GFZ split-core logger - 1st generation

Analytical performance:

Fully automatic acquisition of:

a) magnetic susceptibility logs using a Bartington MS2E sensor. Linux software: N.R.Nowaczyk.


b) the optical spectrum of sediments along a single trace, using a GretagMacbeth Spectrolino. Color measurements are performed through a circular window of 4 mm diameter. Results are given as 36 spectral lines every 10 nm from 380 to 730 nm along a single trace. Together with spectral data, XYZ and L*a*b* values are stored to an ascii file.

Linux software: N.R. Nowaczyk, M. G├╝nzel.

The maximum length of soft sediment cores is 1.5 m The morphology of the core's split surface can be determined using an experimental hardware/software solution in a separate run prior to logging.


Stratigraphic investigation of lake and marine sediments.

Sample types:

  • split cores,
  • u-channels,
  • x-ray samples.


This system organically grew from a manually operated construction build in 1994: A balance system was holding a Bartington MS2F sensor lowered onto the sediment by hand. A wooden trolley carrying the split-core half was rolled along a wooden 'railway' (still in use), also moved forward by hand. At least, data acquisition was performed with a C-program under MSDOS. Measuremens were performed every 5 mm. In 1997 the Bartington MS2F sensor was replaced by the newly developed MS2E sensor, having a better spatial resolution as well as and a higher sensitivity. Contemporary, both sensor and core movement was automated with the help of two stepping motors. In addition, the spectrophotometer was integrated, as an alternative sensor. Measurements are perfromed every 1 mm since then. The logger reached its final setup in about 2004 with a completely refurbished sensor holder and the possibility to account for uneven core surfaces by a special hardware/software solution. Since then the software is compiled on Linux computers (first SuSE, now kubuntu). Experiences with this 1st generation logger went into the development of the GFZ split-core logger - 2nd generation.


Profile photo of  Dr. habil. Norbert Nowaczyk

Dr. habil. Norbert Nowaczyk
Climate Dynamics and Landscape Evolution

Building C, room 321
14473 Potsdam
tel. +49 331 288-1369