Abstract Studies to understand the potential risks associated with underwater munitions are still in their infancy. Response actions are normally driven by risk. From an explosives safety perspective, the Department of Defense believes leaving underwater munitions in place is often the safest course of action. Additionally, the risks posed by underwater munitions (e.g., sea disposal sites) remain largely unknown. Thus, it is unlikely that munition responses requiring the recovery of underwater munitions will occur in the near future. The exception is where such munitions are determined to pose an imminent and substantial threat to human health and the environment. This article discusses technologies that can be used to characterize underwater munition sites, including bounding the site and sampling for any release of munition constituents. It also addresses technologies that can be used for recovery operations and for the disposal of any munitions. Navigation and underwater positioning are integral to all of these operations and are discussed separately.
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