Census of Marine Life Portal Research Index Past Present Future Unify Past, Present, Future Research Photo Gallery Glossary Links Search this web site Technology Index Transportation to the Study Area Observing and Counting Collecting Organisms Measuring Physical Properties Studying Movement Identifying Cataloging and Analyzing Data Site Map About this site Front Page Census of Marine Life Portal

Front Page > Technology > Collecting Organisms > Benthic Grabs:

Benthic Grabs

When scientists want to sample the organisms that live on or just below the surface of the ocean floor (the benthos) they commonly use a Benthic Grab to collect a portion of the ocean floor. Benthic Grabs can take a bite out of the benthos. Various sizes and approaches work with different organisms and sediment types. The aim is to bring to the surface a complete sample of both the sediment and the organisms found there. Using these techniques, scientists describe the species found in the sediment and their abundance, even preventing some of the injury that occurs to delicate animals with other methods.

A diagram of a small Benthic Grab detailing the major components. (NOAA Ocean Explorer)

A large Benthic Grab being hauled on deck after use. (Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life - CeDAMar. Senckenberg, Germany)

Click on the links below to see what Census projects use this technology:

top of page

Website maintained by
Office Of Marine Programs
University of Rhode Island

E-mail comments about the web site to