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Borehole: Wikis

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A water borehole into the chalk aquifer under the North Downs, England at Albury

A borehole is the generalised term for any narrow shaft drilled in the ground, either vertically or horizontally. A borehole may be constructed for many different purposes, including the extraction of water or other liquid (such as petroleum) or gases (such as natural gas), as part of a geotechnical investigation or environmental site assessment, for mineral exploration, or as a pilot hole for installing piers or underground utilities. Boreholes used as water wells are described in more depth in that article.

In the engineering and environmental consulting fields, the term is used to collectively describe all of the various types of holes drilled as part of a geotechnical investigation or environmental site assessment (a so-called Phase II ESA). This includes holes advanced to collect soil samples, water samples or rock cores, to advance in situ sampling equipment, or to install monitoring wells or piezometers. Samples collected from boreholes are often tested in a laboratory to determine their physical properties, or to assess levels of various chemical constituents or contaminants.

Typically, a borehole used as a well is completed by installing a vertical pipe (casing) and well screen to keep the borehole from caving. This also helps prevent surface contaminants from entering the borehole and protects any installed pump from drawing in sand and sediment. When completed in this manner the borehole is then more commonly called a well: whether it is a water well, oil well or natural gas extraction well.

Contents

Installation

Boreholes may be drilled using a drilling rig, or by a hand-operated rig. The machinery and technique to advance a borehole varies considerably according to manufacturer, geological conditions, and the intended purpose.

Climate proxy

Borehole temperatures can be used as temperature proxies. This is because heat transfer through ground is slow, so that by measuring temperature (and using the proper mathematical formulae) past temperatures can be inferred several hundred years prior (Huang et al. 2000)[1].

Glacier borehole temperature proxies have less water contamination than sedimentary boreholes. Central Greenland borehole temperatures show:

" a warming over the last 150 years of approximately 1°C ± 0.2°C preceded by a few centuries of cool conditions. Preceding this was a warm period centered around A.D. 1000, which was warmer than the late 20th century by approximately 1°C." [2]

See also

References

  1. ^ Huang, S. P., Pollack, H. N., Shen, P. Y. Temperature trends ever the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures. Nature, 403, 6771, pp 756-758, 2000. doi:10.1038/35001556.
  2. ^ BOREHOLES IN GLACIAL ICE Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years (2006), pp 81,82 Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC), National Academy of Science,ISBN: 978-0-309-10225-4

External links

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