Called the GOMEX due to its historical use in the Gulf of Mexico, this sampler is entirely constructed in stainless steel with a large sampling area. The GOMEX comes in two sizes – standard or XL – based on box area. The box corer can be used from smaller vessels or where space is limited and is suitable for soft deep-water sediments only.
The corer consists of four interconnected functional units:
- the sample box
- the exterior fixed-support framework
- the structural linkage that attaches the vertical sliding bar to close the spades
- the release mechanism
The weight trays are designed to hold several lead weights on each side. The lead serves as both ballast and the driving force that closes and holds the spades in the closed position.
The advantages of the GOMEX corer accrue from its tripping and closing mechanisms, as well as its modest weight and size. It is comparatively easy to use, safe in rough seas, and modest in cost compared to the cumbersome, but widely accepted, USNEL spade corer. Comparison of macrofaunal densities in the Norwegian and the Greenland Seas, with data from the same areas with the USNEL corer, suggests that GOMEX sample quality surpasses other quantitative samplers now in use by deep‐sea biologists (Boland, 1991).
Material: Entirely stainless steel
Box material: stainless steel
Weight: 50 kilos
Height: 130 cm
Deck Footprint: 60×60 cm
Two vertical supports on opposing sides of sample box: 58 cm in length and 3 cm on each side
Weight trays: 8 cm x 27.5 cm x 20.5 cm designed to hold one or two 23 kilo weights on each side (typically, 46 kilos of total weight is used, with a maximum of 92 kilos)
Box area: 50 cm X 50 cm X 50 cm
Sampling area: 1250 cm2
Box Corers are used to sample soft sediments in lakes and oceans. The corer is lowered vertically until it impacts with the seabed. At this point the instrument is triggered by a trip as the main coring stem passes through its frame. While pulling the corer out of the sediment the spade swings underneath the sample to prevent loss. The recovered sample is completely enclosed after sampling, reducing the loss of finer materials during recovery. Stainless steel doors, kept open during the deployment to reduce any “bow-wave effect” during sampling, are triggered on sampling and remain tightly closed, sealing the sampled water from that of the water column. On recovery, the sample can be processed directly through the large access doors or via the removal of the box completely, together with its cutting blade.
A properly designed and operated box corer is suitable for collecting zoo- benthos (Gage & Tyler 1991, Paterson et al. 1998), surficial sediments (McCave 1985, Ekeroth et al. 2012) and surface concretions (Hessler & Jumars 1974, Veillette et al. 2007). A box corer can also be used for sub-coring to minimize core shortening or for taking replicate subsamples (Blomqvist & Boström 1987).