictions, as the Brazilian Military Organizations are responsible for overseeing all activities relating to submerged property located within Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters. Knowing information about the sites, or potential sites with presence of underwater cultural heritage, the Naval Districts commands can better plan and promote enforcement actions through the deployment of patrol ships, for example.
The Historical Shipwrecks off the Brazilian Coast: Digital Atlas Project is updated permanently, and underwater archaeological research conducted in Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters greatly contributes to this purpose.

Flávia Mandarino

Commander / Cartographic Engineer
Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation / Navy Hydrography Center / Brazilian Navy

Head of Cartographic Division in Brazilian Navy Hydrographic Centre
Cartographic Engineer (Universidade Estadual do Rio de Janeiro - UERJ 1990) with a Master Science Degree in Computer Science (Instituto Militar de Engenharia - IME 993). Doctorate student at Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF). Navy officer since 1994 with experience in Geoscience, focused on Cartography, maritime and inland electronic navigational charts. Brazilian representative on some International Hydrographic Organization technical forums and vice-chair on Inland ENC Harmonization Group. Knowledge on spatial data infrastructure. Lead auditor on ISO 9001 at Brazilian Navy.


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Ricardo Dos Santos Guimarães

Head of Underwater Archaeology Division
Brazilian Navy

Ricardo dos Santos Guimarães is Lieutenante Commander of Brazilian Navy, where he's Head of Underwater Archaeology Division from Directorate of Historical Heritage and Marine Documentation (DPHDM). He is Graduate at History from Rural Federal University of Pernambuco, Expert Underwater Archaeology from Polytechnic Institute of Tomar (Portugal), and Master of Archaeology from the São Paulo University. He is an effective partner of the Brazilian Archaeological Society (SAB).


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Daniel M. Gusmão

Assistant Division of Underwater Archaeology
Brazilian Navy

Assistant of Underwater Archaeology Division. Historian and Master of Archaeology.
Mestre em Arqueologia pela Universidade Federal de Sergipe. Bacharel em História (2006) e Especialista em História do Brasil (2008) pela Universidade Federal Fluminense. Militar da ativa de carreira da Marinha do Brasil, Oficial Técnico de habilitação em História. Membro do Conselho Editorial da revista Navigator: Subsídios para a História Marítima do Brasil. Membro do Laboratório de Arqueologia de Ambientes Aquáticos da Universidade Federal de Sergipe (LAAA / UFS) e membro do Grupo de Pesquisa do CNPq em Arqueologia de Ambientes Aquáticos. Tem experiência nas áreas de História Marítima e Naval brasileira; Arqueologia Subaquática e Patrimônio Cultural Subaquático, atuando principalmente na gestão e proteção do patrimônio cultural subaquático.


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Rafael Vieira Morais

Head of Cartographic Production Section
Brazilian Navy

Head of Cartographic Production Section. Graduated of Surveyor Engineering from the Federal University of Viçosa/MG-Brasil, Master in Civil Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil.


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Estela Dierka Roveda dos Santos

Engineer Cartographer
Brazilian Navy

Assistant of Cartographic Production Section of the Navy Hydrographic Center of Brazilian Navy. Gradueted at Cartographic Engineering from the Federal University of Paraná.


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Anderson de Rieti Santa Clara dos Santos

Naval Historian
Brazilian Navy

Historian of the Directorate of Historical Heritage and Marine Documentation.


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Historical Shipwrecks off the Brazilian Coast: Digital Atlas Project

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