Boring (earth)

Drilling a hole, tunnel, or well into the Earth / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Boring is drilling a hole, tunnel, or well in the Earth. It is used for various applications in geology, agriculture, hydrology, civil engineering, and mineral exploration. Today, most Earth drilling serves one of the following purposes:

  • return samples of the soil and/or rock through which the drill passes
  • access rocks from which material can be extracted
  • access rocks which can then be measured
  • provide access to rock for purposes of providing engineering support

Unlike drilling in other materials where the aim is to create a hole for some purpose, often the case of drilling or coring is to get an understanding of the ground/lithology. This may be done for prospecting to identify and quantify an ore body for mining, or to determining the type of foundations needed for a building or raised structure, or for underground structures, including tunnels and deep basements where an understanding of the ground is vital to determining how to excavate and the support philosophy. Drilling is also used in vertical and inclined shaft construction.

A boring machine illustration from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.
Mud log in process, a common way to study the lithology when drilling wells.