Tunneling is a potentially hazardous engineering practice that often requires a large investment. Proper understanding of the geology, hydrogeology, and overall subsurface conditions is paramount to a safe and lasting tunnel. Subsurface investigations have a major impact on the planning, construction, cost and feasibility of geotechnical tunneling projects. With so much at stake, tunneling professionals need a reliable drilling technology with proven results. Sonic drilling technology has proven to significantly reduce unforeseen challenges and deliver superior site investigation data when deployed for characterization of soft ground tunnels.
Sonic drilling ensures excellent subsurface characterization, providing engineers with the sort of expert knowledge of ground conditions essential for successful tunneling operations. No other data collection method delivers tunnel design professionals, owners, and contractors with the same quality, accuracy and detail.
Sonic technology produces a continuous soil core quickly, through virtually any subsurface condition. It is compatible with conventional geotechnical sampling techniques such as standard penetration tests (SPT) and undisturbed sampling. These conventional sampling methods can be enhanced by either proportioning the necessary borings between sonic borings and those sampled with conventional drills, or by outfitting the sonic drill to obtain conventional as well as sonic samples.
In addition, professionals routinely use sonic methodologies for geotechnical sampling or construction efforts due to the following benefits:
Superior information provided by continuous sonic cores substantially minimizes project risks keeping projects on schedule and within budget by:
Sonic drilling should be considered any time challenging subsurface conditions are anticipated and when predictable project costs and schedules are a necessity. Engineers find themselves in a difficult position when designing with incomplete or substandard geological data. This leads to over-designing in an effort to fill that data gap. What follows is a series of costly change orders, project delays, and increased construction costs. Sonic reduces this uncertainty and the need to over-design by delivering reliable and accurate site information.
To see a real-world example of sonic drilling in action, check out our Chesapeake Bay tunnel project, and see how sonic can be used during Geo-technical investigation.