Where in the hell am I?

November 2, 2010

Seeping along…

Filed under: archaeology, archeology, Texas — Tags: , , , , , , — John @ 7:56 pm

Still in San Antonio, monitoring the dam(n) renovations. Our budget called for 7 days of fieldwork, as this is what the client expected. After 7 days, the project is not even halfway completed.

I guess I neglected to mention in my previous blog entry about the underground seep/spring that was hit in the hole. It’s somewhere between 27-30 feet below surface. It’s in a gravelly layer overlying some pretty serious clay and limestone bedrock. If I understand correctly, the groundwater in the area gets down to this layer, and then can’t sink any further due to the impermeable bedrock and clay layers. Now that the trackhoe has cut through the edge of this, the water runs into the hole, filling it up with a few feet of water (depending on the depth of the creek beyond the retaining wall). Even with an engine-powered water pump, they can’t seem to get all the water out of the hole.

This has substantially impeded progress, needless to say. The hole needs to go deeper, and if they expand it any further to the same depth, they’ll just flood a bigger area. Any rain is only going to make things worse, especially as this will also raise the creek level. There are also two engine-powered pumps currently draining the retention pool, or at least trying to.

This afternoon, they brought in a really brutal looking jackhammer attachment for the trackhoe. Imagine a jackhammer with a tip roughly 3 feet long and  around 8 inches in diameter! It’s started breaking through the bedrock, busting through a good 2-3 feet so far. However, the hope was that this would either reach a more permeable layer or maybe open a fracture through which the water can drain. So far, no luck.

This has made what was already an extremely boring, relatively pointless exercise that much worse. But the project requires an archaeological monitor during any ground-disturbing activities in the National Register district, and so I stand around with my headphones on, checking my phone way too much, waiting for something to happen.

1 Comment »

  1. The work you do always seems so exciting!

    Comment by Cara Mico — November 15, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

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