In order to evaluate the efficiency of heave compensation in the Ocean Drilling Program, we developed a device measuring the acceleration of the core barrels. First results show that heave compensation limits bit motion to 10% of the surface heave. We also use the acceleration data to characterize the formation. On rotary corers, acceleration amplitudes decrease with increasing hardness of the formation. Comparison with geophysical logs shows that this relationship can resolve cm-scale features. On piston corers, the maximum acceleration is characteristic of the sediment shear strength. Easy and fast to deploy, this tool allows to characterize formations before any sample analysis.
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