Multiparameter Sediment Analysis with Multi corer: A New Approach to Understanding Aquatic Ecosystems

Aquatic ecosystems, especially marine waters, play a vital role in maintaining global ecological balance. An in-depth understanding of the composition and characteristics of sediments on the seafloor is key in measuring water quality, monitoring pollutants and understanding overall ecosystem dynamics. In this context, the use of Multi corer instruments has become an important and effective approach in sampling sediments with high accuracy and precision from variable ocean depths. The Multi corer is a device specifically designed to sample sediments from the seafloor with high precision and accuracy. It consists of a frame connected to a lowering and lifting mechanism, as well as several cylindrical tubes mounted vertically on the frame. Each cylindrical tube is equipped with guards and locks to ensure that the sediment samples taken are not contaminated during the lowering and lifting process. Multi corer consists of a drive carriage that has mounting positions for multiple coring tubes (hence the name). The carriage is supported by a frame that lands on the seabed, and then when the wire slacks the corer slides into the sediment driven by a weight stack. Motion into the sediment is controlled and limited such that the sediment-water interface is preserved in the coring tubes, above a sediment sample of max ~60 cm in length. The corer can be rigged to hold an even number of tubes up to 4 for the MC-400, and up to 8 for the MC-800. The sampling process with the Multi corer begins with lowering the instrument to the seafloor using a cable or ship’s crane. Upon reaching the targeted depth, the locking mechanism is released allowing the cylindrical tubes to penetrate the sediment surface. When the tubes are fully immersed, the locking mechanism is reactivated, locking the sediment sample inside. The instrument is then carefully pulled back to the surface to ensure the sediment sample remains intact. A key advantage of the Multi corer is its ability to sample sediments from diverse ocean depths with high precision. This allows researchers to obtain representative data on the composition and characteristics of sediments at various locations within the aquatic environment. In addition, the use of the Multi corer can also reduce the risk of cross-contamination between samples, as each cylinder tube works independently of each other. In the context of aquatic ecology research, the Multi corer has become an invaluable tool in understanding sediment dynamics and seafloor ecosystems. Data obtained from the use of the Multi corer provide important insights into environmental quality, the distribution of benthic organisms, and the interactions between organisms and their habitats. Thus, the Multi corer instrument makes a significant contribution in research and monitoring of the aquatic environment and in the sustainable management of natural resources.

How Multi Corer Work

The Multi corer is an innovative sediment sampling instrument that allows sampling of sediments with large diameters and depths. Here is how the Multi corer works:

1. Preparation

  • The Multi corer is assembled and ensured that all its components are functioning properly.
  • Sensors are calibrated and accuracy is confirmed.
  • The research vessel or platform is positioned at the sampling location.

2. Sampling

  • The Multi corer is lowered to the bottom of the water using a winch.
  • When the Multi corer tube touches the bottom, a weight on the bottom of the instrument will help stabilize it.
  • The piston inside the tube is pushed down using a hydraulic or pneumatic system, thus taking a sediment sample.
  • The Multi corer is lifted back onto the vessel.

3. Data Capture

  • Sensors inside the Multi corer tube will real-time measure sediment parameters, such as pH, redox potential, salinity, temperature, conductivity, and dissolved oxygen content.
  • The measured data is stored in a data logger or transmitted to a computer on board.

4. Data Analysis

  • The data obtained from the Multi corer is analyzed to determine the characteristics and sedimentation process at the sampling location.
  • Data can be visualized in various forms, such as contour maps, graphs, diagrams, and 3D images.

5. Cleaning

  • The Multi corer is disassembled and cleaned for reuse.

Multi Corer Strengths and Weaknesses

Strenghts :

  1. Simultaneous Sampling: The multi corer can take multiple samples simultaneously in one drop, allowing for representative sampling of various points on the seafloor without causing cross-contamination between samples.
  2. High Precision: The tool is designed to drill vertically through marine sediments with high precision, enabling precise sampling of different sediment layers and benthic organisms on the seafloor.
  3. Maintenance of Sample Integrity: The advanced corer design allows sediment samples and benthic organisms to be maintained in a relatively undisturbed state throughout the sampling process, thus minimizing the potential for sample damage or degradation.
  4. Wide Applications: The multi corer can be used in a variety of research contexts, including oceanography, marine biology, marine geology and marine environmental studies. This makes it an invaluable tool in the understanding of seafloor ecosystems and geological processes on the seafloor.

Weakness :

  1. Size and Weight: Multi corers are generally large in size and weight, requiring specialized vessels or lifting equipment to lower them to the seafloor. This can limit flexibility in their use, especially in shallow or difficult-to-access waters.
  2. Complex Maintenance: It requires careful maintenance and regular upkeep to ensure its optimal performance. Mechanical and electronic parts should be checked and cleaned regularly, and replacement or repair may be required in case of damage or wear.
  3. Limitations on Sediment Types: Some sediment types, such as very dense sediments or hard bedrock, may be difficult for the multi corer to penetrate, which may limit its application in certain aquatic environments.
  4. Depth Limitations: Like other sampling instruments, multi corers have certain depth limitations, depending on their design and technical specifications. This may limit its use in studies that require sampling from great depths.

Writer : Muhammad Farhan

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