During the SO106 cruise in 1996 the gravity corer was used once inside the DEA for geochemical analyses. The idea of the gravity corer is to take a small (9 cm diameter), but long (up to 10 m length) cylindrical sample of the seafloor sediments, while keeping the stratigraphy intact and as undisturbed as possible.
The gravity corer consists of a long metal tube which is attached to a heavy lead weight and equipped with a so-called “liner” – a plastic tubing which fits the length and the diameter of the metal tube – in which the sample is taken. Thereby, the gravity (generated by the weight) drives the corer into the sediment. When the corer is pulled from the sediment again, a core catcher helps to trap the sediment inside the “liner”. Back on deck the tubing is removed from the corer and cut and sawed in half on board the ship for subsequent analyses and storage.