Sonic Technology // Sonic Drilling Applications

Sonic Drilling Applications

Geotechnical Drilling 

Marker on construction site to mark position for geotechnical drilling

Geotechnical Drilling is an investigative component of a building project that provides vital information to help determine appropriate construction methods or whether or not a site is suitable for the construction intended. Existing ground conditions, including underlying geology and hydrology are revealed in the process. 

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs for Geotechnical Drilling? 
  • Near in-situ samples provide excellent geological representation
  • Less IDW results in a cleaner and safer drilling area 
  • No refusal means sonic drilling can be used in most formations 
  • Sonic provides efficient sampling and testing including Shelby tubes, SPT and Sonic CPT (read a whitepaper that discusses Sonic Drilling and SPT sampling)

Geo-Environmental Drilling 

Sonic Drilling Applications | Geo-Environmental Drilling

Geo-Environmental consulting and remediation address the leaching of hazardous substances into soil and groundwater, which causes contamination plumes. Petroleum, chlorinated solvents, PFAS and other industrial by-products migrate toward sensitive receptors including drinking water and irrigation wells, and waterways. TSi Sonic Drilling is used to drill soil borings and install monitoring wells during the assessment phase and chemical injection points and recovery wells during the remediation phase. 

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs  for Geo-Environmental Drilling? 
  • Sonic drilling generates up to 80% less IDW than other methods
  • Multi-case wells can be installed without the need for expensive permanent casings 
  • Continuous casing prevents down-hole contamination 
  • TSi Sonic Rigs can be used in extremely fragile environments 
  • Sonic drilling often requires no drilling mud or fluid, reducing environmental impact
  • Sonic drilling allows you to pause at any point in the formation and collect soil and groundwater samples and perform aquifer characteristic testing

Geo-Construction Drilling 

Geo-construction sonic drilling needs for dam monitoring

Geo-Construction applications include foundation building and stabilization, slope stabilization and monitoring, landslide remediation, and dam-levee monitoring and repair. TSi Sonic Drill Rigs are ideal for the installation of micropiles, earth anchors, grout curtains and piezometer and inclinometers. Sonic drilling also provides efficient grout curtain, confirmation sampling and soil stabilization validation sampling.  

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs for Geo-Construction? 
  • Casings can be removed after the installation of piezometers, inclinometers, or anchors
  • Continuous core samples provide accurate representation of subsurface materials 
  • Boreholes can be drilled and cased simultaneously to full depth
  • Sonic drilling can be performed without damage to fragile structures or formations

Geothermal Installation

Geothermal installation using a TSi 150CC Sonic Drill Rig

The environmental benefits of geothermal installations include the use of an existing, fully sustainable resource—natural heat within the earth. A geoloop system, installed beneath the ground, is required to move the heat to and from a structure. Traditional drilling methods that require long drilling times can offset the environmental advantages of geothermal systems. The speed and efficiency of TSi Sonic Drill Rigs reduce the environmental impact of geothermal installations by using far less fuel and water.  

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs for Geothermal Installations?
  • Geothermal boreholes are drilled 8 – 10 times faster than traditional methods
  • A borehole drill time of as little as 30 minutes prevents hours-long exposure to noise pollution
  • Less waste generated and less water consumed minimize environmental impact
  • Borehole casings are extracted and reused for greater efficiency 
  • Sonic drilling can bore, case, loop, and grout in one step 
TSi Drill Rigs Featured on CNN Business for Geothermal Installations:

CNN’s Kelly Bowman reports on how Dandelion Energy is working to limit your carbon footprint


Terra Sonic Sonic Drill rig used for mining exploration

Mining applications for TSi Sonic Drilling include mineral and aggregate exploration, tailings, and leach pad drilling. TSi Sonic Drilling can significantly reduce the cost of exploratory drilling in most industries. For applications such as alluvial and placer deposit mining, sonic drilling provides excellent recoveries in soft material while also being able to efficiently drill through harder materials like interlayered weathered rock. 

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs for Mining?
  • The speed of sonic drilling delivers the productivity necessary to make mining profitable 
  • Near in-situ core samples provide accurate geological representation 
  • No-refusal results in continued drilling through hard material 
  • Encasing provides a clean, stable borehole that remains open to depth 
  • Sonic drilling ensures deep, straight, continuous and intact cores 
  • Large diameter core samples provide better data during assay testing

Water Resource Exploration 

Groundwater well

The search for a potential groundwater source and testing the source or aquifer for quality and quantity is a complex investigative process. Geologic and hydrologic data is evaluated to determine the feasibility of drilling permanent production wells for a healthy and dependable water supply. 

TSi Sonic Drilling Benefits for Water Resource Drilling 
  • Near in-situ samples provide accurate subsurface conditions for optimum well design 
  • Drilling mud or fluid is often not needed, eliminating contamination and reducing clean-up costs 
  • Groundwater samples can be collected at multiple areas from one drilling location 
  • Up to 80% less IDW reduces drilling site clean-up costs 


Dewatering of a sandy job site

Groundwater can have an adverse impact on many construction or environmental response sites. Shallow groundwater can prevent vital subsurface structural elements from being installed that are necessary for the construction of buildings or other structures. Contaminated groundwater can impede site remediation or characterization efforts. In these instances, dewatering is required and temporary or permanent pumping wells are installed to control groundwater levels. 

Why TSi Sonic Drill Rigs for Dewatering Projects? 
  • Minimal IDW reduces exposure to potentially hazardous material 
  • Boreholes can often be drilled without mud or fluid, minimizing contamination 
  • Straighter drilling holes maximize well design efficiency 
  • Flushing casing can be used to drill dewatering wells quickly  

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