We're here to help:

Related media & downloads:
View Video in Video Gallery

Sediment Vibracoring

Sediment Vibracoring

Aqua Survey owns and operates more than ten heavy duty vibracoring systems. Vibracoring is considered to be the most cost effective technology to collect large numbers of sediment cores efficiently and with little distortion to the actual core. Three or four inch diameter cores can be collected continuously to a depth of about 40 feet. Sediment vibracores are used extensively for:

  • Contaminant characterization
  • Geotechnical characterization
  • Geophysical data ground-truthing
  • Mineral deposit characterization
  • Archeological investigation

Barrel liners are typically flexible food-grade polyethylene for contaminant evaluations or rigid polycarbonate for geotechnical samples or high-resolution environmental cores. The flexible liners can be slit with a razor knife, allowing for easy processing in the field or in the lab. A standard 4-inch diameter sediment core yields about 0.5 gallons of sediment per foot of recovered core. A vessel-based field crew can typically collect 8-12 short cores (<8 feet), 6-10 medium cores (8-12 feet) or 4-8 long cores (>12 feet) a day, depending on sampling conditions. We can deploy multiple vibracoring field teams simultaneously.

Back to Top

Benthic Grab Sampling

Other photos:

Benthic Grab Sampling Benthic Grab Sampling

Benthic Grab Sampling

Aqua Survey has a wide variety of sampling equipment such as: benthic grab samplers, kick-nets, gill-nets, seines, bongo-nets, plankton-nets, epibenthic sleds, fish traps, trawls, underwater video camera, underwater digital still cameras, lightweight ROVs and other monitoring equipment. Specimen samples are collected, sorted, taxonomically identified and enumerated by ASI professionals. Seagrass beds and coral reefs can be digitally imaged/recorded and this data processed to determine their relative health. Resulting data can be used to support:

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission studies (FERC)
  • 316(b) larval intake studies
  • 301(h) discharge variance studies
  • 403(c) discharge monitoring studies
  • Rapid bioassessment studies
  • Environmental impact studies
  • Habitat evaluations
  • Bioaccumulation studies

Back to Top

Drilling Services

Other photos:

Drilling Services

Drilling Services

Aqua Survey can deploy a CME-55LC track-mounted drill (or equivalent), a Diedrich D-25 skid-mounted drill, or a portable Winkie drill on several of our vessels. Unconsolidated or moderately consolidated sub-bottom samples can often be collected by vibracoring. Harder bottoms frequently require the use of percussive (hammer) or rotary drilling techniques. During standard drilling, a casing is either hammered or rotated into the bottom to sampling depth. To collect samples at prescribed depths, a split spoon is pushed into the casing and immediately removed and containerized. Unlike a split spoon, a Shelby tube is inserted and then pushed into the casing pipe. Then the sample is allowed to swell in the tube for up to 30 minutes to prevent loss during extraction. After removal, the sample tube is capped and wax-sealed for offsite geotechnical testing. Rotary drilling techniques are utilized to collect consolidated sediment and rock cores.

Vessel-based services include:

  • Ground-truthing of geophysical survey data
  • Standard penetration testing (SPTs)
  • Collection of geotechnical samples (split spoon, Shelby tube, etc.)
  • Environmental sample collection
  • Use of advance probes (e.g., CPT)
  • Collection of rock cores
  • Support of Parallel Seismic studies

Back to Top

Grain Size Classification

Grain Size Classification

Aqua Survey utilizes depth sounders and side scan sonar to rapidly characterize the sediment grain size characteristics to economically map surficial grain size of expansive areas. Grain size can be used to accurately predict the potential for contaminant loading. Hypack Max™ software is used for vessel control and tracking. RTK-DGPS or DGPS precision can be achieved for accurate mapping. This technology can classify: Bedrock, Cobble, Gravel, Sand, Silt and Clay.

Back to Top

Dredged Material Assessment

Dredged Material Assessment

Aqua Survey collects proposed dredged material, processes the sediment samples, and preserves them for analyses. Our scientists regularly perform geotechnical, chemical and biological analyses in support of water quality and disposal alternatives studies. Aqua Survey will help clients prepare a sampling and analysis plan to submit for regulatory approval. The following are examples of in-house procedures:

  • Solid-phase total organic carbon (TOC)
  • Plasticity
  • Sieve grain size
  • Hydrometer grain size
  • Vane shear strength
  • Penetrometer
  • Immunoassay (e.g., dioxin, PCB, DNAPL)
  • Toxicity studies (acute & chronic)
  • Bioaccumulation studies (tissue uptake)

Back to Top

Smart Core Vibracoring

Other photos:

Smart Core Vibracoring Smart Core Vibracoring

Smart Core Vibracoring

It is often desirable to collect sediment vibracores in areas with known or unknown submerged or sediment buried utilities, unexploded ordnance (UXO), cultural resources or other unknowns to be avoided. Aqua Survey has developed a sediment vibracoring system incorporating electromagnetic transmission and receiver coil technology. This breakthrough technology signals the operator when the nosecone of the core barrel is near a metallic object, allowing the operator to greatly reduce the probability of making contact.

Areas of known military waste often need to be assessed for contaminants leaching into the aquatic environment. The use of the Smart Core™ can safeguard field technicians from UXO during coring activities.

The Smart Core™ can collect up to 20-feet of a continuous 4-inch diameter core in a flexible
inner-core liner. Electromagnetic data are viewed real-time and logged simultaneously into a digital file.

Back to Top

Foundation Depth Determination

Foundation Depth Determination

Parallel Seismic (PS) non-destructive tests are performed by placing a hydrophone into a cased, flooded bore-hole near the partially submerged foundation and then using an instrumented tapping device to send sound waves into the foundation and to the hydrophone. Algorithms are then used to determine the foundation’s depth. PS investigations can be performed on concrete, wood, masonry and steel foundations.

Back to Top

Drilling Platforms

Drilling Platforms

Aqua Survey’s primary drilling 
platforms are liftboats and pontoon vessels. These vessels can also be used to support Parallel Seismic non-destructive testing in shallow waters.

Back to Top

Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices

Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices

Semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) utilize selective membrane oil packets that are jacketed in stainless steel perforated housing. SPMDs can be deployed on anchors or buoys or deployed and retrieved discretely by use of an anchor, a float and an acoustic release. Once the SPMDs are retrieved, the semi-permeable membrane packets are recovered and can be sent to 
specialty laboratories for contaminant analysis.

This technology is used to:

  • Assist PRPs with characterizing plumes
  • Support regulators in determining extent of contamination
  • Collect specific outfall data
  • Provide stealth collection of data

Back to Top

Water Sampling and Quality Monitoring

Water Sampling and Quality Monitoring

Aqua Survey operates a wide array 
of water sampling and monitoring 
equipment. ASI collects samples with Alpha, Kemmerer and Niskin Bottles, as well as 
water pumps and other specialty samplers. ASI can deploy Semi-Permeable Membrane 
Devices (SPMDs) to sample the water 
column for specific contaminants. ASI also utilizes state-of-the-art real-time monitoring devices, such as the Sea-Bird Electronics CTD, and other multi-probe systems, to 
collect conductivity, temperature, depth and dissolved oxygen data. ASI’s sampling and monitoring services are used to support:

  • PRP investigations
  • Discharge permitting
  • Environmental dredging 
monitoring
  • Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission (FERC) pipeline 
permitting
  • Dredged material disposal 
operations
  • Superfund evaluations
  • Contaminant plumes