New Vessel for Sediment Sampling Operations Presented

Image source: USACE

A team with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center has developed a vessel that provides new capabilities to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ scientists and engineers.

The coring barge, designed by researchers Jarrell Smith, Thad Pratt and William Butler of ERDC’s Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, allows researchers to take sediment samples in areas otherwise inaccessible with conventional equipment.

“We configured the barge to accomplish several new missions,” said Smith, who helped design and field test the coring barge. “The barge’s shallow draft and self-propulsion allows to move a drill rig into an area that would otherwise be very difficult or impossible to access.”

The 28-foot barge drafts only nine inches and can be independently powered by a 40-horsepower outboard motor.

Built by Bean Marine Fabrication in Washington, it is equipped with a collapsible drilling rig that can take core samples from up to 20-feet below the sediment surface.

The drilling rig is configured for hydraulic direct push and a low-frequency hammer drive. The vessel can also accommodate a vibracore head used for sediment sampling.

One of the primary missions in which the barge can be applied is on Corps reservoirs to study sedimentation and erosion.