St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
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.