Geotechnical drilling companies in Atlanta most often perform drilling projects as part of a construction project or as part of a project used to evaluate a site for possible sinkholes, underground wells or even underground gas or oil deposits.
But in some regions, geotechnical drilling is used for a very different purpose – to gather information about the climate and other conditions on earth in the recent and distant past. So how is this achieved and how does geotechnical drilling play a role?
Atlanta geotechnical drilling clients very rarely see freezing temperatures, so needless to say, Georgia is not a prime location for retrieving the ice cores that are so commonly used to evaluate climate change.
Ice cores are large vertical columns of ice that are extracted in a large tube of sorts using a portable drilling rig. These drilling operations do require specialized techniques and equipment as the drilling process can produce a fair amount of heat (which obviously, is problematic if you’re seeking to extract a column of ice.)
These ice cores are usually extracted from the ice caps in Greenland, Antarctica, Siberia and even from ice sheets on mountain glaciers.
Ice cores provide an accurate record because these regions have been frozen for thousands of years, so without a thaw, layer upon layer of ice formed, locking small bubbles of air, particulate matter and ice in place. There have even been discoveries of volcanic ash and smoke particles from forest fires captured in ice cores. These frozen time capsules offer a wealth of information to scientists who know how to interpret the data.
These ice core records can be used by scientists to determine the climate and even what geological events occurred in past millenniums. Some of the events that can be dated using ice cores include:
• Temperatures and climate fluctuations
• Precipitation levels
• Ocean levels and ocean volumes
• Volcanic eruptions
• Forest fires
• Atmospheric pollution levels
• Weather patterns and climate shifts
This information can be valuable from a scientific perspective, particularly as scientists try to determine the human impact on the environment and the true risk of global warming.
Also, by evaluating how the earth’s climate has evolved and changed in the past, it gives us a better idea of how the climate may change and evolve in the years to come, in Atlanta. Geotechnical drilling in Atlanta plays a vital role in this scientific discipline.