Gravity corers enable scientists to sample and study sediments from the seafloor reliably and at relatively little cost. During this cruise we will use gravity cores to gather more data around sites where the OOI-RSN primary nodes will be placed.
Gravity cores are so-named because it is gravity that carries the instrument to the seafloor. The corer consists of a metal pipe with a removable lining of plastic tubing typically 2-3 feet in length. a heavy weight sits atop the pipes. The core is lowered over the side of the ship using a winch and wire cable and as allowed to free fall into the sediments at ~40 meters per minute. A core catcher helps trap the sediments in the tubing and the corer is brought back to the surface and aboard the ship.