Gravity Core

Collecting Sediment from the Seafloor

Knowledge of sediment types will help scientists and engineers identify the best locations for the regional observatory nodes.

Gravity cores enable scientists to sample and study sediments from the seafloor reliably and at relatively little cost. During this cruise, we will use gravity cores to help identify the best locations for the RSN nodes. 

Gravity corers are so-named because it is gravity that carries the instrument to the seafloor. The corer consists of a metal pipe with a removable lining of plastic tubing typically 2-3 feet in length. A heavy weight sits atop the pipes. The core is lowered over the side of the ship using a winch and wire rope and is allowed to free fall into the sediments. A core catcher helps trap the sediments in the tubing and the corer is brought back to the surface and brought aboard the ship.