ABSTRACT

Seismic imaging characteristics of a prototype electrically driven, linear synchronous motor-based, vertical-force seismic vibrator (“e-vib”) were evaluated at a site in the Netherlands. The system weighs 1.65 t and excites seismic signals with a peak force of 6.7 kN. Data were recorded along two collocated geophone-based nodal and landstreamer microelectromechanical system - MEMS-based sensor 2D seismic profiles. To obtain a broad bandwidth data set, the e-vib operated with a 1–200 Hz linear sweep. Shot gathers of the merged nodal-landstreamer data set indicated good-quality seismic data of a broadband nature. The processed merged data set demonstrates high-resolution reflections of the stratigraphic members from approximately 200 m to 2 km, with visible reflections as deep as 2.5–2.9 km. As a reference, we also processed a legacy 3D microspread data set acquired at the same site with a magnitude stronger (14.1 t, 67.5 kN) hydraulic vibrator. Comparison of our nodal-landstreamer seismic section versus 2D slices extracted from the processed microspread seismic volume suggested similar signal penetration depth and the same key marker horizons seen in both. Analysis of the reaction mass and base-plate accelerometer signals recorded with the e-vib source operating on grass and on asphalt surfaces indicates that the e-vib has low total harmonic distortion. The results obtained indicate that, although relatively small, the e-vib is capable of generating high-quality broadband seismic data.

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