Journal of Paleolimnology

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 317–324 | Cite as

A portable hand-operated sampler for shallow-water surface sediments with special reference to epipelic communities

Original Paper


A convenient, portable, hand-operated surface-sediment sampler for use in shallow water is described. Collection of replicable, undisturbed surface sediment samples from shallow-water locations is made simple. The sampler is highly portable for use at remote sites and can be operated by one person. It is especially useful for sampling in the 0.3–1.3 m water depth range where other samplers are often unsuccessful. This sampler consists of a PVC tube (about 33-cm length, 7.1-cm diameter) attached to a 1-m-long supporting rod. A lever system is used to close off the PVC core tube. In the open position, the core tube is inserted into the sediment to an optimal depth (typically 1-cm) so that a 1-cm disc of surface sediment is enclosed. This disc is then isolated by operating the lever and tube closure plate. The sampler and sediment sample (with an intact epipelon biofilm) are removed carefully so that most of the enclosed water drains away and the sample is retained intact.


Shallow-water sampler Surface sediment Epipelon 



We are grateful to Scottish Natural Heritage for funding the fieldwork. This study was supported by the Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards to Hong Yang. We thank Mr. W. Fairman (Civil Engineering UCL) and Mr. Ian Patmore (Geography UCL) for fabricating the sampler. Fieldwork was greatly assisted by support from Forestry Commission staff especially by Mr. N. Grieve, Mr. S. White and Mr. G. Shaw. Mr. James Shilland, Mr. David Hunt, Mr. Ewan Shilland, Dr. Yan Zhao, Dr. Julian Thompson, Mr. Raja Singh, and Dr. Simon Turner all helped with fieldwork. Laboratory work was assisted by Ms. Janet Hope, Mr. Ian Patmore and Ms. Tula Maxted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Change Research CentreUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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