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Archive for Tuesday, June 18, 1996

CREW GETS TO CORE OF GEOLOGY METHODS

June 18, 1996

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A crew sent the drill bit 525 feet beneath the ground at 19th and Iowa streets.

The search wasn't for black gold -- a lubricant that made Jed Clampett a Hollywood sensation. These drillers, working for Kansas Geological Survey at Kansas University, were interested in rock.

"The idea was to bring up cores. You can tell exactly what the rock layers look like," said Rex Buchanan, assistant director of the survey office.

Buchanan said cores taken from West Campus will be used to support research by geophysicist Richard Miller. He'll use the drilling site to test new methods of determining rock formations.

Buchanan said oil and gas producers rely on expensive vehicles to send and receive seismic vibrations thousands of feet below the surface.

The survey's work on campus involves underground map making at depths in the hundreds of feet. Miller and colleagues will experiment at shallow depths with inexpensive vibration-making systems that incorporate shotguns and sledgehammers.

Their computer-generated results will be compared to rock cores brought up Sunday.

One goal is to reduce drilling requirements when determining underground geology, Buchanan said.

A well exists near the survey's drilling site, but it's of no use to researchers.

"We have our own drilling rig, so we put one in," Buchanan said.

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