Integrated deep drilling, coring, downhole logging, and data management in the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project (CSDP) , Mexico
Wohlgemuth Lothar; Bintakies Eckhard; Kueck Jochem; Conze Ronald; Harms Ulrich
Meteoritics and Planetary Science 39(6): 791-797
Impact structures in the solar system are mainly recognized and explored through remote sensing and, on Earth, through geophysical deep sounding. To date, a continuous scientific sampling of large impact craters from cover rocks to target material has only seldom been performed. The first project to deep-drill and core into one of the largest and well-preserved terrestrial impact structures was executed in the winter of 2001/2002 in the 65 Myr-old Chicxulub crater in Mexico using integrated coring sampling and in situ measurements. The combined use of different techniques allows a three-dimensional insight and a better understanding of impact processes. Here, we report the integration of conventional rotary drilling techniques with wireline mining coring technology that was applied to drill the 1510 m-deep Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) well about 40 km southwest of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. During the course of the project, we recovered approximately 900 m of intact core samples including the transitions of reworked ejecta to post-impact sediments, and that one from large blocks of tilted target material to impact-generated rocks, i.e., impact melt breccias and suevites. Coring was complemented by wireline geophysical measurements to obtain a continuous set of in situ petrophysical data of the borehole walls. The data acquired is comprised of contents of a natural radioactive element, velocities of compressional sonic waves, and electrical resistivity values. All the digital data sets, including technical drilling parameters, initial scientific sample descriptions, and 360 degrees core pictures, were distributed during the course of the operations via Internet and were stored in the ICDP Drilling Information System (http://www.icdp-online.org), serving the global community of cooperating scientists as a basic information service.