Numerical simulations of Columbus’ Atlantic crossings
MetadataShow full item record
The transatlantic route of Columbus was simulated incorporating historical winds, currents and hypothetical magnetic variation in order to estimate where the first landfall occured. Earlier simulations using an 1899 map by Van Bemmelen and assuming zero magnetic variation in the Bahamas to produce a landfall near San Salvador (Watlings Island). New theories postulating a Geometric league of 2.67 nautical miles and a westerly magnetic variation of approximately one point (11.25°) for the western terminus result in a landfall near the Turks and Caicos Islands. A westerly variation of this magnitude in the Bahamas has been inferred from early charts - the islands are shown several degrees too far north, which would have occurred if early navigators had been set imperceptibly southward by westerly variation - by studies of directions within the islands, and by studies of early navigation books. The simulation of subsequent voyages by Columbus lend further weight to a westerly variation of about one point in the region of Bahamas. Our work shows that a Grand Turk landfall cannot be ruled out based on the transatlantic portion of the voyage as has been suggested in the past. A more accurate simulation of the voyage and first landfall still requires a more accurate representation of the field of magnetic variation.
Suggested CitationTechnical Report: Goldsmith, Roger A., Richardson, Philip L., "Numerical simulations of Columbus’ Atlantic crossings", 1992-02, DOI:10.1575/1912/799, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/799
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
A multidisciplinary Amazon Shelf SEDiment Study (AmasSeds) : physical oceanography moored array component Alessi, Carol A.; Lentz, Steven J.; Beardsley, Robert C.; Castro, Belmiro Mendes; Geyer, W. Rockwell (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1992-09)A Multidisciplinary Amazon Shelf SEDiment Study (AmasSeds) is a cooperative research program by geological, chemical, physical, and biological oceanographers from Brazil and the United States to study sedimentary processes ...
The ecology of colonial radiolarians : their colony morphology, trophic interactions and associations, behavior, distribution, and the photosynthesis of their symbionts Swanberg, Neil Ralph (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1979-08)Colonial radiolarians (Spumellaria) are among the most common and abundant large zooplankton, but they have been little studied by modern biologists. Colonies were found on 98% of epipelagic diving stations in the period ...
CTD observations on the North Brazil shelf during A Multidisciplinary Amazon Shelf SEDiment Study (AMASSEDS) : November 1991 Limeburner, Richard; Soares, Ivan Dias; Candela, Julio; Beardsley, Robert C. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1992-06)Hydrograhic (CTD) and acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) observations were made on the North Brazil shelf adjacent to the mouth of the Amazon River during R/V Iselin cruise I9113 November 5-25, 1991 as part of A ...