Sediment Sampling
Sediment Sampling

Your Sediment Experts 

With over four decades of experience environmental sampling in the New York/New Jersey area to the relics of Cleopatra’s submerged palace in Egypt, Aqua Survey offers a variety of tools to collect and analyze large amounts of sediment cores and samples quickly and accurately.

Your Sediment Experts 

With over four decades of experience environmental sampling in the New York/New Jersey area to the relics of Cleopatra’s submerged palace in Egypt, Aqua Survey offers a variety of tools to collect and analyze large amounts of sediment cores and samples quickly and accurately.

sediment vibracoring

Sediment Vibracoring

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 and 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. Aqua Survey owns and operates more than ten heavy duty vibracoring systems and we can deploy multiple vibracoring field teams simultaneously.

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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
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marine drilling companies underwater drilling services

Drilling Platform Support

Aqua Survey supports drilling, Geoprobe and cone penetrometer testing (CPT) on several of our pontoon vessel platforms. 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)
  • Geotechnical sample collection (split spoon, Shelby tube, etc.)
  • Environmental sample collection
  • Use of advance probes (e.g., CPT)
  • Collection of rock cores
  • Support of Parallel Seismic studies
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Dredged Material Assessment

Aqua Survey collects proposed dredged material, processes the sediment samples, and preserves them for analysis. Our scientists regularly perform geotechnical, chemical and biological testing 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)
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smartcore pipeline

Smart Core™ Vibracoring

It is often necessary to collect sediment vibracores in areas with known or potential submerged or sediment buried utilities, unexploded ordnance (UXO), cultural resources or other unknown objects to be avoided. Aqua Survey has developed a sediment vibracoring system incorporating electromagnetic transmission and receiver coil technology called Smart Core™ vibracoring. This breakthrough technology signals the operator when the nose cone 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.

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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 a tapping instrument 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.

Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices

Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) utilize selective membrane oil packets that are jacketed in stainless steel perforated housings. 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 semipermeable 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
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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
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Survey, Sampling, & toxicity

experts since 1975

Aqua Survey, Inc. has proven and refined methods to get your job done right.  We’re also innovators that don’t shy away from a challenge. Contact us today for a free consultation on your project.

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469 Point Breeze Road Flemington, NJ 08822

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