Description: Seasonal storms during February of 1971 completely closed the Drum Inlet navigation channel through the Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. This channel is highly useful to commercial and sport fishing industries in the Carteret County vicinity of North Carolina, and is vital to maintenance of the ecological balance in the inland Core Sound waters. To reopen Drum Inlet, an alignment about 2.1 miles south of the original location was selected. A contract dredge excavated a channel from the inland Core Sound waterway to and part way through the Outer Banks. The final 385-ft-long section of sand separating the Core Sound from the Atlantic Ocean was excavated with large explosive charges, This report describes the explosive excavation of that portion of the channel. Twenty-two separate canisters, each containing 1 ton of aluminized ammonium-nitrate slurry blasting agent, were emplaced in two rows. All charges were detonated simultaneously at 1327 hours, 23 Decembcr 1971. The detonation successfully removed the sand barrier, forming a continuous channel over 80 ft in width. This channel subsequently washed out to a width of about 1000 ft and was used:is an access route to the Raleigh Bay fishing grounds. The Drum Inlet project demonstrated the practicality of explosive channel excavation in saturated sand under the special conditions encountered at this site. (auth)
Date: October 1, 1973
Creator: Snell, C.M. & Gillespie, R.H.
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