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Peat Borer


    The peat borer is a manually driven core sampler designed to collect uncompressed sediment cores for paleoecological studies from a variety of environments, such as wetlands, salt marshes, and estuaries. It is a discrete point sampler, which allows the operator to drive the corer to any point in the sediment profile in the closed position. The cover plates contains the core while it is being removed from the ground so that it is not contaminated by overlaying sediments. The peat borer can obtain samples up to 11 feet below the sediment surface.

Requirements: The peat borer was designed to sample soft, unconsolidated organic-rich sediment from a marsh. It can actually be used to sample soft, unconsolidated sediment of any ecosystem, such as sand, silt, clay and organic-rich sediment.

Suggested Grade Levels
: 9th and above
Suggested Courses: Environmental Science, Earth Science
Video Demonstration: (None available at this time)


Attach either the "T" handle, or one extension rod then the handle onto the corer. Additional extension rods can be added as the bore barrel is pushed down.

  1. Put the stainless steel cover plate in the beginning position. The blunt edge of the corer will be against the over plate to prevent sediment from entering the corer during insertion.
  2. Using a forceful motion, push the corer down below the sediment surface. Add extension rods as needed.
  3. Turn the handle (and bore) clockwise to allow the sharpened edge of the tube to cut through the sediments. Figure 2 illustrates this coring position.
  4. Keep turning the handle until the sharp edge of the core tube is against the cover plate in the closed position. See Figure 3.
  5. Bring the corer back up above ground and turn handle (and core tube) clockwise to expose the core sample. See Figure 4.

Additonal notes:

  • Work gloves will be helpful for tightening and loosening the borer pieces and while pulling and pushing the borer into the ground.
  • The help of strong students will be necessary to push the borer into the ground and pull it back out again.
  • If the core sample is to be taken back to the classroom, sampling containers or PVC pipe cut in half length wise will be needed to transport the sample.
SAGE Bristol,
Feb 7, 2012, 11:02 AM