Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Materials Performance 45(10), pp. 40-44


This document is a U.S. government work and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


The USS Arizona has remained submerged in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, since the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. The ship presents a potential hazard from fuel oil still present in the ship’s hull. As an important factor in management decisions, the effect of corrosion after nearly 65 years is being studied to determine the integrity of the ship’s structure. Coupon samples from the hull revealed decreasing corrosion rates from ~1 to 3 mpy (0.03 to 0.08 mm/y) from just below the water surface to the mudline. This is about one-third of that expected in the absence of biofouling or concretion. Methods of determining the corrosion rate, including correlation of chemistry and properties, are discussed.