Geology students drill into soil at campus
West Chester University students received a hands-on geology lesson in drilling this week.
WEST GOSHEN » West Chester University students received a hands-on geology lesson this week.
As part of a collaboration, about 30 students and approximately 35 seasoned professionals watched side by side as a 50-foot tall rotasonic drilling unit dug into South Campus soil.
The drilling site will be used for classwork study for decades to come. The Glen Echo Farm site is home to saprolite which only appears above weathered bedrock, in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Geologists are interested in evaluating how ground
water and contaminants flow through this material.
The million-dollar drill uses sound waves to collect soil samples.
Martin Helmke is a WCU Geology professor. He said the drill can dig 50 feet deep in a half hour, for what would take a conventional drill half a day.
Helmke said the university was conducting outreach efforts to educate working professionals from the eastern United States.
“The drill is very fast, does not disturb soils and is very expensive,” he said.
Dan Kelleher is with Midwest Geo Sciences Group.
“It’s an eye-opening experience for the students and a mix of the very latest technology mixed with working shoulder to shoulder with professionals who are recognized experts in the field.”
Maria Sariano is a junior and geoscience student.
“It’s interesting because in a classroom you take notes and hear lectures but it’s special to be in the field and witness it and get a firsthand experience,” Sariano said.
The work valued at $45,000 was donated by Cascade Drilling L.P. of Ohio and Parratt Wolff of Syracuse.
West Chester University students and professional geologists wave for the camera at a South Campus drill site.
Watching a state of the art drill at West Chester University.
Geology students and professionals rub shoulders at the West Chester University drill site.