Improving Reclamation’s Geologic and Geotechnical Investigations with Drill Parameter Recorder Technology

Project ID: 21049
Principal Investigator: Evan Lindenbach
Research Topic: Improving Geotechnical Infrastructure Reliability
Funded Fiscal Years: 2021, 2022 and 2023
Keywords: None

Research Question

This project will install a Drill Parameter Recorder (DPR) to allow for real-time monitoring while drilling (MWD) of important fugitive parameters, such as: penetration rate, hold-back force, torque, thrust, rotational speed, mud or water flow rates and pressures, with depth and time. The parameters can be used to spatially correlate strata between borings, and identify areas of highly fractured rock, voids, clay seams, or weak/thin stratigraphic zones that may be washed-out or lost during drilling. Correlations also exist to specific energy (the energy required to drill a certain volume of rock), rock mass strengths and other components of the Rock Mass Rating (RMR) system. Given the real-time ability to generate detailed subsurface profiles of fracture zones or areas with higher permeability, DPR technology could be extremely valuable in increasing the effectiveness of foundation grouting programs; thereby helping to minimize seepage loss from water storage or conveyance structures.

Need and Benefit

Reclamation has drill crews that support several applications, including: instrumentation installation, subsurface characterization, investigations of structural deterioration, performance monitoring, water wells, etc. Enhancing our drilling investigation techniques is fundamental for improving the reliability of Reclamation's vast and aging infrastructure.

Contributing Partners

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Research Products

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Last Updated: 6/22/20