Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Horizontal trap for marine sediments

Climate changeHorizontal sediment trapMarine pollutionOcean currentsSea sediments


The invention aims to solve the typical problems that affect the entrapment of marine sediments in deep waters. Typically, sediment traps must remain vertical in the water to work properly. On the contrary, the proposed trap has been developed to remain horizontal with a side entrance and exit, and a central sedimentation tank.

Technical features

The trap is horizontal with two openings, front, and rear, which allow the horizontal sea current to enter and exit respectively; inside the trap, the sediments fall. The input and output channels are equal and symmetrical. In a central position, between the two channels, the trapping tank is present. In this tank, due to the enlargement of the cross-section, the current velocity reduces, allowing the transported sediments to fall. Furthermore, the proposed mooring system guarantees the horizontality of the trap even in the presence of strong currents, when, on the contrary, in the old vertical traps, an inclination of the mooring cable is always present with consequent problems of sediment entrapment. Furthermore, the proposed trap rotates according to the direction of the sea current flow, always directing the inlet to the sea current. Due to its characteristics, the trap is not harmful to the environmental ecosystem in which it is installed, in compliance with the DNSH (Do Not Significant Harm) principle and the related legislation.

Possible Applications

  • Studying the vertical flows of suspended particles and associated materials present in oceans;
  • The analysis of sediment samples allows researchers to evaluate the movements of nutrients and trace elements from the ocean surface zone to deep water;
  • The analysis of trace elements for clues to ocean circulation of thousands of years ago;
  • Understanding how upwelling currents can create particularly productive fishing grounds.


  • Elimination of the typical problems of vertical traps for marine sediments;
  • Possibility of using the device even in the presence of strong sea currents.;
  • The trap can rotate according to the direction of the sea current, offering an entrance to the flow and its transported sediments.