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Site Analysis: The Difference between Soil and Geotechnical Drilling

Choosing the right site for new developments is crucial. Whether it is in the middle of Sydney northern suburbs or someplace else, site analysis is a vital process for construction.

Site analysis is an investigative process which assesses if the place is suited for the new development. It includes drilling to obtain samples of rocks, soils and determine the stability of the land. Here are two of the most common types of drillings as well as tips for successful drilling. 


While soil drilling and geotech drilling may sound similar to a casual observer, the two differs with the samples they obtain and the reason for obtaining. Soil drilling is a type of environmental drilling which focuses on finding out what is in the soil rather than what is the soil structure. This is the most common type of sampling used by engineers and geologists.

This type of environmental drilling investigates on the properties of the soil which can affect the design as well as the safety of a construction. It also aims to determine the extent and properties of the materials that will go better with the type of soil in the site. Thus, soil drilling’s main focus centers on the soil’s texture, moisture content and the type of soil. It also looks at the soil’s nutrient and contamination level.

Obtaining sample near the surface is easy. This can be done efficiently with the use of a hand auger or a backhoe. While drilling for greater depths require the use of an auger or other drilling methods to bore the desired depth. Samples are taken through the use of split spoons or other extraction method.


As opposed to soil drilling, geotechnical drilling surveys the soil’s structure. Geotech drilling can be part of investigation process before constructing a new development as well as the construction process itself. 

This technique requires digging a hole in the land while keeping the soil disturbance as low as possible. It helps engineers and geologists determine the soil bearing pressure, active soil load, location of the groundwater table and the features of each of the soil’s layer. This is often done on building sites. It prepares for the foundations, caissons, and various supports the building may need. 

This drilling requires the supervision of a geotech engineer who can verify and confirm the positioning of the drill. This ensures that the drilling is done properly. Drilling incorrectly or boring a hole in the wrong spot causes major problems which may delay constructions.

2 Tips for a Successful Site Investigation:

  • Safety First

The importance of safety should always be kept in mind. Wear the necessary gears and observe safety first measures. Serious injuries and even death can result to critical consequences and provoke major crises not only for you but for your family, friends, and your coworkers.

  • Clean tools and equipment every after use

Environmental drilling analyzes soil condition to determine what its contaminant and the severity of the contamination. That is why cleanliness of the sampling equipment is vital and extremely important to be able to obtain and test the right information of contamination. Tools and equipment used should be free of any dirt from previous drillings.

Which one do you need? Consult a geologist or an engineer who can better recommend you which of the two drillings is more advisable. However, you will need an experienced drilling company with the right drilling tool and equipment who can to the job for you. 

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