ASTM D6167 - 11

    Standard Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging: Mechanical Caliper

    Active Standard ASTM D6167 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.01

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.09


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    Significance and Use

    An appropriately developed, documented, and executed guide is essential for the proper collection and application of caliper logs. This guide is to be used in conjunction with Guide D5753.

    The benefits of its use include the following: improving selection of caliper logging methods and equipment, caliper log quality and reliability, and usefulness of the caliper log data for subsequent display and interpretation.

    This guide applies to commonly used caliper logging methods for geotechnical applications.

    It is essential that personnel (see the Personnel section of Guide D5753) consult up-to-date textbooks and reports on the caliper technique, application, and interpretation methods.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide covers the general procedures necessary to conduct caliper logging of boreholes, wells, access tubes, caissons, or shafts (hereafter referred as boreholes) as commonly applied to geologic, engineering, groundwater, and environmental (hereafter referred as geotechnical) investigations. Caliper logging for mineral or petroleum exploration and development are excluded.

    1.1.1 This guide offers an organized collection of information or a series of options and does not recommend a specific course of action. This document cannot replace education or experience and should be used in conjunction with professional judgment. Not all aspects of this guide may be applicable in all circumstances. This ASTM standard is not intended to represent or replace the standard of care by which the adequacy of a given professional service must be judged, nor should this document be applied without consideration of a projects many unique aspects. The word Standard in the title of this document means only that the document has been approved through the ASTM consensus process.

    1.2 This guide defines a caliper log as a record of borehole diameter with depth.

    1.2.1 Caliper logs are essential in the interpretation of geophysical logs since they can be significantly affected by borehole diameter.

    1.2.2 Caliper logs are commonly used to measure borehole diameter, shape, roughness, and stability; calculate borehole volume; provide information on borehole construction; and delineate lithologic contacts, fractures, and solution cavities and other openings.

    1.2.2.1 Borehole-diameter information is essential for calculation of volumetric rate from flowmeter logs.

    1.2.2.2 Caliper logs provide useful information for borehole completion and testing.

    1.2.2.3 Caliper logs are used to locate the optimum placement of inflatable packers for borehole testing. Inflatable packers can only form an effective seal within a specified range of borehole diameters, and can be damaged if they are set in rough or irregular parts of the borehole.

    1.2.2.4 Caliper logs are used to estimate the volume of borehole completion material (cement, gravel, etc.) needed to fill the annular space between borehole and casing(s) or well screen.

    1.2.2.5 Caliper logs may be applied to correlate lithology between boreholes based upon enlargements related to lithology. The measured borehole diameter may be significantly different than the drilled diameter because of plastic formations extruded into the borehole and friable formations enlarging the borehole. A series of caliper logs may also show increases or decreases in borehole diameter with time.

    1.3 This guide is restricted to mechanically based devices with spring-loaded arms, which are the most common calipers used in caliper logging with geotechnical applications.

    1.4 This guide provides an overview of caliper logging, including general procedures, specific documentation, calibration and standardization, and log quality and interpretation.

    1.5 To obtain additional information on caliper logs see Section 9 of this guide.

    1.6 This guide is to be used in conjunction with Guide D5753.

    1.7 This guide should not be used as a sole criterion for caliper logging and does not replace professional judgment. Caliper logging procedures should be adapted to meet the needs of a range of applications and stated in general terms so that flexibility or innovation is not suppressed.

    1.8 The geotechnical industry uses English or SI units. The caliper log is typically recorded in units of inches, millimetres, or centimetres.

    1.9 This guide does not purport to address all of the safety and liability problems (for example, lost or lodged probes and equipment decontamination) associated with its use.

    1.10 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D5088 Practice for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Waste Sites

    D5608 Practices for Decontamination of Field Equipment Used at Low Level Radioactive Waste Sites

    D5753 Guide for Planning and Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 19.060 (Mechanical testing)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 81151902(Geophysical exploration)


    DOI: 10.1520/D6167-11

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