What Is Geotechnical Drilling?

Let's imagine you wanted to build a house. You'd need to start with a strong foundation so the whole thing didn't collapse into a mess, right?

Well, if you build that house on some ground that lacks a solid foundation, it doesn't matter how good a foundation the house has: the whole thing will come crumbling down regardless. So how do you check that the ground you're building on is stable before you start?

Well, we're glad you asked. It's time to dig into geotechnical drilling and let you know what it's all about!

But enough preamble! Let's dive right into it!

What is Geotechnical Drilling?

Geotechnical drilling involves using large drills to determine the integrity and layout of the soil in the ground. This way, you know if the ground can support a large structure getting built on top of it without collapsing. Many governments will require that a site get tested before anything can be built on it to prevent any collapses or injury.

Samples of rocks and soil are also collected from the site so they can get checked for contaminants that could harm humans or further compromise the integrity of the ground.

This kind of drilling is also used in more than construction alone. Oil companies will often use these drills to both verify that the ground is safe to conduct oil drilling on and to check the potential of oil being there in the first place. Scientists will also use these drills in research to obtain cores from the ground so they can study the history and geological makeup of that site (or our planet in general)

The Different Types of Geotechnical Drilling

The two main types of drilling involve conventional drills and sonic drills. The rotary method of conventional drills provides straight and deep holes, while the percussive rotary method sacrifices raw power for ease of transport and inexpensiveness.

Sonic drills, on the other hand, involve vibrating the hollow drill casings (rather than a drill bit) at around 100-200 Hz.  This sends out vibrations that liquify nearby soil, allowing the drill to penetrate the earth very quickly.

The type of machine used will also depend on the environment you want to drill on. Tougher terrain will require a bigger machine to be brought in and vice versa. Special rigs also exist to help deal with areas that won't fit a normal drill or involve working on a body of water.

Becoming a Geotechnical Driller

To become a driller, you'll need a degree in civil engineering technology (or a related field) and some knowledge about how the process works. The average geotech drilling salary ranges around 41-42 dollars an hour.

Drill to Your Heart's Content

And there you have it! Now that you know all about geotechnical drilling, you're ready to go wow your friends with your new wealth of knowledge! And should you ever need a safe and efficient geotechnical drilling company, feel free to reach out to us and let us know how we can help!

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