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A wireline piston core barrel for sampling cohesionless sand and gravel below the water table

June 1, 1987

A coring device has been developed to obtain long and minimally disturbed samples of saturated cohesionless sand and gravel. The coring device, which includes a wireline and piston, was developed specifically for use during hollow-stem auger drilling but it also offers possibilities for cable tool and rotary drilling. The core barrel consists of an inner liner made of inexpensive aluminum or plastic tubing, a piston for core recovery, and an exterior steel housing that protects the liner when the core barrel is driven into the aquifer. The core barrel, which is approximately 1.6m (5.6 feet) long, is advanced ahead of the lead auger by hammering at the surface on drill rods that are attached to the core barrel. After the sampler has been driven 1.5m (5 feet), the drill rods are detached and a wireline is used to hoist the core barrel, with the sample contained in the aluminum or plastic liner, to the surface. A vacuum developed by the piston during the coring operation provides good recovery of both the sediment and aquifer fluids contained in the sediment. In the field the sample tubes can be easily split along their length for on-site inspection or they can be capped with the pore water fluids inside and transported to the laboratory. The cores are 5cm (2 inches) in diameter by 1.5m (5 feet) long. Core acquisition to depths of 35m (115 feet), with a recovery greater than 90 percent, has become routine in University of Waterloo aquifer studies. A large diameter (12.7cm [5 inch]) version has also been used successfully. Nearly continuous sample sequences from sand and gravel aquifers have been obtained for studies of sedimentology, hydraulic conductivity, hydrogeochemistry and microbiology.

Publication Year 1987
Title A wireline piston core barrel for sampling cohesionless sand and gravel below the water table
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6592.1987.tb01077.x
Authors Michael M. Zapico, Samuel Vales, John A. Cherry
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation
Index ID 70185547
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program