Latest Kansas City District Info

Geology Section

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 General Drilling Capabilities
  • Hollow-Stem Auger                                                         

  • Conventional Mud Rotary

  • Cone Penetrometer

  • Cable Tool/Churn Drilling

  • Rock Coring

  • Angle Drilling

These methodologies can be applied to Geotechnicall and Hazardous, Toxic and Radioactive Waste(HTRW)) sites, both within, and outside of the Kansas City District (KCD) boundaries.

The KCD Drilling Unit has been involved in innovative applications of these drilling methods for over 40 years and was one of the pioneering organizations in the field of HTRW investigation.

As a result of extensive experience in dam construction and maintenance investigations, the KCD Drilling Unit has developed specialized drilling expertise in dam galleriess and inside buildings. Our crews are well equipped and operate effectively in the harshest weather and ground conditions.

The KCD Drilling Unit has the capability to rapidly mobilize in response to dam safety emergency situations, and has been called upon to do so many times.

 Specific Drilling Capabilities

The KCD Drilling Unit has broad capability in numerous drilling and sampling methods. We maintain the capability to conduct most routine soil and rock drilling and sampling investigations but our strongest asset is the capability to perform special drilling methods and apply conventional drilling methods to the most unconventional situations. Crews are available for work on Civil, Military, and HTRW (PPE Level-D through Level-B) projects anywhere within the Kansas City District and are also available to provide support to other Districts and government agencies across the country at their request.

  • Standard mud rotary drilling to depth of 1,500 feet, 2-inch to 13-inch diameters. (Failing 1500)

  • Rock coring (double tube) in sizes NX, PQ, PQ3 wireline, 4-inch, and 6-inch diameters, plus numerous single tube thin walled diamond core barrels for pavement coring. (Longyear pneumatic, Failing 1500, Diedrich D90 ATV, Diedrich D-90 Truck Mounted, Earthprobe is NX only)

  • Auger boring: 3.75-inch I.D. hollow-stem auger with 3-inch continuous inner barrel sampler; and 6.25-inch I.D. hollow-stem auger with 6-inch continuous inner barrel sampler. (Diedrich D90 ATV, Diedrich D-90 Truck Mounted)

  • Standard Penetration Tests, (ASTM-1586-84), large diameter split-spoon drive samples, 5-inch Hvorslev fixed piston thin-wall samplers in mild and stainless steel, 6-inch double tube soil core barrel. (Diedrich D90 ATV, Diedrich D-90 Truck Mounted, Failing 1500, plus specialty equipment)

  • Cable-tool soil sampling, 4-inch and 6-inch drive barrels (tool steel and stainless steel). This method has also been successfully adapted for use in deep soil gas (to more than 100 feet in depth) investigations. (Buckeye 22-W, and Bucyrus 22-W rigs)

  • Cone Penetrometer, Mechanical, Electrical, Standard CPT (ASTM D-1586-84) plus HTRW Sensors and direct push Technology

  • Earthprobe direct push, soil sampling, water sampling, soil vapor sampling, 3-inch diameter auger. (4WD truck mounted)

  • Gallery, building interior and close space drilling; NX rock core, drive samples, SPT's, and undisturbed sampling. (Longyear, Earthprobe, and specialty equipment)

  • Most drilling methods can also be performed from barges and floating platforms.

 Available Equipment

Drill Rigs:

  • Failing 1500 (rotary)
  • Diedrich D-90 ATV (auger - rotary - wireline)
  • Diedrich D-90 Truck Mounted (auger - rotary - angle drilling)
  • Buckeye 22-W (Churn)
  • Bucyrus Erie 22-W (Churn)
  • Earthprobe
  • Yates-Longyear (air drill - gallery work)

Drill Components - Rock:

  • Tri-Cone Roller Bit - 1 7/8 to 18 inches
  • Fish-Tail/Drag Bits - 1 7/8 to 9 inches
  • NX to 6 inch Diamond Rock Core - including PQ3 wireline
  • Paddle Bits - churn

Drill Components - Soil:

  • 3 3/4 inch ID Hollow Stem Auger
  • 6 1/4 inch ID Hollow Stem Auger
  • 5 and 3 inch Fixed Position Thin-walled Undisturbed Sampling
  • SPT (1 3/8 inch), 2 and 3 inch ID Spoons
  • 3 and 6 inch ID Inner Barrel Continuous Sampler
  • 4 inch Sampler - core loose sand
  • Denison Barrel
  • Cable Tool Soil Sampling
    • 4 inch ID Barrel - Tool Steel and Stainless Steel
    • 6 inch ID Barrel - Tool Steel
  • Soil Vapor Sampling


  • 500 gpm Turbine
  • Various Submersible Pumps - 12 gpm to 400 gpm
  • 5 x 6 positive displacement pump trailer mounted
  • Piston Pumps on Rigs
  • Moyno Pumps - L-6's and L-8's
  • Grout plants - portable
  • Redi-Flo - 2
  • Zero Submergence Bladder Pump and Oil-less Vacuum Pump
  • Diaphragm Pumps
  • Bean Pump
  • Air Lift Pumps

Miscellaneous Equipment and Services:

  • Air Compressors
  • Back Hoes
  • Bobcat - skid loader
  • Hotsy - Hot Water High Pressure Washer
  • Color Down-Hole Video Camera Inspection
  • Flat Bed Trucks equipped with Articulated Cranes
  • Drilling from Barges and floating platforms
  • Geophysical Survey Instruments
    • EM-34
    • EM-31
    • Electrical Resistivity
  • Black & White Down-Hole Video Camera Inspection
 Geotechnical Investigations


The NWK Drilling Unit crews conduct routine and special investigations on USACE dams within the District. The Unit can also be available for work outside of the NWK District. These investigations include:

  • Drilling and Sampling for Seismic Investigations
  • Install Embankment and Abutment Monitoring Instrumentation - piezometers, inclinometers etc...
  • Foundation and Monolith Drain Cleaning
  • Installation, Maintenance, Rejuvenation, and abandonment of relief wells
  • Gallery Investigations - drains, piezometers, coring, grouting etc...
  • Emergency Support and Inspections
  • Subsurface Investigations for new facilities at existing Corps dams


The NWK Drilling Unit provides support and conducts routine and emergency inspections for the District's Missouri River Levee System. Responsibilities include:

  • Levee Modifications
  • Flood Rehabilitation
  • Levee Realignments
  • Response to Emergency situations


The NWK Drilling Unit provides support for:

  • Channel Modification Projects
  • Bridge Replacements
  • Flood Control - Diversion Projects
  • Contingency Support for unexpected conditions on construction projects


The NWK Drilling Unit provides support for construction projects on Military and other government facilities within the District, including:

  • Buildings and Hangars
  • Runways
  • Channel Modifications
  • Bridges
  • Missile Facilities
 HTRW Investigations

The NWK Drilling Unit provides subsurface investigational support on HTRW sites that require Level D thru Level B personal protective equipment.

The NWK Drilling Unit provides these services to Civil and Military installations, and has extensive experience on DERP and FUDS projects.

The NWK Drilling Unit can provide:

  • Soil sampling, surface sampling, and water sampling
  • Monitor well drilling, installation, development and sampling for wells up to 200 feet deep
  • Rehabilitation of existing monitoring wells
  • Deep soil gas sampling to depth greater than 100 feet
  • Cable-Tool soil sampling that provides reduced IDW and a cleaner borehole and sidewall (when compared to auger) for better well installation in clay soils
  • Shallow test pits and hand sampling
  • monitoring well abandonment using conventional methods, and pressure grouting with microfine cement
  • Undisturbed and drive sampling of sediments in waste lagoons from barge platforms

The NWK Drilling Unit has conducted HTRW investigations at numerous sites, some of which are listed below:

  • Bayou Bonfouca - Slidell, LA
  • Continental Chemical Co. - Kansas City, MO
  • Blue River - Kansas City, MO
  • Bannister Federal Complex - Kansas City
  • Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant - DeSoto, KS
  • Lake City Army Ammunition Plant - Independence, MO
  • Mead-Nebraska Ordnance Plant - Mead, NE
  • Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot - Hastings, NE
  • Weldon Spring Army Ordnance Plant - Weldon Spring, MO
  • Ft. Riley - KS
  • Whiteman AFB - MO
  • Tinker AFB - OK
  • GSC - Buena, NJ
  • Brewster - NY
  • Kempest - Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Old Inger - Darrow, LA
  • Gurley Pit - West Memphis, AR
 Special Drilling Methods


  • Drilling in/through embankment dams
  • Seismic Investigations
  • SPT, CPT, Undisturbed sampling sands
  • Specialty Undisturbed Sampling (3" & 5" Hvorslev thin wall) below water table - sands
  • Preservation conventional sand samples (Specialty techniques include freezing)


  • Ground freezing/undisturbed core sampling sands
  • Undisturbed sampling underclays/soft seams
 Photo Gallery

Angle Drilling in the gallery at Harlan County Dam and Reservoir        Cable Tool Drilling

Diedrich D-90 on Barge at Tuttle Creek Lake, Kansas                    Boyou Bonfouca, Louisiana

Auger Drilling with the Diedrich D-90 at Tuttle Creek Lake, Kansas

Contact Us

Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District
601 E. 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106
Phone: 816-389-3985    Fax: 816-389-2009

Agencies Supported