Sonic Drilling


Sonic Mineral Exploration

Sonic has proven itself a very effective mineral exploration technique in conditions where traditional diamond coring struggles with core recovery and sample loss. In our experience in almost all scenarios we can ensure close to 100% sample recovery even in conditions where traditional coring methods fail to provide required core recovery. 

Continuous, undisturbed sampling in all formations.

Sonic drill rigs advance a concentric hollow drill pipe using rotation in conjunction with axial vibration of the drill stem.

After each stage of drill stem advancement, the inner string is removed with a core of drill cuttings while the temporary ‘casing" string remains to hold the borehole open. The cuttings can be removed nearly intact from the inner casing for examination of the stratigraphy prior to sampling or disposal.

In flowing sands, the drill casings can be filled and/or pressurized with potable water to prevent excess entry of formation materials into the drill string. In rock the system works simlar to a diamond core or PDC mud rotary system. 

Sample is maximised, Waste is minimised.

Without auger flights or winged drill bits the borehole diameter can be kept to a minimum. The quantity of cuttings (waste) removed from the hole is minimal as most formation is captured in the sample. The ratio between bore diameter and sample size is higher than most other methods

Fast and efficient isolation of perched or secondary aquifer. 

Sonic drilling allows a larger diameter temporary casing to be set into a confining layer while drilling proceeds into deeper aquifers. This temporary casing is then removed during the grouting operation. Sonic drilling will allow you to push through the unconsolidated zones and more competent layers. You will obtain an accurate sample of the interface between the two zone and can set your casing with confidence. 

Installation of leachate and gas extraction wells with Sonic.

Sonic drilling has proven to be the best method for the installation of leachate injection/extraction bores and gas monitoring wells through landfill.  Most conventional Geoprobe and Geo-technical rigs will always struggle in these conditions. Sonic sampling will ensure 100 percent continuous recovery even in landfill. This ensures you know exactly when you encounter landfill linings and confining layers, and provides accurate classification of the vertical profile.

Over-water Sonic Drilling

There are a number significant efficiencies when using  Sonic machines off barges. Firstly the sonic sampling method will provide great recovery in the soft sediments on the sea/river floor. Most geotechnical rigs will be unable to gather representative samples in these soft zones. The they sample system is comparable with a vibro-core. Unlike a vibro-core system, the sonic will then continue on into the more competent formations. Should you wish to use diamond coring for rock sampling you can leave the sonic casing in place to hold the bore open and act as a return system for your fluid control.


Sonic Bulk Soil Sampling

We have achieved our largest sample diameter yet with the Comacchio Sonic MC900. We have used sample tubes up to 230mm in diameter. 

 Sonic drill bit with 100mm  silt stone  core sample.

Sonic drill bit with 100mm silt stone core sample.

Shallow sonic sampling on a coastal site chasing the intersection between the beach sand and bedrock.

Overwater geotechnical barge drilling with the Numac R21 Sonic rig on the spectacular Sydney harbour. High complexity drilling project in one of Australia's busiest shipping lanes.

 We stock a variety of sonic casing sizes from 75mm to 230mm.

We stock a variety of sonic casing sizes from 75mm to 230mm.

Sonic Drilling Services Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide