Currently, no method exists to core large volumes of inland freshwater wetland soils that maintains stratigraphic integrity, minimizes unnecessary disturbance, and cores up to a depth of 50 cm. Our objective was to create a large-volume soil coring device that could be applied with consistency to a variety of wetland substrates. The result is a hand-operated soil corer that resembles the aluminum irrigation pipe corer that DeLaune et al. (1978) used to core soft marshy substrates. Instead of aluminum pipe, we used regular steel stovepipe and a variety of tools for insertion. After the sample is extracted from the sediment, the handle can be quickly removed for ease of transportation and storage of a core. The stovepipe can be cut open to expose the soil sample so that it can easily be sectioned for incremental analysis. The corer was used to take 130 samples in 18 different sites, spanning many different wetland substrate types. Our method has many applications, including radiochronologic dating, seed bank analysis, bulk density measurement, and soil contaminants analysis.
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Vol. 20 • No. 2