The use of drill holes for the direct sampling and measurement of materials and properties beneath the earth's surface is the only really effective method of solving many basic scientific and practical problems. Although two to three million holes have been drilled in North America, they are concentrated in oil producing regions or in sedimentary rock. Comparatively few holes have been drilled in igneous and metamorphic rock, and many areas of scientific interest but less obvious economic importance have not been drilled at all. A select committee at a workshop on continental drilling held June 10-13, 1974 at Ghost Range, Abiquiu, New Mexico (Shoemaker, 1975) has proposed a 10-year program, aimed at the systematic exploration of the North American plate in much the same way that the Deep Sea Drilling Project has attacked the problems of the ocean basin. This program calls for the drilling of many shallow holes 30-300 m) and a few intermediate to deep holes (300-9,000 m). The impact of the results of deep sea drilling on geologic thought already has profound implications for future development of the earth's resources and should justify similar research on the continents.
Information Circular 11. The Basis for a Continental Drilling Program in Minnesota.
Minnesota Geological Survey.
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