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Due to the increased draft of the newer containers, tankers and cargo ships, many east coast harbors no longer have adequate depth to accommodate these vessels, thus the need for dredging maintenance and the disposal of the dredged sediment. Prior to disposal of the sediments, sampling and analysis of the river and harbor sediment is required. EEA has developed the necessary expertise and resources to effectively and economically perform this technically complex task.
EEA has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and larger engineering firms to acquire the necessary data to develop cost-effective dredge material maintenance strategies. EEA is one of the few east coast environmental consulting firms which maintains a fleet of oceanographic research vessels specially designed to perform dredge maintenance studies. EEA has completed harbor and shipping channel dredge studies from Maine to St. Simon Island/Jekyll Island, Georgia.
What is Vibracoring?
Briefly, vibratory coring is a physical oceanographic technique designed to collect long length core samples of the bottom sediments so that physical and chemical analysis can be completed on discrete portions of the core. Discrete chemical analysis on the sediments is necessary many times to determine which portions of the sediment are hazardous or non-hazardous so the sediments can be appropriately managed.
The vibratory corer is basically an electric or pneumatic motor in a waterproof housing which includes a high frequency oscillatory or hammer motion to drive the core barrel and core catcher into the unconsolidated marine or freshwater sediments.
Through years of project experience, EEA has developed sophisticated sampling equipment and techniques to expedite the dredge spoil testing process so design projects can proceed in a timely fashion. EEA has developed a vibratory coring technique which will collect a three-inch or four-inch diameter core up to 20 feet long as one continuous sample.
Primary Reason for Vibracoring
The object of much of the vibratory core sampling performed today is to determine the chemical composition of contaminants in the sediment which may render it hazardous or unusable. On many occasions, EEA has collected sediment samples to determine which specific areas or horizons in the sediment are contaminated and which are not. If a significant portion of the dredge spoils is determined to be non-hazardous, it can be disposed of at a considerable cost savings to the client. The disposal cost of hazardous sediments is typically four to five times greater than those classified as non-hazardous. In many cases, we have used this sampling technique to determine that the dredge spoils have a use or value (i.e., sandy sediments can be used for beach rebuilding or nourishment, or wetland construction projects; coarse gravely sediments can be used for construction purposes).
Contact EEA for More Information
In addition to testing in shipping channels, EEA has used the vibratory coring equipment to collect sludge samples in hazardous waste ponds and lagoons. Our technical personnel include geologists, engineers, environmental and marine scientists and have the appropriate OSHA health and safety training to work in any sampling regime. The equipment is designed for maximum flexibility, and can be shipped or air-freighted to remote sampling sites as necessary. EEA has collected thousands of core samples throughout the eastern seaboard for clients such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Foster-Wheeler, Parsons Brinckerhoff, ENSR, Hydroqual, Inc., New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York City Department of Transportation and New York City Department of Sanitation. Contact Jeff Shelkey (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-459-5533) for more information on vibracoring.