Deep sea vibracoring system improves ROV sampling capability



A vibracoring system developed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) for use off remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) is capable of obtaining 7.7-cm-diameter sediment cores that are up to 2.5 m in length. The ability to collect long core samples, even in coarse-grained materials, from precisely-located sites vastly expands the geologic sampling capabilities of ROVs.

Obtaining sea floor samples from topographically complicated deep-sea environments where sediment is coarse-grained has been challenging. Sub-sea floor sediment sampling traditionally depends on wire-line gravity or piston coring systems. However, wire-line samplers are ineffective at penetrating into sand or gravel, do not provide visualization of the sea floor sample site, and are difficult to precisely locate.