Vibracoring-Reconstructing the past from Earth sediments
Geologists rely on information from deep beneath the Earth's surface to reconstruct the past. As sediments accumulate over time, they create records geologists use to understand Earth history and to predict future processes and trends. The most common way to get this information is to drill a hole in the Earth where sediments have been deposited over time. The type of drilling tool used for cores depends on how deep and how hard the sediments are. Vibracoring is one of the tools used in shallow coastal areas where sediments consist of soft sand and mud. This video podcast describes how cores are collected in shallow water from the deck of a research vessel using vibracoring. The sediments drilled are recovered in the form of a core that will contain an intact record of the past. Core samples are used to assess the geologic history of an area, such as its geomorphology; coastal, marine, and terrestrial processes; and changes in environmental quality.