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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 538:13-21 (2015)  -  DOI:

Long overdue improvement of box corer sampling

Sven Blomqvist1,*, Nils Ekeroth1, Ragnar Elmgren1, Per O. J. Hall

1Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 106 09 Stockholm, Sweden
2Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: An improved, large double-jawed box corer, intended primarily for sampling of soft sediments on continental margins and in large lakes, is described. The device performs reliably when entering the sediment and enclosing the sample, during withdrawal and hoisting on board the ship and also when detaching the collected sediment sample. It offers the following advantages: (1) robust design, (2) minimally impeded flow of water through the box chamber during lowering and (3) an efficient closure mechanism. It is furnished with a supporting stand, a transparent liner and an accessory anti-slosh baffle for insertion in the liner as the corer is set down on the ship’s deck. In situ video records and turbidity measurements from field trials, as well as visual inspection of the core and supernatant water after retrieval, show that the device collects minimally disturbed sediment when properly and carefully operated. This contrasts with the bulky United States Naval Electronics Laboratory (USNEL) Spade Corer in which water flow through the box chamber during lowering is impeded, causing a bow-wave ahead of the corer that displaces surficial sediment. In addition, the USNEL’s single-spade closing mechanism deforms the sediment sample severely and can even cause loss of sediment. Our new box corer performs much better, making it suitable for quantitative benthic sampling.

KEY WORDS: Box corer · Spade corer · United States Naval Electronics Laboratory · USNEL · Soft sediment sampling · Benthos · Continental margin

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Cite this article as: Blomqvist S, Ekeroth N, Elmgren R, Hall POJ (2015) Long overdue improvement of box corer sampling. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 538:13-21.

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