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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

An Inexpensive, Portable System for Drilling into Subsurface Layers


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 52 No. 6, p. 1817-1819
    Received: Dec 28, 1987

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. Lee H. MacDonald 
  1. Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA-FS, Berkeley, CA 94701



A relatively simple adaptation of rock drilling equipment to a portable two-man power auger creates an inexpensive device capable of drilling 45-mm diam. holes through both surface materials and moderately hard rock to a depth of at least 6 m. The equipment is portable and hence ideal for use in rugged terrain, but a local water source is required. The total cost for all the materials, including the power auger and water pump, is estimated at $1500. Drilling rates of 0.01 to 0.10 m min−1 were obtained in moderately hard to hard rocks in the Central Sierra Nevada of California, but the relatively low rotations per minute of a power auger suggest that drilling will be progressively less efficient in harder rocks. Use of this devise should allow more extensive investigations into the role of saprolites, fractured rock, and other subsurface layers in hydrologic and geomorphic processes.

Current address: Phillip Williams & Assoc., Pier 35, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133. Contribution of the Snow Zone Hydrology Research Work Unit.

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