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Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology


Drill hole; Drilled well


A narrow hole drilled to establish the nature of, sample, test, or monitor soil, bedrock or contained fluids and gases or for abstraction of water or minerals.

Borehole drilling has a long history. By at least the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), the Chinese used deep borehole drilling for mining and other projects. The British sinologist and historian Michael Loewe (Lowe 1959) states that, at that time, borehole sites could reach as deep as 600 m (2000 ft) but it was after the development of petrol and diesel engines that deep boreholes became generally practicable.

The borehole drilling system consists of a drill head which powers the operation, a drill string which extends down the borehole, and a drill bit which cuts through the substrate. The drill string may be surrounded by a collar separated from the drill string by an annular space. The annular space allows water or mud to be pumped down and for soil and cuttings to be flushed up to the...

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Correspondence to Kaveh Ostad-Ali-Askari .

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Gaaloul, N., Eslamian, S., Ostad-Ali-Askari, K. (2018). Boreholes. In: Bobrowsky, P.T., Marker, B. (eds) Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series. Springer, Cham.

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