U.S. Department of the Interior- -U.S. Geological Survey

USGS Southeastern Coastal Plain Project
Research and Outreach at Clark Middle School

Geohydrologic Research and Science Education are linked at the Clark Middle School in Orangeburg, South Carolina

USGS drill rig towers over students at the Clark School Science Fair

Drill rig at Clark 

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) are conducting a cooperative, multi-year study of the geohydrologic framework of the South Carolina Coastal Plain. One of the most important parts of this study is the drilling of continuously cored stratigraphic and hydrologic test holes. In April and May, 1997, a hole was drilled at Clark Middle School in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The hole was drilled to a total depth of 1,138 feet, completely penetrating the Coastal Plain section and ending in indurated lower Mesozoic redbeds beneath the Coastal Plain strata.

The Clark School test hole was the third in a series of test holes drilled by the SCDNR-USGS Project at South Carolina schools. The use of public school land as drill sites provides the opportunity for students and faculty to observe, firsthand, a scientific research effort and to gain an understanding of earth-science problems. In keeping with efforts at the previous school drill sites, a two-day Science Fair was held at Clark School. Students, faculty, and visitors had the opportunity to observe the core samples, a fossil display, the geophysical well logger, a display of water-well technology, and, of course, the drill rig. Discussions of geology and hydrology were provided by SCDNR and USGS scientists.

Geologist and students
As students look on, USGS geologist David Prowell explains the geologic history represented by the Clark Middle School core samples

Hydrologists and 
Hydrologists Constance Gawne (right foreground) and Brenda Hockensmith (with cap) from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources discuss water-well equipment and methods with Clark School students.

Go to more pictures from the Clark Middle School Science Fair

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Contact: G.S. Gohn, U.S. Geological Survey, 926A National Center, Reston, VA 20192
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Maintained by: G.S. Gohn, ggohn@usgs.gov