Monday, 8 April 2013

Borehole drilling has started!

Borehole drilling has started today at the site near Berwick-on-Tweed, Scottish Borders. We aim to drill a 500 metre deep core through the Ballagan Formation and use this as a correlation tool for the new tetrapod fossils being discovered. The borehole will also allow us to find out more about how the environment and climate changed over time and the links between this and tetrapod evolution through Romer’s Gap.
Here are some exclusive photos of the drilling:

Dr Dave Millward standing next to the drilling rig (photo copyright of Tim Kearsey)

The drill bit that is used to bore the top of the open hole, with a foot for scale (photo copyright of Tim Kearsey)

Drilling progress
So far the drilling rig has been set up and the first few metres of rock have been drilled. The top of the hole has been cased with concrete to secure the hole, then proper rock drilling will start tomorrow. This initial preparation drilling has revealed that the first 10 metres depth of rock are sandstone, good news as this corresponds to the rock type at the top of the Ballagan Formation that we have recorded during fieldwork. Dr Dave Millward, Dr Tim Kearsey and Mike Browne from the BGS are supervising the drilling to monitor which rocks are being drilled through and make a first pass record of the core that is coming out. I will visit the site to look at the core in a few weeks’ time.

TW:eed in the News
The TW:eed team have hit the press, with a fantastic 2 page article in The Scotsman on Sunday yesterday about the borehole drilling. We were also in the Berwickshire News recently. These articles describe why we are undertaking this project and explain it really well to the non-specialist. Fantastic!

You can access The Scotsman on Sunday online article and comment section by Dr Tim Kearsey of the BGS.

Keep following for updates on the drilling!

Until next time



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