Behind the Science – APC, XCB, RCB : a world of acronyms

One of the first things that I realized living on the JOIDES Resolution is that the people speak using a lot of acronyms.

Some of the most mysterious for me were the ones related to the drilling system.

During the first presentation our Expedition Project Manager Adam Klaus, explained that we would be using different drilling systems:  the  APC, then the XCB and the RCB . Let’s try to explain what these acronyms mean.

APC stands for Advanced Piston Corer. It recovers soft sediments. The hydraulically activated system instantly releases 28000 pound of force, plunging a knife-edged cutting shoe into the formation to retrieve an undisturbed core.

XCB stands for Extended Core Barrel. It continues coring in firm sediments after piston coring is no longer effective.

RCB is the Rotary Core barrel. It recovers medium-to-hard crystalline sediments. The RCB uses a four-roller cone bit to cut the core.

Every material has is preferred drilling system!