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Livingstone / Bolivia


The Livingstone-type drive rod piston corer (Livingstone, 1955; Wright, 1967) can be used in water up to about 30m deep to collect successive one-meter drives of soft to consolidated lake sediment, which are extruded between drives into split tubes or other containers for storage. Two people at a minimum (and preferably four or five) are required to operate the coring device, as repeatedly pushing the corer into the sediment and pulling it back to the surface are more efficient and effective with additional hands.

A modification to the Livingstone, called the Bolivia corer, replaces the Livingstone’s 2-inch (5 cm) steel barrel with standard polycarbonate tube, eliminating the need to extrude cores and providing superior retention of upper watery sediments. When a depth is reached at which sediments are too tough for the polycarbonate tube (usually at least several meters below lake floor, depending on sediment characteristics), it only takes a few minutes to switch to the steel barrel and continue coring in the same hole. The Bolivia can also be deployed with a square rod long enough to take 1.5-meter drives, increasing efficiency in both coring time and polycarbonate tubing utilization. Maximum depths attainable with the steel barrel depend on sediment character but are typically ~15-20m in fine-grained organic sediments. Casing pipe facilitates coring at greater water depths, and is important for re- entering holes for successive drives. Resistant sedimentary units (of the types described above) are typically impenetrable with this system.


The Livingstone / Boliva corer can be used with the Vibracoring attachment for coring through coarse-grained layers.

Additional Information

The Livingstone/Bolivia SOP (PDF, 3.2MB) contains all the necessary information to use the Livingstone/Boliva system.


Bolivia in use.

Bolivia in use.

Livingstone with Vibracorer attachment.

Livingstone with Vibracorer attachment.