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Logging the Chalk

Product Code: WH010
Series: Whittles Publishing
Author/Editor: By Rory N. Mortimore
Publication Date: 15 August 2014
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Chalk has proved to be one of the more difficult rocks to core-log as it breaks up readily during the drilling process leading to core-loss and destructuring, particularly where flints, nodular chalks and/or fractures are present. One of the greatest difficulties is the identification of chalk engineering grade which relies heavily on fracture aperture.

Obtaining the correct grade to define the depth of weathering and the depth at which fractures become closed is essential whether for tunnels in London or for wind turbine piled foundations in the offshore chalks. Very few geologists and engineers have had the opportunity to study field sections in the Chalk so there is little visual appreciation of the grades or the variation to expect or even what flint bands look like. To partly overcome this difficulty, both field and core sections are illustrated in this book.

The Chalk stratigraphy is covered with key formations and marker beds illustrated, and the best field sections for viewing them identified. The book is based on the standard lithostratigraphy and method of engineering description of Chalk developed over many years and over 3000 onshore and offshore chalk-cored boreholes undertaken by the author. In addition, typical lithologies and weathering profiles likely to be encountered in the various onshore and offshore construction projects are illustrated using field exposures, rotary core samples and geophysical borehole wireline logs.

This book will enable geologists to work from first principles to construct a lithostratigraphy and define weathering boundaries for geological settings where information on the Chalk is poor and unexpected lithologies and stratigraphies may be found. It will be a vital manual and reference for practising and academic geologists, geotechnical engineers, hydrogeologists, petroleum geologists and civil engineers, students in these disciplines and anyone with an interest in the Chalk.

280 × 210mm, hardback, liberally illustrated with photographs, diagrams and logs

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-184995-098-5
Publisher: Whittles
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 357
Weight: 1.7 kg



Review by Mike Rosenbaum

Published in Geoscientist Online August 2015

The author commences with a concise account of the stratigraphy, which no longer features ‘Upper’, ‘Middle’ and ‘Lower’ divisions but instead uses new terms that better reflect regional variations.  The bulk of the book is devoted to the recognition and description of chalk within the four main provinces: Southern, Transitional (London, Chilterns and East Anglia), Northern, and Central Graben (including the Northern North Sea). 

Most pages are devoted to annotated photographs, which reveal the extent and variability of chalk and its component lithologies and fabrics. Particular attention is paid to weaknesses and heterogeneities that might otherwise be overlooked.

One of its beauties is the wonderful set of colour photographs used to portray chalk profiles.  The publisher has also made available a pdf copy of three additional appendices covering typical chalk core-logs through a variety of weathered profiles, logs of cable-tool percussion samples, and the impact of sonic drilling on penetrating chalk profiles.

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£ 135.00 each

List price: £ 135.00
Fellow's price: £ 108.00