What is Sonic Drilling?

Sonic drilling is a sophisticated technique that utilizes high-frequency, resonant energy created within the sonic head. This power created is the force that will move a core barrel or casing into subterranean rocks. 

mining operation

During drilling, resonant energy is delivered at various sonic frequencies down the drill string to the bit face. Simultaneous drill string rotation distributes energy and impacts uniformly across the bit face.

Two counter-rotating weights produce the resonance energy inside the sonic head. From the inside of the sonic head, a pneumatic isolation mechanism keeps the resonant energy from being conveyed to the drill rig, selectively directing it down the drill string.

To optimize drilling productivity, the driller must align the resonant energy produced by the sonic head’s oscillator. This measure will help match it with the geology being encountered. 

Resonance is created and takes shape the moment the resonant sonic energy corresponds with the inherent frequency of the drill string. The outcome of this is the transfer of energy to the face. Simultaneously, friction in the soil directly adjacent to the entire drill string is significantly reduced, resulting in rapid penetration rates.

The Sonic Method of Drilling 

While there are many different techniques to choose from when drilling with sonic (this would highly depend upon project goals and site-specific conditions), the most commonly employed technique will have the core barrel advance. Normally, this is overridden by a much bigger diameter drill string that surrounds the open borehole to keep it from collapsing. 

The Sonic Style of Drilling is a Clean Way to Drill

There are drilling situations where it is extremely important to veer away from the use of air, drilling mud, and not even water should be involved while drilling work is ongoing. 


Sonic drilling does not necessitate the use of air or drilling mud during the drilling process. Hence, sonic drilling has come to rise as among the most sought-after drilling techniques for environmental applications, geotechnical, and geo-construction works worldwide. 

On rare occasions, sonic drilling can fail in overburdened circumstances, and this can also take place even on special projects, too.

Environmental projects that use this drilling process can save a large amount of money on their costs. Such operations can necessitate a significant investment of time and money to appropriately dispose of the waste being generated. 

Adding water or air to a mining operation, and specifically to a leach pad, is considered a disturbance and can have an impact on the mechanical qualities of the soil. If the situation is extreme, it can lay the groundwork for erosion to take place, which could fail, such as a partial landslide.

Despite being somewhat of a new tool, the incorporation of sonic drilling into the business world is still in the early stages of adoption. Thus, because drilling companies frequently have to teach their mining, water well, environmental, and geotechnical clients about the technology and how it can be of great help to their projects, drilling contractors need to educate them about it.