Saraland, Alabama geotechnical drilling projects can vary in terms of the timeframe, cost and complexity based upon a number of different factors. Ground composition and ground density are two factors that have a significant impact on drilling technique, the type of drilling rig that’s utilized and the cost and timeframe of a project that involves geotechnical drilling.
Saraland clients often wonder about which ground conditions are most favorable and which conditions tend to be most common in this region of the southeastern United States.
How Does Alabama’s Soil Density and Composition Affect Geotechnical Drilling?
Saraland, Alabama geotechnical drilling projects are in a region of Alabama that’s known as a coastal plain, which is dominated by soils that are comprised of marine and fluvial sediments. This area has dense clay subsoil, under a loose, sandy surface layer.
This can make for rather challenging drilling conditions because sandy soil lacks stability, while clay soil can be extremely dense. The denser the stone or soil, the longer it takes to complete the drilling project and the more limited your choice in drilling equipment.
On the other hand, some very sandy or wet soils can be equally challenging to work with because the ground lacks stability. This means that you cannot perform certain types of drilling with ease because the walls of the hole are prone to collapse.
In other areas of Alabama, such as the Piedmont Plateau, geotechnical drilling projects can be even more costly and time consuming due to the prevalence of granite, which is one of the hardest, densest stones on the planet. The soils include red clay subsoil, with a high content of granite, mica schists and hornblende.
When drilling into dense stone, you need extremely hard, dense drill bits – usually with diamond or carbide tip – and the speed with which you can proceed is very limited. You also need to utilize plenty of lubricants to keep the drill bit cool and to prevent damage such as melting, warping or dulling. The rate at which you must replace drill bits is increased too, as the dense stone and ground composition wears them out much faster. This can result in increased overhead costs which are relayed to the client to some degree.
Conversely, the Appalachian Plateau region of Alabama is dominated by areas of loamy top soil and subsoil, with lots of sandstone and shale which are relatively soft stones that are easy to drill through.