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Boring Log Preparation

John Huang, Ph.D., PE and John Poullain, PE

This four-hour online course discusses the procedures used for preparing soil boring and rock coring logs for subsurface exploration. A boring log is described as the record of exploration procedures and subsurface conditions encountered during drilling and sampling. Guidelines for the completion of boring logs and the preparation of classification of soil and rock are described. Also presented are the techniques for determining subsurface information by visual examination and other methods while drilling. USCS, the most commonly used system for geotechnical work and the AASHTO classification system, used for highway subgrade materials, are discussed and include guidelines for samplers as well as the storage, handling and selection of samples. Quality assurance for log preparation and measures for accurate identification of subsurface materials are stressed. The AASHTO and ASTM designations for the most frequently used drilling methods, equipment and tests are provided. The design of building foundations, roadways, excavation, fills and slopes requires an understanding of soil strength; soil characteristics, how soil behaves under imposed loads and consideration of problem soils. Drilling and coring provide the necessary samples for laboratory soil and rock tests, for in-situ field-testing and for the detailed subsurface record, the boring log. It is important to follow established criteria and guidelines so the appropriate drilling methods are selected especially since subsurface exploration is expensive but not nearly as expensive as for a project failure caused by inaccurate or incomplete boring data.

Boring logs are prepared from subsurface information encountered while drilling, coring and sampling. Information is derived from measurements such as the energy required for drilling per foot of borehole, monitoring rock and soil debris, drilling mud and return water pumped from the borehole, sample recovery percentages and loss of drilling mud, to mention a few. It is very important to complete the logs in the field and not the laboratory and that the field observations and lab test results are differentiated to make clear the source of information. When more comprehensive information is desired, downhole logging may be performed. Downhole logging uses tools, such as wireline logging, where electronic instruments are lowered down the borehole, logging-while-drilling (LWD) where the instruments are in the drill pipe behind the drill bit itself and also borehole cameras and TV cameras.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.