Thermal map of Titanic’s crash site

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Thermal map Titanic sinking.

thermal map titanic crash site
See the link in the text below to download the complete map.

For six years from 2006 to 2012 I travelled the world looking for ships which passed near Titanic’s crash site in April 1912.

I tracked down 75 ships, which each took air and water temperature readings every four hours, and positions at noon every 24 hours, and which had all travelled through the area of Titanic’s crash site between 5th April 1912 and 25th April 1912: two weeks before and after the Titanic disaster, and including during that time.

I plotted all these in a giant spreadsheet of the North Atlantic, and added detailed notes to each one.

This enabled me to create the first ever detailed thermal map of Titanic’s crash site, as it actually was in April 1912, at the time of Titanic’s sinking.

I was particularly struck by the references to miraging and abnormal refraction in the immediate vicinity of Titanic’s crash site, both before and after Titanic’s sinking.

The references to abnormal refraction on the horizon matched the testimony of Titanic’s lookout George Symons – who Lightoller said had the best eyes in the fleet.

There were also references to miraging in the vicinity of the ice barrier where Titanic sank.

I believe that this refraction on the horizon, combined with ice blink at the barrier immediately ahead of Titanic at the time of the collision, contributed in a subtle way to the late sighting of Titanic’s fatal iceberg.

I am sharing this map with you here, so you can see for yourselves what I discovered:

Link to the map:

The link will download my complete file as an Excel document to your computer so that you can examine the detail of all the entries at your leisure. As it is a very detailed Excel document, the link won’t work on your mobile phone so do please only try and download when you are in front of a computer.

The northings are along the top of the spreadsheet and the westings are along the left hand side. The spreadsheet opens at Titanic’s crash site. As well as the notes you can immediately see, many of the squares reveal additional data when clicked on.

Air and sea temperatures and times are given for each ship position, for both westbound and eastbound steamers. Each ship is named and their track marked between each noon position recorded in their original log books.

The boundary between the warm waters of the Labrador Current and the freezing waters of the Gulf Stream are marked in the map as a curving, thick blue line.

Here you will find icebergs and the ice barrier, hot and cold water meeting, whale sightings and mirage references.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labours. Every log book was a journey. Enjoy travelling back in time to Titanic’s crash site, as nature created it, more than 100 years ago.


  1. Outstanding work, but you must have been tired when you wrote this post “The boundary between the warm waters of the Labrador Current and the freezing waters of the Gulf Stream are marked in the map as a curving, thick blue line.” These two are mixed up.

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