Reineck box corer | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Reineck box corer

A Reineck box corer (sometimes called ‘spade corer’) is one of the most common instruments for collecting sediment cores in the sea. This device is set up on a research vessel and is lowered into the water with a cable.  The Reineck box corer is suitable for any water depth and can collect an almost undisturbed sample. From the ‘main sample’, smaller subsamples can be gathered for biological studies, geochemical analyses, research of interstitial waters or for an environmental impact assessment.  

How does a Reineck box corer work?

The Reineck box corer is lowered onto the seafloor from a research vessel by a cable. When it has reached the bottom, the core box is pushed into the soil using weights located above the core box. Once the core box is filled with sediment, the sample is secured by moving the cutting edge of the spade-closing lever arm to the sediment, until the spade completely covers the bottom of the sediment box (see figure).

(1) Reineck box corer is lowered until the seafloor is reached, (2) Penetration phase, (3) Closure phase, (4) Retrieval phase. © naar Marine Environment Research Centre (La Spezia, Italy)


  Working of the Reineck box corer


Usefulness of the Reineck box corer?

  • Is used to obtain essentially undisturbed samples
  • Simple to operate
  • Can sample overlying water toghether with sediment

Some studies:

  • The efficiency of the Van Veen grab compared with the Reineck box corer:

Beukema, J.J. et al. (1974):

  • Temporal dynamics in a shallow coastal benthic food web: Insights from fatty acid biomarkers and their stable isotopes:

Braeckman, U. et al. (2015)

Technical details

VLIZ has a Reineck box corer containing the following technical specifications:

  • Height: 1,8 m
  • Length: 1,2 m
  • Width: 0,8 m
  • Weight: 100 kg
  • One sample has a diameter of  ± 15 cm
  • Capable of collecting samples of maximum 25-30 cm deep

How to borrow a Reineck box corer?

For more information about our rental service, please contact VLIZ

Use and conditions

Note: if you use the Reineck box corer 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)'.