The OSIL Vibrocorer has been in use on the early works for the River Thames Scheme, a £600 million project to develop two new flood channel sections for the River Thames.
The River Thames Scheme aims to reduce the risk of flooding for approximately 15,000 homes and businesses along the River Thames involving a series of measures, including new flood walls and embankments, improvements to existing flood defenses, and flood storage areas and diversion channels to temporarily hold excess water during times of heavy rain.
The OSIL vibrocorer has been used to obtain sediment samples in dense or consolidated sediments, to determine the type and thickness of sediment layers present in the riverbed as well as identify any areas where the riverbed may be unstable or prone to erosion, which can help in selecting suitable locations for the proposed flood defenses and storage areas, and inform the design of the proposed flood defenses.
The OSIL vibrocorer uses high-frequency vibration to penetrate the seabed or riverbed sediment and collect a core sample, and is constructed from modular frame sections surrounding a steel core barrel, with a vibrating motor at the top. The OSIL system can retrieve sediment cores up to 12m in length, with each frame section measuring 3m, and can be equipped with additional sensors or tools to measure properties such as sediment density or water content.
Information on the composition of sediments collected with the vibrocorer will help in designing appropriate environmental and flood protection measures to implement during the construction phase of the flood defenses.