A Method of in-Line Refraction Profiling
Published:January 01, 1967
This paper deals with an approximation modification of F. W. Hales'1 graphical method and its execution by a computer program for relatively small dips.
From available velocity information, “paper plots” of time-distance and raypath-distance are made to determine the optimum shot-to-cable location for a particular refractor. These results are tested by field shooting. After determination of the “window” for shooting, a program of data lines is shot and recorded on magnetic tapes which are playback processed; tilted, filtered, and phase corrected.
Data analysis includes the necessary corrections to datum and the analysis of all reversed time ties and subsequent listing on “shift-plot” sheets. Data, times, and distances from these sheets for forward and reverse shots are input independently into the electronic computer program whose output is a scaled vertical section of both sets of data and their average. The program is versatile in that the refractor may be solved as a two-layer problem or the shallower horizons may be stripped off prior to solving for the particular horizon. Model studies show the results for an asymmetrical anticline, a fault example, and a multilayer problem.
Figures & Tables
Seismic Refraction Prospecting
The seismic method is divided into reflection and refraction techniques, based on whether or not a wave undergoes a reflection at the extent of its travel. Thus, while most refracted events have not been reflected, most reflected events have been refracted, because a refraction occurs across any velocity interface in accordance with the simple and basic Snell’s law. This law states that the sine of the angle of incidence is to the sine of the angle of refraction as the velocity on the first side of the interface is to the velocity on the second side of the interface.
Where the refraction angle is large, and not near to zero as it is in the case of reflection work, there are many considerations concerning the geometry of the raypath that have to be made in refraction interpretation. Basically, the papers in this volume describe various techniques for separating out special raypath solutions and making approximations that give us a structural geologic picture from the study of these approximations or specializations.
The following factors are of extreme importance in refraction surveying’ 1) Distance’ Surveying must be accurate in order to make correct depth determinations of the refractor by the use of the refraction method. 2) Velocity’ The velocity of the various horizons, through which the refracted wave passes, must be known if an accurate structural picture is to be determined. Many of these velocities can be determined from the refraction data, and, in fact, the refraction method is a good means of establishing many of the velocities needed for these calculations. 3) Time’ Accurate time information is a prerequisite, although this is no more the case in refraction than in reflection work. In most instances, refraction information is to be recorded to the nearest 1/1,000 sec for exploration purposes.
The distance parameter will be discussed first. In many surveys the distance between the shot and receiver may be extremely long (25 to 50 miles), and the requirement for accuracy is just as vital as if this distance were very short (a few hundred feet). Because of the differential velocities involved, distance errors can cause errors in depth greater than the distance errors themselves. For somecases, in the experience of the editor, the depth error may be three times the distance error. The velocity is very critical in refraction information. Of particular important is the refractor velocity, which is often used to determine the time to be subtracted from the total time path to determine that amount of time which is near verticalor can be converted to a vertical path time.