Suction Dredge

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suction dredge

[′sək·shən ‚drej]
(naval architecture)
A vessel equipped with a centrifugal pump to excavate under water.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Suction Dredge


a floating excavation machine that sucks the soil up from under the water in the form of a water-soil mixture (pulp or slurry) and transports it to a waste bank or the bed of an elevated structure. A distinction is made between dredges that move the pulp to shore through pipes and hopper dredges, which move the soil into their own dumping holds.

Suction dredges are widely used in dredging operations, as well as in hydraulic-engineering construction during the erection of earthen dams by the aggradation method, during the erection of levees and other types of embankments, and during the digging of canals and channels. Suction dredges were used for the earthen dams of all the major hydroelectric power stations built on the Volga, Kama, Dnieper, and Don rivers. They are sometimes also used successfully in mining for the extraction of sand and gravel mixtures and the stripping of mineral deposits. Suction dredges are highly efficient mechanical equipment for large-volume earthmoving work.

The suction of soil from under the water was first used in France in 1859. Suction dredges first appeared in Russia in 1874. The basic unit of a suction dredge is the soil pump. Mechanical or hydraulic scarifiers are used for intensive soilintake work; the latter type is used for light soils. Mechanical shredding scarifiers are the most common type.

During operation, the suction dredge is moved by winches providing continuous contact between the soil-intake device and the face. Suction dredge specifications range in capacity from 10 to 8,000 cu m of soil per hour; the working depth is 2–60 m; and the power of the electric motors is 10–10,000 kilowatts and higher. The displacement of hopper dredges exceeds 15,000 tons. The Netherlands leads in the building of suction dredges. The largest seagoing suction dredges are built in Japan. River suction dredges for construction and dredging work are built in the USSR.


Shkundin, B. M. Zemlesosnye snariady. Moscow, 1968.
Karkovskii, I. I.Sudatekhnicheskogoflota. Leningrad, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For the Missouri River floods emergency levee repair project, Great Lakes is a subcontractor to Western Contracting, using the cutter suction dredge Iowa.
Suction dredge mining is a method for mining from the bed of a water body.
From 2008 to 2012, permits issued by Oregon's Department of State Lands for suction dredge mining almost tripled, to 2,251, alarming fishermen, environmentalists, the tourism and recreation industries, and ordinary citizens.
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This will be the first major project for the recently upgraded cutter suction dredge (CSD) Ohio.
United States Forest Service to explore the impact of suction dredge mining in the Siskiyou National Forest.
In the early 1930s, the mill owners created an ingenious arrangement employing a floating suction dredge to remove toxic sediments from the main river and impound them on shore, preventing them from moving into Lake Coeur d'Alene.
Olmstead has been mining gold on Gold Creek, 200 miles up the Dalton Highway, since 1996, where his one-person summer operation has progressed from a suction dredge to a small Case 450 tractor.
Thirty quadrats were sampled with a suction dredge at each site.