Seismic Refraction & Reflection

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Introduction : Seismic Refraction

Seismic survey is a geophysical method used to study the structure and properties of the Earth’s subsurface. It involves generating and recording seismic waves that propagate through the subsurface layers, using specialized equipment and techniques.

Seismic surveys can be conducted on land, in the ocean, or in boreholes, and are widely used in resource exploration, engineering, and environmental studies. The data collected from seismic surveys can provide valuable information on the location, depth, and composition of subsurface structures, helping to inform decision-making processes in a variety of industries.

Seismic Refraction

Seismic refraction is a geophysical method used to study the structure of the Earth’s subsurface by analyzing the way seismic waves travel through different rock and soil layers. It involves generating seismic waves, such as a sledgehammer striking the ground, an explosion or by using specialized equipment like a seismic vibrator truck  and detecting them using geophones placed along a profile on the ground surface.

By analyzing the travel time and refracting angles of the waves at the boundary between the layers, geophysicists can determine the thickness, depth, and velocity of subsurface layers.

Seismic refraction surveys are used to locate geological features, such as faults and aquifers, and to assess the strength and stability of subsurface materials for engineering projects for civil engineering projects such as dam foundations, bridges, and tunnels. It also can be conducted on land, or on water bodies, such as lakes and oceans, using specialized equipment such as air guns and hydrophones


Seismic Reflection

Seismic reflection surveys: involve analysing the reflected waves that bounce back to the surface after hitting rock layers, creating images of the subsurface and providing valuable information about the geology, structure, and properties of the Earth.

Seismic reflection is a geophysical method used to study the structure of the Earth’s subsurface by analyzing the way seismic waves reflect and refract between different rock layers to create a 2-D or 3-D detailed and accurate image of the subsurface layers known as seismic reflection profile or seismic section.

It involves generating seismic waves that travels through the Earth’s subsurface layers. and detecting their reflections using an array of sensors called geophones or seismometer. By analyzing the timing and amplitude of the reflected waves, geophysicists can determine the depth, thickness, and properties of subsurface layers, as well as the location of faults, folds, and other geological features including the presence of oil and gas deposits.

Seismic reflection surveys are widely used in the petroleum industry for exploration and production purposes, as well as in environmental studies, geologic surveys, and engineering projects. It can be used to locate and map subsurface reservoirs of oil and gas, assess the structural integrity of dams and other infrastructure, and investigate the geological hazards such as landslides and earthquakes.

Seismic reflection is a wide-range application and powerful geophysical technique for understanding the Earth’s geology and structure