PEH:Fundamentals of Geophysics - PetroWiki

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A variety of seismic sources exist that can apply vertical impulse forces to the surface of the ground. These devices are viable energy sources for onshore seismic work. Included in this source category are gravity-driven weight droppers and other devices that use explosive gases or compressed air to drive a heavy pad vertically downward. Multiple references[1][2][3] describe these types of sources. Chemical-explosive energy sources are popular for onshore seismic surveys but are prohibited at some sites because of environmental conditions, cultural restrictions, or federal and state regulations. Chemical explosives are no longer used as marine energy sources for environmental and ecological reasons. Field tests should always be made before an extensive seismic program is implemented. First, it should be determined whether the selected impulsive source creates adequate energy input to provide data with an appropriate signal-to-noise ratio and a satisfactory signal bandwidth at appropriate offset distances. Second, it is important to determine whether an impulsive source causes unwanted reverberations in shallow strata. Vibroseis energy sources are some of the more popular seismic source options for onshore hydrocarbon exploration.