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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > Research and Support Capabilities

Research and Support Capabilities at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center

Shipboard Operations

Rotary Coring

The rotary coring system is designed to take rock cores in various environments. The coring system has been used to sample carbonate rocks on land and in water depths up to 80 feet. Underwater drilling is performed by certified SCUBA divers and personnel with drilling expertise. The rotary coring system has been used for geologic investigations of carbonate systems in south Florida and groundwater quality characterization in national parks and marine sanctuaries.

The system is designed to take a 2-inch diameter core with enough rods to drill a maximum depth of 100 ft Typical drilling depths range from 40 to 60 ft or less. The coring system is comprised of an NQ-2 wireline system supplied by Longyear. The coring bit is driven by a drill head (hydraulic motor: Eaton, 2065 lb-in at 908 rpm) suspended by a cable on a tripod. The drill head is powered by an 18-HP Briggs and Stratton motor. The drill head and power supply are connected via non-conductive hydraulic hose.

This system is also used for coring coral heads to examine coral growth and historic conditions of reef development. Typical length of core through a coral head is less than 6 ft, which equates to a 200 to 600 year historic record.

http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2001/07/fieldwork.html
http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/ofr/94-276/index.html
http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2005/07/index.html

Rock coring and monitoring-well installation
Rock coring and monitoring-well installation in the South Florida Water Management Districts Water Conservation Area 2A. USGS worked in cooperation with SFWMD Water Resourses Evaluation group. [larger version]
  coring a coral
Coring a coral at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary south of Galveston, TX. USGS scientists assisted NOAA and Texas A&M scientists in this coring operation. [larger version]

 

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