reply to post by Extralien
There are many factors to consider when talking about an object sinking in the water:
Shape, Size, Buoyancy, Mass.
Then there are the factors of how it entered the water:
Was it sitting in the water surface perfectly still? Was it in fact moving?
Did it instead drop from the air to the water? If so, at what angle? Velocity? Was the object moving in another direction different from it's movement
(IE was it spinning?).
If it did enter the water, did the shape of the leading edge entering the water affect it's dive into the water?
You are right that when a stone, skipped across the water looses the energy that was both moving it forward and spinning it, it will sink, and pretty
much in a vertical motion.
But then, how buoyant was that rock? How large of a surface area did it have?
Water can act like air when it comes to large surface areas. It's sort of like Lift that planes use to stay in the air.
Get a large dinner plate, like 8 or 10 inches, made of ceramic or stoneware. Now go to a pool, pond or lake.
Lay the pate on the water and let go. It will pretty much drop straight down, except for that "waffling" you spoke of.
Now let's give it some forward momentum. Throw it across the water (do this in several ways, like a frisbee, over hand on it's side, and even over
hand flipping it end over end). Have a friend (try not to hit your friend with the dish, as they might not be your friend after that...) be in the
water and note where it lost enough energy to sink, and then where it ends up on the bottom.
I think you'll be surprised at how it will actually "travel" through the water before coming to a rest upon the bottom.
A large circular object (250 feet I believe?) has a large surface area, and depending upon the material it's made of, a LOT of mass. Even if it
strikes the water at high velocity (and survives the impact), when it finally goes into the water, it will end up with a inclined dive.
Gravity doesn't stop under water. Depending on how far down it has to travel, it will accelerate as it dives below the surface, just like a object
dropped in the air. Gravity will accelerate it, just not as fast since water is more dense than air and will resist it.
That size and mass (depending on what it's made of), there will be a lot of energy for it to get rid of before it comes to a rest on the bottom of the
sea floor. And if at an angle, which is very possible, it will plow an area up of the sea floor before it finally stops.
Even ships do this when they sink. Not 100 percent of the time, as the situations for each can be different, but they do sometimes sink into the
depths of the ocean at an angle. That's why the Lat and Long coordinates on the surface of where it sank, does not always follow that is where it will
be when it hits the bottom.
That's IF this is something other than a rock formation!
edit on 8-6-2012 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)