Marine sampling field manual for grabs and box corers

Rachel Przeslawski, Penny Berents, Malcolm Clark, Sabine Dittmann, Graham Edgar, Chris Frid, Garnet Hooper, Lauren Hughes, Tim Ingleton, David Kennedy, Scott Nichol, Jodie Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Grabs and box corers both use receptacles to collect sediment after they are dropped to the seafloor. While the scooping motion of grabs disrupts unconsolidated sediment to various degrees, box corers return largely undisturbed samples of the sediment strata (Eleftheriou2013). Grabs and box corers target surface sediment and associated porewater and fauna.They are typically deployed over sandy or muddy substrates, although some grabs can also collect gravel or cobbles. There is no single type of grab or box corer suitable for all environments,and selection of the most suitable type depends on the biological or physical target, substrate, depth, and vessel capabilities (Narayanaswamyetal.2016).Acquired data can be quantitative(e.g.surface area, volumetric or mass specific) or semi-quantitative due to inconsistencies in sample volume and sediment disruption due to bow waves or other gear effects (Blomqvist1991). For these reasons, this manual does not mandate specific gear types.There are numerous references to help facilitate decisions regarding grab and box corer equipment for a given marine survey (Riddle1989, Eleftheriou and Moore 2013, Danovaro 2010, Narayanaswamy et al. 2016). Nevertheless, for monitoring purposes, it is preferable to maintain consistent gear through time and space,and we thereforere commend this where possible.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationField Manuals for Marine Sampling to Monitor Australian Waters, Version 2
EditorsRachel Przeslawski, Scott Foster
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherNational Environmental Science Programme (NESP)
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)978-1-925848-75-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

This report is licensed by the University of Tasmania for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. For licence conditions, see


  • marine sampling
  • box corers
  • Sediment sources
  • seafloor
  • grabs


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