Continuous Sediment Sampling and Analysis System (CS3)

The CAIS-designed Continuous Sediment Sampling and Analysis System (CS3) enables the rapid collection of surficial sediment samples in any type of aquatic environment, and offers a capability for:  

  • Rapid geochemical and bathymetric survey over a broad geographic area;
  • Continuous collection of closely-spaced surficial sediment samples;
  • Analysis for elemental and organic components of sediment samples;
  • Mapping of elemental and organic concentrations in surficial sediments.


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The CS3 uses a submersible pump mounted on a towed platform to collect a sediment sample and deliver it to the survey vessel while the ship is underway. The CS3 can be deployed in water depths of up to 100 meters and is towed at speeds of 2 to 3 knots along survey transects.


Samples are returned to the laboratory where they are processed and analyzed for up to 38 major and trace elements using non-destructive x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF). Duplicate samples may also be collected for analysis of selected organic analytes. Sample results are used to generate two- and three-dimensional maps of elemental and organic concentrations in surface sediments.

The CS3 is available on a contract basis.

For further information contact Dr. Scott E. Noakes (706) 542-6134