Somewhere between the surface and a few thousand feet down, a lot of G-things exist that can greatly contribute to the success of your project (or the lack thereof). EarthFax has the experience to evaluate the earth's geologic resources, assist in resource development, or to help with facility siting. Our experience has included:
GROUND SOURCE HEAT EXCHANGE. EarthFax has worked on numerous projects to provide cost- and energy-efficient designs for air temperature control systems using ground source heat exchange technology. This technology utilizes the constant subsurface temperatures of the earth to control ambient air space temperatures in buildings. It can be developed using a variety of configurations (i.e., direct and indirect heat exchangers) and can be applied in shallow groundwater applications or in locations where only unsaturated soils exist. EarthFax assesses soil and groundwater characteristics, prepares permits, provides drilling specifications, performs pump tests, and supervises subsurface field work. EarthFax provides these services in partnership with ground source heat pump installation companies (e.g., Sound Geothermal Corporation), who design the system in accordance with HVAC design requirements.
BASELINE GEOLOGIC INVESTIGATIONS. Baseline geologic studies were conducted for existing and proposed surface and underground coal mines in Washington, Wyoming, and Utah to determine the stratigraphic sequence and lateral extent of lithologic units and the physical and chemical characteristics of the units. Test pits, drill holes, cut-slopes, and rock outcrops were utilized to obtain site specific, detailed geologic and geochemical data for the existing and proposed mine areas. Samples were collected from significant lithologic outcrops and submitted for laboratory analyses. Data obtained from the test results were utilized to determine the presence of toxic or acidic materials, the potential stability of highwalls and spoils, and potential on-site and off-site hydrologic impacts.
QUATERNARY FAULT INVESTIGATIONS. Several Quaternary fault investigations have been performed in seismically-active areas near the Wasatch Fault of Utah. These investigations have included installation of trenches, detailed logging of the trenches to estimate the ages of the encountered materials, and determination of approximate ages of fractures discovered in the trenches. Recommendations have been provided regarding site development and minimum off-sets for proposed structures.
COAL RESOURCE EXPLORATION. A 1,200-foot deep exploratory bore-hole was installed in a remote area of eastern Utah to delineate stratigraphic and hydrologic data in a coal lease area. Drilling equipment and supplies were air-lifted to the environmentally sensitive mountain-top site. Water required for drilling was collected from temporary dams placed at springs and pumped to temporary holding tanks at the drill site. Drilling and coring operations were performed by two crews working day and night under the supervision of an EarthFax geologist. A hydrogeologic log depicting lithologic and stratigraphic characteristics, penetration rates, circulation variations, and base-line geophysical data was produced. The bore-hole was plugged and abandoned upon completion of the geophysical testing. Technical liaison was provided between the mine owners and regulatory agencies.
COAL EXPLORATION PROGRAM. EarthFax conducted a coal exploration program for a major consumer of Utah coal to better define the extent of the reserves in a lease area held by the consumer. The project included permitting of three exploration holes (with a total drilling depth of approximately 4,200 feet), supervising the drilling, sampling, coring, and completion of the drill holes as groundwater monitor wells, and coordinating the analyses of the coal core samples. As part of the project report, data obtained from the drilling program and subsequent groundwater monitoring program was used to produce a geologic structural contour map and a groundwater potentiometric surface map of the area. Recommendations for future permitting of the area for coal production were also made to the client.
MUD LOGGING OF A DEEP WATER-SUPPLY WELL. Mud logging services were provided during drilling of a 5,400-foot deep water supply well. Cuttings samples were collected at 10- to 30-foot intervals throughout the depth of the hole, examined in the field using a binocular microscope, and described. Drilling rate was monitored and recorded using a geolograph. All other aspects of the drilling and well completion were also supervised.
WIRELINE GEOPHYSICAL LOGGING. Wireline geophysical logs have been collected and interpreted in conjunction with the drilling of monitoring wells and water-supply wells at industrial and mining facilities. Logs which have been prepared have included caliper, gamma density, dual induction resistivity, compensated density, compensated neutron porosity, natural gamma, and dipmeter logs. The logs were interpreted to delineate probable water-bearing zones, layers of low permeability, hole integrity, and geologic structure.
PERFORMANCE OF SURFACE GEOPHYSICAL SURVEYS. Surface geophysical surveys have been performed at the sites of industrial and mining facilities to define subsurface geologic and groundwater conditions. Very-low-frequency electromagnetic surveys have been performed to delineate fracture locations to assist in siting water wells for both potable water production and contaminated water recovery. Electrical resistivity surveys have been performed to better define subsurface geologic structure and to locate areas of contaminated groundwater.