What is Geotechnical Drilling


Geotechnical drilling is a process used to evaluate rock and soil samples before commencing work on construction, mining or scientific projects. Depending on the qualities of these samples, engineers can plan bridge construction, highrise construction and tunnel construction, amongst a wide variety of other projects, appropriately. The characteristics of the rock or soil samples give indications regarding the sorts of engineering which must be performed at a site.

Geotechnical drilling is performed by geotechnical drilling rigs which drill either a few metres or hundreds of metres deep. The depth of the hole extracted by such rigs depends on the engineer’s project requirements. Samples of earth can be extracted using an auger and sent off to a laboratory for analysis. Mobile geotechnical drilling rigs can be mounted on trucks, on steel or rubber tracks or even on trailers.

Samples are charactised by two identifiers: SPT hammer samples and down hole rock core samples.

Engineers have the last say on where geotechnical drilling is performed. Everything is monitored by a professional to confirm the placement of the drilling activities and ensure that everything is being carried out correctly. If any number of tasks in the drilling process are not performed properly, it can cause issues such as delays or equipment failure to arise. It’s very important to ensure that all geotechnical drilling is undertaken by drilling contractors who are qualified to operate specialised drilling equipment and have a clear understanding of underground strata

Geotechnical drilling is also used at mining sites to evaluate rock samples for key mineral deposits, oil, gas or other resources which are then excavated after the site has been identified as containing value. The same logic applies in operations such as these: mining operators use augers to extract core samples which are then sent off to a lab and cross-referenced with samples from other mining sites to check whether the site undergoing investigation is likely to produce value.

Geotechnical drilling may also be used by scientific researchers who wish to discover more about our planet, and acquire samples such as ice cores in areas like the poles. Ice cores can provide an insight into the Earth’s climate history, preserved on ice for the convenience of scientists who are concerned with climate subjects. In this situation, geotechnical drilling might be performed by drilling contractors who specialise in scientific drilling applications, as opposed to drilling for construction.

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