The team was able to find the ship, "zoom in" with sonar and survey it. The survey revealed 202-foot-long (62 meters) City of Chester sitting upright at the edge of a shoal in 216 feet (66 m) of water, "shrouded in mud," Delgado said.
The hull rises 18 feet (5.5 m) from the ocean floor, and high-resolution sonar even located the gash from the collision on the port side of the ship, NOAA reported.
The discovery highlights the use of science and technology in ocean exploration, Delgado said, adding that he hopes the mission inspires young people to study science.
"Not only are we boldly going and finding new life [in the oceans]," he said, "we're finding evidence of past civilization."
There are no plans to raise the wreck, and the strong currents and murkey water at the Golden Gate make diving to the wreck a dangerous proposition, Delgado said. NOAA intends to create an exhibit about the ship at the office of the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary at Crissy Field in San Francisco and will also work with Google Oceans to put information about the wreck online, Delgado said.
More from LiveScience:
Copyright 2014 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Article originally appeared on LiveScience.com.