Wilson Auto SieverThe Wilson AutoSiever is a semi-automated sieving table for reducing benthic sediment samples offshore in a routine and controlled manner. Following trials in 1997 by an NMBAQC workshop, the system was recommended as “best practice” by the resulting publication (Proudfoot et al., 1997).
Reduces laborious sample handling in the field
Reduces time required to process most sediments
Reduces personnel numbers required for benthic processing
Reduces damage to biological material during processing
Well proven field performance on benthic surveys worldwide
Standardises sample processing
Robust stainless steel construction
System dismantles for storage or freighting
The system has the following features
Control valves for direct control of water flow/pressure
Additional valve outlet for hand-held deck wash
Discharge chute for disposal of sieved sediment directly over the side of the vessel
Container well for ease of sample handling (typically 1 litre jars)
Can be used with almost any mesh size, but typically 250, 500 or 1000µm apertures
Comfortable height to prevent bending by the operator
Heavy polyethylene lid for high pressure operation
System runs of most vessel deck washes or supplied with stand alone water pump (no electricity required)
The Wilson Auto-Siever , or WAS, was initially designed in the late 1980s by Ian Wilson, but was implemented from the early 1990s as the preferred benthic processing tool for all sampling operations by Gardline Environmental Limited (formerly Gardline Surveys). The system was made available for purchase to all users following the success of the trial at the NMBAQC workshop in 1997. The WAS system was designed to standardise all sieving operations between surveys and personnel, and to increase the efficiency of the sample handling and processing without compromising the quality of the biology recovered. Its simple, yet unique and revolutionary design enables its employment in a variety of different sediment conditions, from coarse heterogenic substrates, down to soft clays and silts.
As “best practice” for biological processing, the WAS system has become the preferred tool for a large number of organisations that routinely carry out benthic surveys. Systems are currently being employed throughout the UK, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Germany and Australia in the following areas:
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Proudfoot, R.K., Elliott, M, Dyer, M.F., Barnett, B.E, Allen, J.H., Proctor, N.L, Cutts, N.D., Nikitik, C., Turner, G. Breen, J. Hemmingway, K.L.and Mackie, T., 1997. Collection and Processing of macrobenthic samples from soft sediments; a best practice review. Proceedings of the Humber Benthic Field Methods Workshop, Hull University 1997.
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