With plans for seismic exploration in the Big Cypress Preserve underway, many Floridians have questions about this technology and what its use means for their local environment. Thankfully, and as the below factsheet depicts, seismic exploration is a non-invasive and safe technology with minimal environmental impact. In fact, 3-D seismic exploration allows exploration and production companies to quickly pin point where resources are located without having to drill exploratory wells.
Here is how it works. A “vibroseis truck” creates a seismic wave on the surface of the ground, which then travels into the earth and is reflected by subsurface formations. The image of these formations is collected by receivers called “geophones.” Geophysicists are then able to create a map of the underground formations by analyzing the amount of time it takes for the seismic waves to reflect off of these formations and return to the surface. All of this helps predict where oil and gas reserves are located.
The “vibroseis trucks” used in this process are a key part of reducing the environmental impact of exploration activity because they abrogate the need for dynamite, and instead use very small vibrations. As previously noted by EID, scientists with state and federal agencies, experts in academia, oil and gas industry geologists and engineers have repeatedly reaffirmed the safety of vibroseis trucks.
“In an urban environment, vibroseis-generated waves are less than background noise generated by buses, trucks, and trains… At its source you can feel a vibroseis shake the ground but as you move away your ears will hear the airborne sound waves much longer than your feet can feel those in the ground.”
“Residents standing near a vibroseis truck… may be able to detect it, but this process will not cause any interruptions of daily life or cause damage to structures.”
“The seismic imaging process does not damage the street or negatively impact the earth below ground.”
Below is a video of the vibroseis truck in action.
Due to 3-D Seismic Imaging’s accuracy and light environmental footprint this technology has become standard throughout the oil and gas industry, and will be perfectly safe for use in Florida.