Cylindrical sediment traps are frequently used to measure the downward flux of particles in the upper ocean. Some protocols recommend filling these traps with brine (50 psu in excess of ambient) before deployment to better retain the collected sample. However, this also changes the aspect ratio of the traps—a critical parameter affecting the trapping efficiency. We conducted controlled experiments in a flume that demonstrate filling traps with a 5 psu brine decreases their trapping efficiency to 54% at a velocity of 5 cm sec−1, and to 75% at 15 cm sec−1 relative to the same trap with no brine. This suggests that a revision of the protocols and further experiments are needed.
Gardner, Wilford D., and Youcheng Zhang. 1997. "The effect of brine on the collection efficiency of cylindrical sediment traps." Journal of Marine Research 55, (5). https://elischolar.library.yale.edu/journal_of_marine_research/2253