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Photo Gallery

Taking Core Samples

[Click on any of these Photo Gallery pictures to see a larger version.]

Don't understand what "taking a core sample" means? Are you slightly confused about how these scientists get their data? Then you have come to the right place.

Here there are pictures of scientists in Florida Bay, Biscayne Bay, and terrestrial south Florida taking core samples step by step. You'll even find out how core samples get back to the lab to be analyzed.

Opal the Octopus

The triangular structure (tripod) seen below, is used to help pull the core from the soft muddy surface. Once it is constructed, the workers also use the structure to help push the case of the core into the ground.
photo of workers using tripod to pull core photo of workers using tripod to pull core photo of workers using tripod to pull core

Here the workers are removing the core. A pulley is used to help pull the heavy core up through the vacuum it leaves behind.
photo of workers removing the core
photo of workers removing the core
photo of workers removing the core
After all that work, the core is now being loaded into the boat. As you can see, the core is quite heavy and requires several people to help lift it into the boat.
photo of workers lifting the core into the boat

photo of man holding core
photo of workers in water and cores on raft
Cores come in many different styles. Sometimes they require the tripod shown above, but sometimes they can just be pushed into the soft ground by hand.

Shorter cores don't create as much of a vacuum when they are removed from the ground. They can often just be pulled out without a pulley.

photo of workers coring in a marsh
photo of workers taking cores by hand
photo of man taking small core by hand

photo of man cutting a core by the boat
Some cores need to be cut so that just the sediment is left in the plastic tubes that contain them. Other cores have already lithified (turned into rocks). Cores are then taken back to the laboratory and carefully examined.
photo of man carrying core alone Many times when we are in the field collecting samples, we depend on a number of our friends to help us collect and later examine the cores. The USGS works with a number of different companies. Harley and Tom work for the Florida Geological Survey and have been helping us with field work since the South Florida Ecosystem History Project began.

Back to main photo gallery page
Opal the Octopus
Next: Working in the Field photo gallery page

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
This page is: http://sofia.usgs.gov /flaecohist/kidscorner/core.html
Comments and suggestions? Contact:
Heather Henkel - Webmaster (hhenkel@usgs.gov)
Last updated: January 15, 2013 @ 12:42 PM (KP)