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Geophysical investigations in deep horizontal holes drilled ahead of tunnelling

January 1, 1980

Deep horizontal drill holes have been used since 1967 by the Defense Nuclear Agency as a primary exploration tool for siting nuclear events in tunnels at the Nevada Test Site. The U.S. Geological Survey had developed geophysical logging techniques for obtaining resistivity and velocity in these holes, and to date 33 horizontal drill holes in excess of 300 m in depth have been successfully logged. The deepest hole was drilled to a horizontal depth of 1125 m. The purposes of the logging measurements are to define clay zones, because of the unstable ground conditions such zones can present to tunnelling, and to define zones of partially saturated rock, because of the attenuating effects such zones have on the shock wave generated by the nuclear detonation. Excessive attenuation is undesirable because the shock wave is used as a tunnel closure mechanism to contain debris and other undesirable explosion products. Measurements are made by pumping resistivity, sonic and geophone probes down the drill string and out of the bit into the open hole. Clay zones are defined by the electrical resistivity technique based on empirical data relating the magnitude of the resistivity measurement to qualitative clay content. Rock exhibiting resistivity of less than 20 ??-m is considered potentially unstable, and resistivities less than 10 ??-m indicate appreciable amounts of clay are present in the rock. Partially saturated rock zones are defined by the measurement of the rock sound speed. Zones in the rock which exhibit velocities less than 2450 m/sec are considered of potential concern. ?? 1980.

Publication Year 1980
Title Geophysical investigations in deep horizontal holes drilled ahead of tunnelling
DOI 10.1016/0148-9062(80)90261-2
Authors R. D. Carroll, M.J. Cunningham
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences & Geomechanics Abstracts
Index ID 70012277
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse