The International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC) has just published a new ‘Facts About’ publication on underwater drilling and blasting.
‘Facts About’ is a series of concise, easy-to-read leaflets which give an effective overview of essential facts about specific dredging and maritime construction subjects.
Each leaflet provides a kind of ‘management summary’ for stakeholders who need a quick understanding of a particular issue.
The leaflets are part of IADC’s on-going effort to support clients, consultants and others in understanding the fundamental principles of dredging and maritime construction because providing effective information to all involved parties is an essential element in achieving a successful dredging project.
What is underwater drilling and blasting?
Rock is often encountered in rivers, estuaries, coastal and open waters and can pose an obstruction to various works.
Dredging can be done to remove the rock but sometimes the rocks that are too hard to be dredged directly have to be removed with explosives.
Underwater drilling and blasting can sufficiently fragment the rock to allow for it to be dredged.
Underwater blasting or submarine blasting as it is otherwise known is done for a range of projects.
These include deepening of harbors and channels, excavation of trenches for installing oil and gas pipelines and communication cables, demolition work and excavation for foundations (civil engineering).
Underwater drilling is the first part of the process during which drilling is done to make bore holes in the rock to place charges or explosives for blasting.
The drilling (and blasting) can be done from the surface via floating pontoons and self-elevating, spudded platforms.
The process also often includes overburden drilling (OD) – overburden is the softer materials overlaying the rock.