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Soil Sampling


    The Environmental Soil Sampling Kit can be used to collect a soil sample up to 12 feet deep in most sediment types. The kit contains regular, sand, and mud augers so that holes may be dug into any texture of soil and a split soil sampler. The ESS is made of stainless steel so that it can be decontaminated using an acid bath technique, which is necessary when working in soil with low levels of contamination.

Requirements: The ESS can be used in almost every ecosystem in soil texture of any type. It cannot be used to sample rock. It is best to demonstrate the use of the Soil Sampler in the field. Prior to sampling in developed areas, remember to contact Dig Safe to locate buried utility wires and pipes. Contact 1-888-DIG-SAFE or for more information.

Manufacturer: AMS, Inc.
Suggested Grade Levels: 9th and above
Suggested Courses: Environmental Science, Earth Science
Video Demonstration:

AMS Environmental Soil Sampling Kit


  1. Remove the soil overlaying the desired sample depth. To do this, assemble the "T" handle onto an extension rod, onto one of the three augers. Choose the auger that is best suited for soil conditions (see Figure 1).

  2. Connect the extension rod(s) and the "T" handle to the auger. Put the auger head over the location you would like to sample. Begin to dig the hole by turning the handle clockwise. once the auger cylinder fills up with soil, take the auger out of the hole and tip upside down to empty it. Repeat as many times as necessary to get the desired depth of bore hole.

  3. Assemble the split core sampler. The sample can be taken with or without a liner. Put the liner insider the corer and put the top and bottom on. It is recommended that Teflon tape be used in every screw joint to prevent the threads from being damaged. Attach the sampler to an extension rod, and the slide hammer to the opposite end of the extension rod. Tighten each connection with the crescent wrenches to ensure a tight fitting.

  4. Take the sample. Put the split core sampler down the bore hole. Mark the rod six inches above the height of the ground surface. Lift and rop the slide hammer to push the corer into the soil. When your mark on the extension rod is level with the ground, you know you have taken a 6 inch sample inside the corer. Pull the corer out of the hole. You can use a gentle upward back-hammer to nudge the corer out of the ground. Use caution when doing so, or you might tap the sample out of the corer.

  5. Open the split core sampler to remove the soil core. The universal and/or crescent wrenches might have to be used to loosen the thread on any of the connections. Remove the top and bottom of the corer. Tap the split core sampler with a wrench to open it in half.

SAGE Bristol,
Feb 7, 2012, 11:23 AM