Tillman’s Corner, Alabama geotechnical drilling technicians frequently receive questions from clients who are curious about precisely what dwells beneath the earth’s surface. Most assume that there’s just some dirt and stones underground, but this is actually quite far from the truth!
The ground can be home to many different structures that you might encounter during a project involving excavation or geotechnical drilling. Tillman’s Corner natives can read on to learn more about what lies beneath your feet!
What’s Underground – Basics of Geotechnical Drilling:
Tillman’s Corner geotechnical drilling technicians may encounter lots of different underground structures while performing a drilling project. Here are some of the most common structures and items they can encounter in the earth.
- Bedrock – Only the uppermost layers of the ground are soil and small stones; this all sits atop bedrock, which comprises the earth’s crust. Bedrock composition may range from limestone, to sandstone, granite or a range of other rock and mineral types.
- Aquifers – Aquifers are a network of underground rivers that flow throughout the planet. Wells typically involve tapping into one of these aquifers. These aquifers may be comprised of a channel carved into the bedrock or the aquifer may flow through a permeable and porous layer of gravel.
- Underground voids and caverns – Groundwater flows, particularly in regions with highly acidic soil and limestone bedrock, are prone to causing the formation of underground cavities or voids. Even mild acids can eat into limestone, dissolving the rock and over time, a large void forms. This may lead to the formation of a cavern if there is an opening at the ground’s surface or you may see a void that’s essentially invisible. If these voids collapse, a sinkhole is the result.
- Historic artifacts – It’s not entirely uncommon for core samples (which are vertical tubes of earth extracted from the ground) to contain shards of pottery, arrowheads and other items of historic significance. Native American artifacts are most common in the U.S., but in other parts of the world, it’s not impossible to find artifacts from ancient civilizations when drilling or excavating.
It’s also possible to find fossils in some areas of the country when excavating or extracting core samples. Alabama is not a huge hotspot for fossils but they are quite commonplace in other regions.
You could also encounter isolated rock and mineral deposits. These are clusters of stones and minerals that are unique and separate from the underlying bedrock and the overlaying soil, sand and small stones
known as regolith.