At a recent meeting, the Continental Scientific Drilling Committee (CSDC) approved a plan for a broad program of geophysical tests to be conducted on a deep borehole now being drilled in northern Illinois. (The CSDC is organized under the Geophysics Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences and is charged with seeking ways to conduct add-on experiments in holes drilled by government agencies or private industry.) They also decided to make efforts to assist in obtaining sources of support for the experiments.
The plan was the result of a hurried effort to organize a campaign of investigations. Researchers first learned of the existence of the hole, being drilled by a power company, in January (EOS, April 22). Drilling was expected to be finished in May or June, when the borehole would reach a depth of about 1650 m. Now, investigators must move more quickly than previously thought, reported Bezalel Haimson of the University of Wisconsin, chairman of the steering group that prepared the plan. Spring drilling has gone faster than expected, he said. The borehole could be finished as early as May 10. After completion of drilling, the power company will remove its drill rig, then downhole experiments requiring a rig will cost researchers more.