A borehole is the generalised term for any narrow shaft drilled in the ground, either vertically or horizontally. A borehole may be constructed for many different purposes including the extraction of water or other liquid (such as
petroleum) or gases (such as natural gasor methane), as part of a geotechnical investigationor environmental site assessment, for mineral exploration, or as a pilot hole for installing piers or underground utilities. Boreholes used as water wellsare described in more depth in that article.
engineeringand environmental consultingfields, the term is used to collectively describe all of the various types of holes drilled as part of a geotechnical investigationor environmental site assessment (a so-called Phase II ESA). This includes holes advanced to collect soil samples, water samples or rock cores, to advance " in situ" sampling equipment, or to install monitoring wells or piezometers. Samples collected from boreholes are often tested in a laboratory to determine their physical properties, or to assess levels of various chemical constituents or contaminants.
Typically, a borehole used as a well is completed by installing a vertical pipe (casing) and well screen to keep the borehole from caving. This also helps prevent surface
contaminantsfrom entering the borehole and protects any installed pump from drawing in sand and sediment. When completed in this manner the borehole is then more commonly called a well: whether it is a water well, oil wellor natural gas extraction well.
Boreholes may be drilled using a
drilling rig, or by a hand-operated rig. The machinery and technique to advance a borehole varies considerably according to manufacturer, geological conditions, fluid to be extracted, and job specification.
Borehole temperatures can be used as temperature proxies. This is because heat transfer through ground is slow, so that by measuring temperature (and using the proper mathematical formulae) past temperatures can be inferred several hundred years prior (Huang et al. 2000).
Deep borehole disposal
* Huang, S. P., Pollack, H. N., Shen, P. Y. "Temperature trends ever the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures". Nature, 403, 6771, pp 756-758, 2000. doi:10.1038/35001556.
* [http://www.rshydro.co.uk/water-quality-monitoring.shtml Borehole Monitoring]
* [http://www.geologicboreholes.co.uk/water-boreholes/ Boreholes as a personal water supply]
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