What are Core Samplers?

A core, in marine research, is a cylindrical section taken from sediments underlying a water body.

Core samplers, the instruments used to obtain cores, range from the simple to the complex. The variety of corer types reflect the breadth and variety of marine research.

For example, the simplest corers are hand-operated types used in shallow waters to collect sediment cores containing fauna. For biological studies, a core 20-25 cm (8-10”) in length is usually sufficient.

The most complex core samplers are those used in oceanographic research. These are generally large and require winches, power sources and other gear. In extreme cases they can take cores as long as 25 m (80’). Such cores have provided geological and climatic information through study of the stratified sediments and their contained fossils.

If done properly, core sampling is a reliable method for obtaining basic data for many types of studies pertaining to the water-and-bottom interface of marine bodies. It is often the only practical way – and therefore the best way – to sample underwater strata satisfactorily.

Wildco® core sampling equipment offers dependability, versatility and quality. It ranges from light, hand-operated corers used in shallow water from boats to gravity corers relying on weight such as the K-B™ corer. Interchangeable parts serve as “building blocks” to construct the equipment you need for your particular project. For example, the heads can attach to more than one type of core tube.

The “building block” concept relies on a simple design feature: the uniform use of coarse pipe thread. This thread provides an extremely reliable way to connect core tubes to sampling heads at a low mass-market cost. Because we use straight pipe threads threaded all the way into the head assembly, no pipe wrenches are required – a bonus in the field. While by the very nature of the equipment these threads can become dirty and jam, they can be washed in water to remove debris and easily reattached.

Wildco® hand and Ogeechee™ corers are designed to be lowered on a taut line or cable into the substrate. They are not designed to be dropped because they are top heavy and can easily tip over. While some customers tell us they obtain a good sample by a free drop on a loose line up to 20-30” (7-10 m), to accomplish this you must keep the sampler entirely in water, still and vertical when dropped. This cannot be attempted using bricks or cement blocks as weights due to the need to keep the core tube balanced and vertical.

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