Sediment sampling can be completed using two main methods: Grab Samples and Core Samples.
Grab samples are typically completed using a Ponar Sampler, which is simply a set of jaws that snap shut when the sampler hits the seafloor. They provide a representative sample of the bottom type and can be easily taken throughout a study area. Grab samples can be used to supplement side scan sonar data (grain size analysis), verify seafloor classification and to identify transitional areas.
Core samples are a more comprehensive type of ground truthing. They are usually collected using a vibracore rig. Core samples are typically used to confirm sub-bottom interpretation, collect sand samples for analysis and to verify sediment thickness and stratigraphy. The results of the grab and core samples can be overlaid on the sonar data to illustrate the sub-bottom stratigraphy.