ASTM D6274 - 18 - Standard Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging - Gamma

ASTM D6274 - 18

Standard Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging - Gamma

Status : Current   Published : December 2018



1.1 This guide covers the general procedures necessary to conduct gamma, natural gamma, total count gamma, or gamma ray (hereafter referred to as gamma) logging of boreholes, wells, access tubes, caissons, or shafts (hereafter referred to as boreholes) as commonly applied to geologic, engineering, groundwater, and environmental (hereafter referred to as geotechnical) investigations. Spectral gamma and logging where gamma measurements are made in conjunction with a nuclear source are excluded (for example, neutron activation and gamma-gamma density logs). Gamma logging for minerals or petroleum applications are excluded.

1.2 This guide defines a gamma log as a record of gamma activity of the formation adjacent to a borehole with depth (See Fig. 1 and Fig. 2).

FIG. 1 Example of a Gamma Log From Near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in the USA (in cps)

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Note 1:  This figure demonstrates how the log can be used to identify specific formations, illustrating scale wrap-around for a local gamma peak, and showing how the contact between two formations is picked to coincide with the half-way point of the transition between the gamma activities of the two formations.

FIG. 2 Example of a Gamma Log for the Hydrologic Observation Well KGS #1 Braun located near Hays, Kansas in the USA (in API units whereby SGR reflects the derived total gamma ray log (the sum of all the radiation contributions), and CGR reflects the computed gamma ray log (the sum of the potassium and thorium responses, leaving out the contribution from uranium).

[This image has been removed.]

[This image has been removed.]

1.2.1 Gamma logs are commonly used to delineate lithology, correlate measurements made on different logging runs, and define stratigraphic correlation between boreholes (See Fig. 3).

FIG. 3 Example of Gamma Logs From Two Boreholes

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[This image has been removed.]

Note 1:  From a study site showing how the gamma logs can be used to identify where beds intersect each of the individual boreholes, demonstrating lateral continuity of the subsurface geology.

1.3 This guide is restricted to gamma logging with nuclear counters consisting of scintillation detectors (crystals coupled with photomultiplier tubes), which are the most common gamma measurement devices used in geotechnical applications.

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

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

1.6 Gamma logs should be collected by an operator that is trained in geophysical logging procedures. Gamma logs should be interpreted by a professional experienced in log analysis.

1.7 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units [given in brackets] are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in nonconformance with the standard. Reporting of test results in units other than SI shall not be regarded as nonconformance with this standard.

1.7.1 The gamma log is typically recorded in units of counts per second (cps) or American Petroleum Institute (API) units. The gamma ray API unit is defined as 1/ 200 of the difference between the count rate recorded by a logging tool in the middle of the radioactive bed and that recorded in the middle of the nonradioactive bed” recorded within the calibration pit. A calibration facility for API units currently exists at the University of Houston and is the world standard for the simple Gamma Ray tool, however the validity of the calibration pit has been called into question in recent years.

1.8  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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.9  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 project's 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.

1.10  This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

Standard NumberASTM D6274 - 18
TitleStandard Guide for Conducting Borehole Geophysical Logging - Gamma
Publication Date15 December 2018
Normative References(Required to achieve compliance to this standard)No other standards are normatively referenced
Informative References(Provided for Information)No other standards are informatively referenced
Descriptors borehole geophysics, dead time correction, gamma log, natural gamma log, nuclear statistics, radioisotope, well construction, well logging
File Size509 KB

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