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Utilization of Surface Drilling Data for Estimation of Sediment Properties in Scientific Drilling of Tohoku Earthquake Zone

[+] Author Affiliations
Tomoya Inoue, Junya Ishiwata

JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Japan

Tokihiro Katsui

Kobe University, Kobe, Japan

Kohtaro Ujiie

Tsukuba University, Tsukuba, Japan

Paper No. OMAE2015-41750, pp. V001T10A018; 7 pages
  • ASME 2015 34th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 1: Offshore Technology; Offshore Geotechnics
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, May 31–June 5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5647-5
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) operates the scientific deep-sea drilling vessel Chikyu, which undertook the drilling project under Japan Trench Fast Drilling Program (JFAST) to determine the mechanism of the catastrophic Tohoku Earthquake and the resulting huge tsunami. As targeted drilling sites were located about 1,000 m below the seafloor, at water depths of 7,000 m, JFAST was a challenging deep riserless drilling.

Drilling operation can also provide information on the properties of the drilling layer. This is important as a main aim of the scientific drilling is to obtain core samples from sediment layers under the seabed for evaluating sediment properties. Even a rough estimate of sediment properties could potentially provide an important notice for conducting coring operations.

Thus, we attempted to estimate properties of sediment layers using surface drilling data, such as drilling torque acquired from JFAST, and compare with properties of the core samples. As shear stress of sediment is a key parameter, it was estimated from surface drilling data. It was then compared with shear stress data determined from laboratory tests using core samples, and data from temperature sensors set in borehole.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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