The Investigators coring winch

Sediment coring

There is a dedicated coring system on the vessel and other units can be brought on board by research groups as required.

Researcher at work

The gravity/piston coring system undertakes full ocean depth soft sediment coring, typically in unconsolidated to semi-consolidated calcareous muddy sands, silts and deep-sea oozes.

The coring system can take cores up to 24m in length.

The coring unit is deployed from the starboard side of the vessel using a dedicated coring deployment system comprising a winch, overhead coring boom and core handler cranes.

The coring unit consists of the coring tube and liner, weights, coil of wire and a small sensor core. The sensor core reaches the bottom first and triggers the release of the main core which drops to the bottom and penetrates the silt. The tube is drawn back out of the silt with the core end closing to prevent the silt from coming out of the tube.

The system can be used with a piston that moves up the tube as the core is being taken creating a vacuum which helps maintain the integrity of the core. 

Vessel – Equipment – KC Multicorer

The KC multicorer is designed to sample in softer sediments at any depth. It has six tubes to collect replicate samples. Each tube is 100mm diameter and 600mm long. The unit is armed by lifting the entire centre section and securing the lids and lower gates open. The corer is then deployed, lowered to the sea-floor and upon ‘landing’ it uses 300kg of lead mounted to the top of the centre section to help the tubes penetrate the sea-floor. When retrieval begins the lids are closed creating a suction effect to help collect and retain the sample. When the tubes leave the sediment the lower gates close retaining the sample. In harder sediments it is possible to reduce the number of tubes to get better penetration of the sea floor.

Updated: 27 November 2014