As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, by its own calculations the ATSB has already searched most of the high-probability areas of the Indian Ocean seabed in its quest to find the wreckage of MH370. The only remaining area of relatively high probability that has not been searched is a stretch along the inside the 7th arc.
(In the image above, the area that had been searched prior to the release of the ATSB’s December 3 report is outlined in black.)
Yet this is not where the search is currently underway. According to ship-tracking conducted by Mike Chillit, Fugro Discovery has spent the weeks since the ATSB issued its report searching an area 40 nautical miles beyond the 7th arc, in the pale blue “low probability” area of the ATSB’s heat map.
It’s hard to understand why.
UPDATE 12-22-2015: I was delighted to learn that Richard Cole is back on the case, paralleling Mike Chillit’s work by collecting and collating ship-movement data in order to understand what areas have already been searched. Richard has given me permission to reproduce one of his charts, which shows the situation much more clearly than my amateur effort above. I’ve outlined the area already searched in light blue. One thing I notice looking at this is that the unsearched high-probability area near 87.5 N 37.5 S hasn’t even been bathymetrically scanned yet! Click to enlarge: