The direct analysis of seabed sediment can be a critical part of any marine investigation. However, the collection and sealing of the sediment, while also allowing for experiments to be conducted in-situ is a very difficult task.
To address this challenge, K.U.M. designed the Benthic Chamber, which is capable of penetrating the seabed and collecting a sediment probe sample along with 20-litres of the seawater column directly above it.
The Benthic Chamber allows for simultaneous experiments and analysis of the seabed-water contact to be completed via the on-board Syringe Sampler (K/MT 115) and various chamber sensors.
Deployment of the Benthic Chamber to depths of up to 6,000m is carried out using the K.U.M. Lander. The chamber consists of two components, the rack and the chamber with blind. The rack moves the chamber towards the seabed and allows penetration to begin; once drilling is complete the blind closes and embraces the sediment probe in the chamber.
At this point in-situ measurements can take place through the injection of desired elements such as oxygen or CO₂ via the onboard Syringe Sampler. Changes can be measured in-situ via the onboard sensors in the chamber (e.g. CO₂, O₂, CH₄) at different time intervals. During this time, the remaining syringes can collect samples from the chamber at any time. When the operation is concluded, the rack moves the chamber up once more and the sample is safely stored.