Hyperbenthic sledge | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Hyperbenthic sledge

A hyperbenthic sledge is used for the sampling of hyperbenthos. The sledge is divided into two compartments one above the other, each accommodated with a hyperbenthos net. In this way, a distinction can be made between hyperbenthos close to the seafloor and benthos occurring a little higher.

How does a hyperbenthic sledge work?

A hyperbenthic sledge is towed by a research vessel. The lowest net is placed 20 cm from the bottom to prevent the net from filling up with sediment. Sampling at this height is assumed to be still representative for investigating hyperbenthos living on the seafloor. The upper net is placed at 50 cm from the bottom. The nets have a mesh width of 1 mm.  


  Working of a hyperbenthic sledge (Note: this is not the sledge that VLIZ has at their disposal)


Usefulness of a hyperbenthic sledge?

  • Simple to operate
  • Suitable for research of hyperbenthos
  • A distincition is made between hyperbenthos living relatively close to the seafloor and hyperbenthos living higher than the seafloor

Some studies:

  • Investigation of hyperbenthos of the Oosterschelde and the Westerschelde: seasonality and patterns:

Chavatte, N. (2001)

  • Early postlarval fish in the hyperbenthos of the Dutch Delta (south-west Netherlands):

Beyst, B. et al. (1999)

  • Spatial patterns of the hyperbenthos of subtidal sandbanks in the southern North Sea:

Dewicke, A. et al. (2003)

  • Comparative study of the hyperbenthos of three European estuaries:

      Mees, J. et al. (1995)

Technical details

The hyperbenthic sledge of VLIZ has the following technical specifications:

  • Hyperbenthic sledge:
    • Length: 1,5 m
    • Width: 1,3 m
    • Height: 1,4 m
    • Weight: 50 - 100 kg
  • 2 hyperbenthic nets, each with a mesh width of 1 mm
  • Lowest net at 20 cm from the bottom; upper net at 50 cm from the bottom

How to make use of the hyperbenthic sledge?

For more information about our rental service, please contact VLIZ.

Use and conditions

Note: if you use a hyperbenthic sledge of VLIZ as a scientist, please refer to it in your publications as: 'This work was supported by data & infrastructure provided by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ)'.