Vibracore Sediment Sampling

Advanced Geological Training

Geological Consulting


The following projects are representative of Athena's environmental sediment sampling capabilities.


Navy Environmental Work, Chesapeake Bay

Athena continued our productive relationship with the US Navy by collecting vibracores, surface grab samples, water samples, and providing vessel support for pre-dredge sediment evaluations at Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  Both projects required detailed coordination with the Navy and and laboratories in order meet tight schedules imposed by short holding times.  The work also required sampling over a project area that covered the southern Chesapeake Bay out to 20 miles offshore. 


Gulfport, MS, Port Expansion

Athena collected vibracore samples at 45 locations at Gulfport, Mississippi to assist in characterizing sediments prior to expanding port facilities in the area. This included collecting samples up to 20 feet below sediment surface in new work material and gathering large volumes of sediment and water for elutriate testing. Athena also sampled a reference area 35 miles south of Alabama and Mississippi's barrier islands without having to use another vessel.


Environmental Projects Across a Wide Range of Settings

Athena has continued to provide high quality and effective environmental sampling services during the first half of 2016.  Vibracore studies at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC and at an industrial site along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia showcased our ability to work in developed areas with vessel traffic and expertise handling potentially contaminated sediments.  Athena also continued to perform exceptional work on Section 103 studies by completing two such studies at Georgetown, South Carolina and along the navigation channel on the Cape Fear River south of WIlmington, North Carolina.


Sediment Characterization Studies, Naval Station Norfolk, VA

Athena collected over 150 vibracore and surface grab samples for a pre-dredge project at Naval Station Norfolk, VA.  The cores were used for environmental testing prior to dredging at several areas at the base.  RV Artemis was used as the primary sampling vessel and also provided vessel support for water sample collection.

The project coincided with a snow event that made for an interesting few days of ice-covered vibracoring.



Charleston Harbor Post 45 Study

Athena collected over 200 vibracore samples at 115 stations along the Charleston shipping channel from the North Charleston Port Terminal on the Cooper River to 8 miles offshore in water depths up to 50 feet and requiring cores up to 20 feet below sediment surface.  This was accomplished in support of the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project.  The required sample analyses for this project called for the collection of large quantities of sediment and surface water, which required careful logistical planning and coordination.  Athena was able to complete the project in a timely manner despite inclement weather conditions, a high volume of port activity, and high currents velocities at many of the sample locations.  Sediments collected were tested for sediment chemistry and elutriate analysis as prescribed by the Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency.